This Is Not the Real World (This Is Not the Jess Show #2) by Anna Carey #bookreview #YA #suspense #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

In the explosive, thrilling sequel to This Is Not the Jess Show, 18-year-old Jess is out for revenge as she confronts the corrupt media empire that documented every moment of her childhood.

Finally free of Swickley and a life that was broadcast to the whole world on Stuck in the 90’s, Jess is doing her best to adjust to existence on the outside–but she can’t outrun her past forever.

Like-Life Productions has tracked down Jess and her boyfriend, Kipps, and forced Kipps to come back to set for the rest of his contract. Determined to rescue Kipps and exact revenge on Like-Life Productions for what they did to her, Jess teams up with a reporter who’s investigating the seedy underbelly of the TV production company–including a series of suspicious disappearances. Jess agrees to return to set under the guise of missing her friends, family, and old life. Then she can take them down from the inside.

Jess must play along in order to gain the power she needs to expose the truth–but fact and fiction blur as Jess struggles to stay one step ahead of Like-Life Productions. How far will she go to maintain control of the narrative, and what will it cost her?

Packed with twists that race toward a shocking ending, this second book will keep you guessing. 

The first book in this duology came with a twist that left me gaping in disbelief, and I couldn’t wait to see what happened in this sequel.

In the last book, Jess and Kipps narrowly escaped the show and then went into hiding with friends. This story begins several months later. Jess is eighteen-years-old, but Kipps is only seventeen, so when he’s tracked down by Like-Life Productions and forced to fulfill the remainder of his contract, both characters find themselves in situations beyond their control. To be with Kipps and find a way to expose the truth, Jess also returns to the show.

This sequel gives more insight to many of the supporting characters who play bigger roles this time, especially Chrysalis, the “villain”. Where the first book revealed plenty of secrets and had a momentum that made it difficult to put down, this one has a different feel. The big question is now who Jess and Kipps can trust, and who’s in line waiting to betray them. Still, it has a few surprises, more dastardly deeds come to light, and the power of social media (a positive aspect) is incorporated into the story line.

At barely three hundred pages, this is a quick read that takes only a few hours. The story doesn’t really end on a cliffhanger, but I’m unsure if another book is in the works. If this is the end, it’s been an engaging, quirky series packed with surprises that I enjoyed. It was fun to relive some 90s nostalgia.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

14 thoughts on “This Is Not the Real World (This Is Not the Jess Show #2) by Anna Carey #bookreview #YA #suspense #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

    1. So do I, Wendy. I’ve seen an increase in the number of books set during the 80s and 90s recently, and I’m enjoying them. I’ve also been laughing over the fact that scrunchies are popular again, lol!

      Like

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