This is Not the Jess Show

Anna Carey
Audience: 
Book Rating: 
3.333335
Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

About This Book

Black Mirror meets My So-Called Life in this fast-paced, timely YA thriller about separating fact from fiction--and how far we'll go to create our own version of reality.

Like any other teenager, Jess Flynn is just trying to get through her junior year without drama ... but drama seems to keep finding her. Between a new crush on her childhood best friend, overprotective parents cramping her social life, and her younger sister's worsening health, the only constant is change--and her hometown of Swickley, which feels smaller by the day.

Swickley is getting weirder by the day, too. Half the population has been struck down by a mysterious flu. Conversations end awkwardly when Jess enters the room. And then one day, a tiny, sleek black device--with an apple logo on it--falls out of her best friend's backpack and lands at Jess's feet.

Reviews

Anonymous

4

Twisty and thrilling

It's 1998, and Jess Flynn's life is perfect...or at least it should be. She lives in a safe, clean little town named Swickley, where she goes to high school with her two best friends and childhood crush. Every day, Jess exists in a happy bubble of friendship and pining, her only trial in life being her sister's poor health. But Swickly is only getting stranger and stranger. There are strange voices yelling at night, Jess's dog is acting up, and no one will say a peep about it. When a sleek, shiny phone suddenly drops out of Jess's best friend's bag, it's the final straw—for iPhones won't be invented for another nine years. The truth is hovering just beneath Jess's nose if she can only grasp it long enough to figure it out. This book was bursting at the seams with twist after twist! It started out relatively slow but exploded with a bang halfway through, igniting a series of events that never slowed down. This book was pitched as Black Mirror meets The Truman Show, two pieces of media I'm not familiar with, so the most major plot twist was truly a surprise, although very much welcome. Anna Carey narrates this stunningly unique concept with humor, grace, and a compellingly readable voice. What irritated me most was Jess's flightiness—she caught and lost feelings so quickly, I wondered if she really liked the people she claimed to or if she was simply desperate. The relationships—romantic, familial, and platonic—could have been executed better, rather than glossed over to keep the momentum of the story alive. Overall, however, I loved the premise of this book. While quick and readable, it is also absolutely thrilling!

Anonymous

3

Thriller

‘This is Not the Jess Show’ is an intense suspense and thriller book. The fast-paced YA book is mainly about how far people can go to create their own version of reality. The general themes include childhood trauma, the issue of privacy, and who to trust or not to trust. The main character, Jess Flynn, deals with a new crush, overprotective parents, and a sick sister, while also battling her gut feeling of something being wrong in her small town of Swickley. As the book progresses, Jess sees more ‘clues’ of something being hidden from her; a secret that the whole town knows is being kept from Jess. How far will Jess go to uncover the secret? What will happen to her sister? Why do conversations stop as Jess enters the room? Is Swickley really her home? These questions can only be answered once you read this action-filled book.

Personally, I gave this book a ⅗ stars because I believe that the plot is interesting, but has wasted potential. The book discusses many topics and issues, however, the story could go into more detail about the exploitation of the main character or/and mental health. On the other hand, the book teaches you a powerful lesson about your gut feeling. As the book is left on a cliffhanger hopefully the author will develop the story even more in the upcoming series. I believe that if you like action-filled-chase type books, suspense, and mild thrill then this book is for you!

Anonymous

3

Thriller

‘This is Not the Jess Show’ is an intense suspense and thriller book. The fast-paced YA book is mainly about how far people can go to create their own version of reality. The general themes include childhood trauma, the issue of privacy, and who to trust or not to trust. The main character, Jess Flynn, deals with a new crush, overprotective parents, and a sick sister, while also battling her gut feeling of something being wrong in her small town of Swickley. As the book progresses, Jess sees more ‘clues’ of something being hidden from her; a secret that the whole town knows is being kept from Jess. How far will Jess go to uncover the secret? What will happen to her sister? Why do conversations stop as Jess enters the room? Is Swickley really her home? These questions can only be answered once you read this action-filled book.
Personally, I gave this book a ⅗ stars because I believe that the plot is interesting, but has wasted potential. The book discusses many topics and issues, however, the story could go into more detail about the exploitation of the main character or/and mental health. On the other hand, the book teaches you a powerful lesson about your gut feeling. As the book is left on a cliffhanger hopefully the author will develop the story even more in the upcoming series. I believe that if you like action-filled-chase type books, suspense, and mild thrill then this book is for you!

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