Author: Maya Rock
Publication Date: February 5, 2015
Published: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Reality TV has a dark future in this thought-provoking thriller
To the people suffering on the war-torn mainland, Bliss Island seems like an idyllic place. And it is: except for the fact that the island is a set, and the islanders’ lives are a performance. They’re the stars of a hit TV show, Blissful Days—Characters are adored by mainland viewers, yet in constant danger of being cut if their ratings dip too low. And no one really knows what happens to cut Characters.
Nettie Starling knows she’s been given the chance of a lifetime when a producer offers suggestions to help her improve her mediocre ratings—especially when those suggestions involve making a move on the boy she’s been in love with for years. But she'll soon have to decide how far she's willing to go to keep the cameras fixed on her. . . especially when she learns what could happen to her if she doesn't.
First off I need to state that the copy I read was an advanced uncorrected galley that I picked up from NYCC back in October. I don't know how much or if any of the story was changed from this draft to the final print. The book was released February 5, 2015.
I really did like the idea of this story. The world building could have used a bit more work. I would have liked a bit more history, especially about The Originals. (That only made me think of the vampire show on The CW.) There were a couple of slang words that could have been explained better. Also, the restrictions that the Characters had didn't seem necessary. Why not talk about cut Characters? It seems to silly to just forget about them as if they didn't exist and move on.
Some events didn't seem very plausible. The smoke detector scene for one, and all the off-mic conversations that the Characters were getting away with.
The way the high school drama and romance was portrayed made me feel old. I do like YA stories but this one was too juvenile for me. Though I did like how Nettie handled her last Suggestion to avoid doing something she wasn't ready to do. How disgustingly inappropriate and a human rights violation that Suggestion was.
I'll end with some some positive notes. I liked the character Scoop. He was a good friend and ally. The last few chapters became more interesting and explained the reason for some rules. While the solution was not the big break down one might get satisfaction from, it was the most believable. It couldn't be that easy.
2 out 5 Blissful Days.