Review: This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey
Raise your hand if you miss Black Mirror? What about the simpler times before social media (especially in the world we currently live in)? Enter This is Not the Jess Show, a story that explores the complexity of the world we live in (and the one we see through the lens of someone’s curated feed). I adored this story and can’t wait for the next book. Check out my thoughts below and put this on your TBR!
This Is Not the Jess Show (This Is Not the Jess Show, #1)by Anna Carey
Published by: Quirk Books
on February 2, 2021
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction
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.
Slap on your slap bracelets, get out that Britney CD, and pull on a skort – it’s the late 90s, everyone!
Or at least, that’s what Jess in This is Not the Jess Show knows. A simpler time before cell phones and social media. When tragedies happen every May and her friends disappear outside of school hours. Just your typical teen experience.
What Jess doesn’t know is her life is curated and live-streamed. Guess they hid The Truman Show from her when it premiered in theaters. This fact is not hidden from readers, making our voyeuristic look into her life all the more real. You’re invested like a soap opera, because it is. Questions of exploitation abound.
I loved this book for not only helping me relive my teen years but because it held my attention all the way through. The not too distant future juxtaposed to the not too distant past is a fascinating ride of questioning reality, especially as we experience Jess experiencing both worlds simultaneously.
Where facts are questionable and you never know who to trust, This is Not the Jess Show is the perfect pick for those of us missing the questions Black Mirror poses. Going into it, I didn’t realize it’s part of a series. Fans will be pleased with this book but also be ready for what comes next. I can’t wait to see how they clean up this mess!