Life in a Fishbowl

Len Vlahos. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-68119-035-8
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
Ebook - 978-1-68119-036-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5366-9051-4
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-4088-7063-1
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