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Amy, the main protagonist, is 16 years old and lives in a time after a disastrous economic and financial collapse that resulted in her scientist grandmother to lose her job, her life savings, and their house. Amy's parents are both dead so she lives, along with her 15 year old sister Kaylie, at a shabby sorry excuse of an apartment with her grandmother.

From the beginning of the novel you instantly hate Kaylie. Kaylie is the ungrateful little sister that not only refuses to help out but also gets in tons of serious trouble that Amy ends up cleaning up after. I felt sorry for Amy, but at the same time I would have went ballistic on her, but Amy always made up excuses for her behavior. To put it bluntly, Kaylie was a jealous little kid that always resented Amy even though Amy was the person who brought in an income that kept them afloat, even if barely.

Moving on to the reality tv aspect of this book. Amy gets picked out of thousands of people for this show where she, and 6 other people, are put in scenarios that are all based on holograms yes, this is set in the future , and then people vote by predicting what each contestant will behave or react, based on 5 choices given to the voters. At the beginning, the scenarios were pretty harmless but soon enough they began to spiral and turn more realistic and dangerous.

This is when Amy starts to doubt her place in the show but because of her sick grandmother and the full medical insurance the TLN station provides, Amy has no other choice but to bear with it. I really appreciated how Amy was selfless and did everything she could for her grandmother and ungrateful sister. Some of those scenarios were dangerous but she stuck through with it. I really felt total sympathy towards her and admired her courage. There is one thing that Kress introduced to the novel but barely explored and it is the phantoms that Amy experienced that showed the true intentions behind a person's actions.

I still don't get the real reason behind them or their place in the novel. Also, Kress barely gave any mention to when Amy's grandmother died and based on how much Amy did for and how much she loved her grandmother, it was very anti-climatic. The same could be said for the ending, but that could be overlooked. As for the other characters and contestants in this novel, I loved that each one was pegged off as something but at the end of the novel, you really get to find out who they really are.

Some totally contradicted your initial judgement such as Cai, while others were exactly as you thought, like Kaylie. The Antagonist, the producer of TLN, definitely got what she deserved by the end of the novel and I loved that everything wrapped up nicely without any dramatics and rushed conclusions. Honestly, with this long review, I barely delved into all that I wanted to discuss, showing you guys how this novel had so much going on but at the same time everything was linked and tied in together. However I have to point out that there is a ton of swearing so this novel would be better suited for mature YA readers.

Therefore, I definitely recommend this novel to fans of books similar to The Selection and lauren Conrad's L. Candy but with less romance. This is not like The Hunger Games in any way, contrary to what people think. I can't wait to read more books by Nancy Kress in the future! View 1 comment. Mar 02, MacKenzie Manning rated it it was ok. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Apr 24, Rachel rated it really liked it Shelves: ya-children , sf.

I'd avoided reading this books because there are so many YA dystopias with nasty media and governments that are willing to exploit young people for entertainment and profit. In other words, I haven't read The Hunger Games and don't want to. Luckily, this book is not that. Yes, the teens are abused for the ratings, but people are not particularly worse than they are now. Amy, the main character, has too many responsibilities for a year-old, but she does well with them.

Nobody is all evil; the I'd avoided reading this books because there are so many YA dystopias with nasty media and governments that are willing to exploit young people for entertainment and profit. Nobody is all evil; the show's producer comes closest, but she's also fighting to have a reasonably good life for herself. The dystopia is caused by an economic collapse.


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Amy's family has fallen from comfortable middle class - her grandmother is a scientist but now out of work - down to where Amy needs to get scarce waitress jobs to pay the rent. College seems out of reach until she gets the job on the TV show. The book's title is about the point where conditions get so volatile that they ignite. The country is getting to that point, with demonstrations that are starting to turn into riots. In the book, we see all of that somewhat obliquely, through the eyes of teenagers who are more interested in their own lives than politics or social issues.

See a Problem?

But it's there and it's what the book is about. The book is not one of Kress's best, but it's good. I'm rounding up from three and a half stars because it really pulled me in and I devoured it quickly. I suppose I could stop there, but what good would that do anyone skimming the reviews? Let me start off by saying I had NO idea what to expect with this book.

I've heard of Nancy Kress and am aware of the multiple SF awards and nominations she's received but I've never read her. I've also been somewhat disappointed with a few of my recent reads within the YA genre. Not this time. This book was an amazing, exciting, page turning read that I could NOT put down.

Few books have kept me awake at Wow! Few books have kept me awake at night or gobbled up all my spare time. This one did. I began reading Saturday night. And finished Monday by lunch. That's a fast read for me! The Economy has collapsed, jobs are rare, and several new viruses have spread across the globe. But this is not a post apocalyptic world. It's not Mad Max. It's not Planet of the Apes. It's not even The Hunger Games. It's a world that continues to go on, much like our own. Society hasn't devolved into chaos, but it is crappy time in which to live one's life, because it is -- well, a world wide Depression.

