With wry humor and blunt honesty, Vlahos (The Scar Boys) unspools the story of a family whose father signs them up for a reality show after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Written in third-person, the novel rotates frequently among several characters, including 15-year-old Jackie Stone, the eldest daughter in the family; father Jared, who wants to ensure that his family is taken care of after his death; Ethan Overbee, a shrewd television executive who hopes to capitalize on this family’s tragedy; and Glio, Jared’s inoperable tumor, who busily and gleefully devours his host’s memories. Vlahos captures both the worst and best of society: its voyeuristic, reality-show addiction and fascination with celebrity, as well as its ability to unite around a common cause. From page one, it’s evident that the ending will not be a happy one, but numerous laugh-out-loud moments and beautifully drawn characters make for a powerful journey that will leave a lasting imprint on readers. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sandra Bond, Bond Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2016 Release date: 01/03/2017 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.