Amy lives with her ailing grand mother and younger and rebellious sister. In hopes of making next month's rent, Amy lands a job with a popular -- though sometimes seedy -- Television Network. She gets an advance on her first check and best of all she gets full medical coverage which her grandmother desperately needs. But there's a catch -- and that's where the story takes off.

And, that's where my description will end.


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  4. Any more information will begin to spoil what I feel is the best YA novel I've read in over a year. Be warned -- this is not your typical YA with lots of kissing and hugging and romance. Nor is it Science Fiction heavy with robots, lasers, or aliens. It has none of that. It hearkens back to a more classic form of Social Science Fiction, which we don't see a lot of these days.

    It is story about people, and how people react to situations, cultures, outside pressures and to themselves. What would YOU do for fame, fortune, or even just the ability to pay for your family's doctor's visits? How much would you sacrifice? And knowing that others were confronted with the same questions, and the same chances assuming you weren't part of the picture could you ever trust them?

    These are the sorts of questions Amy, her sister, and the rest of the cast must confront. The characters all have differing motives, internal conflicts, and are very believable as people. No one is a total villain -- not even the villain. All have admirable qualities and all -- even Amy -- has flaws. Just like the rest of us. If you're someone looking for ANSWERS to these sorts of questions, if you're someone needs the typical tropes of Dystopia to enjoy a story, and if you're looking for something more like Twilight, this book probably isn't for you.

    However, if you're interesting in the things that make us believe the things we believe, character motivations, and a pretty darn convincing future world that is like our own -- just a lot more horrible -- and perhaps a bit of social commentary on today's various forms of TV "entertainment" then this may be what you're looking for. I cannot recommend this book enough! Nancy Kress has just won herself a new fan. After careful consideration, I give the book 5 stars.

    It's not always about the answers don't worry, we get many. There are no cliffhangers here! But it is about moving on, beyond a short but powerful part of one's life.

    Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

    Of course, the book has a few flaws. No book is perfect. A couple of the plot points near the end felt a little predictable, but the unpredictability that wove it's way through the tale made up for those flaws. It may not be for everyone. I don't think you'll disappointed. Very interesting reading, especially compared to the Divergent series I am reading at the same time.

    Both are "Dystopian Girl Fanfic", as a friend put it. I thought this one would be right up my alley because it's about someone competing in a reality show where the pressure keeps increasing to drive up ratings, and survival-strategy situations are one of my weaknesses. However, there's actually not much strategy here, and not nearly as much competition as you would expect. It's kind of The Hunge Very interesting reading, especially compared to the Divergent series I am reading at the same time. It's kind of The Hunger Games crossed with The Running Man , but minus much of the conflict that makes those books riveting.

    The reality show outlined by the author is one where the participants are simply lab rats and the show is about putting them in different situations to see what they will do. The show actually doesn't do that well, and the producer struggles to put them in successively more dangerous situations to drive the ratings back up. I like that the show wasn't a super hit, but there are reasons for that which make the story a little less interesting. A bigger problem is that the promise of competition between participants isn't fulfilled in any satisfying way.

    And the book's climax should have been something other than a poorly-constructed "dose of your own medicine" sitcom-style revenge. There's a lot to like here, too. The characters and setting feel realistic certainly more than Divergent and have some depth. There's a lot of potential, and while it doesn't pay off like it should it was promising.

    Examples include the competition between show participants, psychological breakdown from the holographic technology that makes it hard for the participants to tell fiction from reality, and the political situation which is maintained for the length of the story. And there are ideas to think about, such as how far is it fair to stress reality show participants, and to feed the public's capacity for leering at others? Or how should Amy, the main character, deal with her irresponsible younger sister? Kress hits you over the head with some of her points nobody ever knows everything about anyone else's personality , but in the process she created some intriguing characters with many-faceted personalities.

    May 11, Jeannette Mazur rated it it was amazing. I'm thinking about sending my brother-in-law Ryan flowers for recommending this book. It was one of those rare books where I found myself reading it all night long I looked at the clock and it was 5am!! Really, really, really good. Ryan, said it's kinda like the hunger games with lots of interesting twists and turns. It was SO good and such a quick read!

    I would recommend this to any of my friends who enjoyed the hunger games! I'm surprised that Nancy Kress isn't more popular considering how GR I'm thinking about sending my brother-in-law Ryan flowers for recommending this book. View 2 comments. Jan 06, Cathryn rated it it was ok. Ever started a book and been like, "I want this? And it unfortunately happened this time.

    So I saw this book at the library with this absolutely amazing cover of this girl who looked ready to kick butt, against a backdrop of neon advertisements and screens and stuff. And when I read the summary, I Ever started a book and been like, "I want this?


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    And when I read the summary, I was like, "Oooh. This sounds like an action-packed, dangerous, interesting book. So I checked it out and read it. At the beginning, I loved it. The characters were interesting, and the main girl was very sympathetic. She has a grandmother who needs serious medical care and a younger sister who depends on her. She needs this job—being on a reality tv show where the show presents you with different scenarios and viewers vote on how the contestants will react. But as I continued reading, I started getting this odd nagging sensation.

    The different scenarios were interesting at first—finding a dog stuck in a tree, paintballing in a warehouse, being confronted with a psychotic gunman—but then things started getting downright dangerous, like when the hotel where the contestants were staying caught fire or when they got caught in a mob.

    Which is fine. The producer of the show is the bad guy.

    But what began to bother me was this sense of expectation. I was just waiting for this big, climactic thing where everyone was just like, "Gasp! They're seriously out to get us! I dunno—the book sort of built me up to this big finish that never really came. However, Flash Point had an interesting cast of characters.

    There's Tommy, for instance, who's mentally handicapped. I would've liked to see more of his backstory. There's Cal and Rafe, the two love-interests, but it was pretty obvious early on who was the more worthy guy. They're both well-developed characters with their own personalities and whatnot, but Cal's kind of a putz and Rafe isn't. So it frustrated me that it took the MC until Rafe was in danger of dying near the end of the book to figure out she was in love with him, not Cal.

    The girl everyone thinks is the true ally of the MC turns out to be in the pocket of the producer, whereas the girl who hates everyone is the person who ends up helping out the most—and for believable reasons that don't take forever and a decade to be revealed. The fact that the group's initial plan to take down the producers doesn't work is nice, too, because it's realistic.

    First plans don't normally work the way people in books often assume they will, so it was a nice bit of realism. The big thing I liked: the MC is psychic. A bit of a clairvoyant. They don't call it that—it's referred to as her "phantoms," when she gets these little visions that reveal things about different characters—but unfortunately that's never really extrapolated upon, and at the times where it would be most useful for her to have, it suddenly fails.

    I've seen in badly done books where an MC's power appears randomly when they're in danger, but I've never seen it disappear when they needed it most unless that was a part of the plot—which this wasn't. It just sort of made me feel sad that I'd spent the hours I had reading it. I don't know. But it felt like the author started off really trying at the beginning, only to lose interest midway through—which then began to kill my interest.

    I give Flash Point 2 out of 3 stars. It had an interesting premise, and the backdrop of political and socioeconomic upheaval was great, but it seemed like the author was basically trying to tackle a million different things halfheartedly rather than narrow her focus and hit stuff with her whole effort behind it. The writing was technically sound, and the characters believable. But I ended up really not liking it, and not wanting to buy it. So much sadness inside me now. I realize in real life the brats don't always get their comeuppance, but this is a book!

    She really ought to get some kind of smack-down for her being such a witch. Instead, her dream of becoming an actress gets realized during the epilogue. And why does everyone have to swear when things go just the tiniest bit wrong, anyway? I have a lot of books that I love where profanity is used, but with a purpose, not just for shock value. We're not in the schoolyard anymore. She's just as sad, heartbroken, and lonely at the beginning of the book as she is at the end.

    Never gets jail time, and though he gets sued, it doesn't really touch him. So the main baddie never suffers. This isn't really too big of a deal compared to everything else, but still!

    Dare Me by Eric Devine

    Nov 03, A Book Vacation rated it liked it. The synopsis of this book really piqued my interest as it sounded like a highly engaging dystopian novel, very Hunger Games-esk, as it were. However, my feelings toward the novel are a bit mixed. While the beginning of the novel helped set the stage, I have to admit that it moved a little too s 3. While the beginning of the novel helped set the stage, I have to admit that it moved a little too slowly for me. But, rest assured, the novel did quickly start to pick up, though it occasionally slowed down again, and I was confused by a few things.

    For the most part, the novel seemed like it was realistic.

    Flashpoints

    Here, in the midst of the realism, is a random paranormal type insertion, and I never did understand them as I read. But most everything else was great! I found the characters to be extremely real, and I truly felt for them. Amy has a huge struggle: continue the reality TV show knowing each scenario is going to be stranger and scare her even more, or go back to having no money and watching her grandmother die without medical help. More important than a few scares, at least. Now, this is where the story itself gets tricky.

    Kress is writing a novel about a reality TV show, in which scenarios are created to up the ante and see how people react. But neither the cast, nor the audience know it… So anyway, this is where it gets tricky. Kress is writing the TV scenarios in order to show how the ratings go up, and then down, so of course, some of the scenarios are going to be a bit… boring. Make sense? Now, not all of them were lackluster. Jul 05, Alienne rated it it was ok. I can't remember the last time I finished a page book and went " Better question, why should we care? They were built up as this Big Mystery during the first chunk of the book only to vanish for large portions of it after.

    Amy's chess partner? Tommy's uncle? Rafe's brother? Why did these characters exist? Why did Rafe have a crush on Kaylie for 2. Why was Mr. Taunton completely ignored in our supposedly triumphant finale? On that note: - What the frickity frack was that ending? That was one of the most lackluster "climaxes" I've ever read. So Myra is genre-savvy enough not to incriminate herself to a bunch of kids, but when faced with the same accusations from an autistic boy she And said autistic boy's ranting with no proof, mind is enough to incriminate her even with her "legal team" and aforementioned savvy?

    How did any of this make sense? Why did it all happen in the space of two pages? There's a pretty obvious class gap, but, like There was some kind of incredibly vague Collapse but we never really learn what caused it and to be honest the world of Flash Point doesn't feel much worse than our own. The protests were the only believable sociopolitical facet of the book, but they never amounted to anything--I actually got excited for a second when it seemed like the president had been assassinated and everything was coming to a natural head, but no, that was just another illusion.

    Apparently these rightfully pissed-off protesters are content to peacefully accept a new law that conveniently fixes all of the economy's problems within a year. Isn't that nice? I'm not really clear on what the point of it was? Contains a feature interview with a member of Frank Hampson's studio! Dare, Pilot of the Future, returns! First published in the classic British comic, Eagle, these are the original adventures presented in a new gorgeous Titan library edition.

    Featuring a brand new introduction, plus an exclusive look at Frank Hampson's comic-strip life of Jesus, this thrilling volume will blow you away! Written by Frank Hampson. Art by Don Harley.

    Flashpoints

    In this much-anticipated reprint of the original rare and action-packed story from the high point of the Dan Dare saga - Dan, Lex, and Digby, with their alien guide Lero, finally make planetfall on Cryptos. But the Phant invasion has already begun! Our heroes must fight a desperate battle to save two worlds!

    This continues the classic "Man from Nowhere" storyline and features a brand new introduction and exclusive feature material! By Frank Hampson and Don Harley. Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, returns! From the pages of the British comic Eagle, this is perhaps the most seminal adventure of one of Britain's best-loved characters! Dan, Lex, Digby, Flamer and new friend Stripey return from saving the Crypts - ten years after they departed!

    But in their absence, Earth has been conquered by the mysterious Elektrobots! It all points to an old enemy, the Mekon - and a thrilling showdown! By Frank Hampson and Desmond Walduck. It's chocks away once again as Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, returns! First published in classic British comic Eagle, this is perhaps the seminal adventure of one of Britain's best-loved characters, presented in a gorgeous library edition with brand new exclusive feature material!

    When transmissions are disrupted throughout the Solar System and spaceships - including one carrying Sir Hubert - disappear, Dan sets out to discover what's going on. They find a fleet of huge alien craft containing peaceful aquatic creatures called Cosmobes, who are fleeing from another aquatic race, the warlike Pescods! But the Pescods have a deadly weapon, the "Crimson Death" - and they're heading for Earth! Will Dan and his crew once again save the day?

    When Dan and his crew are abducted from a well-earned holiday, they cannot believe the identity of their abductor - the brilliant, long-missing Scottish scientist Galileo McHoo! But their captor reveals an even more astonishing secret: he knows what happened to Dan's father, and wants to set out to find him using a fantastic, experimental spacecraft! Art by Frank Bellamy. Abducted by brilliant Scottish scientist Galileo McHoo, Dan has used his incredible spacecraft, the Galactic Galleon, to reach the mysterious Terra Nova, the last known destination of Dan's test pilot father!

    But when the gang stumble into a war between the strange inhabitants of this world, will they survive to learn the truth? Dollar Bin Codeword. The FlashPoints series is devoted to books that consider literature beyond strictly national and disciplinary frameworks, and that are distinguished both by their historical grounding and by their theoretical and conceptual strength. Our books engage theory without losing touch with history and work historically without falling into uncritical positivism. FlashPoints aims for a broad audience within the humanities and the social sciences concerned with moments of cultural emergence and transformation.

    In a Benjaminian mode, FlashPoints is interested in how literature contributes to forming new constellations of culture and history and in how such formations function critically and politically in the present. Title Contributors Publication Date. Behold an Animal. Thangam Ravindranathan Author. Hosam Aboul-Ela Author. Globalizing Race. Dorian Bell Author. Late Colonial Sublime.

    Sahota Author. Civilizing War.