Book Review: Flash Point

Book Review: Flash PointFlash Point by Nancy Kress
Published by Viking Juvenile on November 8th 2012
Pages: 502
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Reality TV meets a chillingly realistic version of America--and the fame game is on!

Amy had dreams of going to college, until the Collapse destroyed the economy and her future. Now she is desperate for any job that will help support her terminally ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. When she finds herself in the running for a slot on a new reality TV show, she signs on the dotted line, despite her misgivings. And she's right to have them. TLN's Who Knows People, Baby--You? has an irresistible premise: correctly predict what the teenage cast will do in a crisis and win millions. But the network has pulled strings to make it work, using everything from 24/7 hidden cameras to life-threatening technology to flat-out rigging. Worse, every time the ratings slip, TLN ups the ante. Soon Amy is fighting for her life--on and off camera.

A flash point is a moment in time where one event can change everything. A turn to the left and the world is changed for the better. A turn to the right and world is transformed into chaos. For Amy, her flash point comes at the hands of the new, up and coming TV station, TLN. In effort to stay cutting edge, the producer creates a new game show based on how its participants respond.

Based on the summary, I had a good idea of what I was getting into with Flash Point. A concept based around the idea of a reality show in a dystopian-ish world. Initially, I imagined that the reality world would stop being fake at some point and turn into a real life or death situation. Really what I was hoping for was a Hunger Games scenario waiting just around the corner. But it wasn't.

Amy was pretty forthright character. Early on, you basically know all you need to about her. Her over the top 'this isn't right' did get a bit annoying, but in this group, I guess someone had to be that type of character. Amy's sister, however, I could have easily done without. From the very beginning, her constant need for attention drove me crazy, but what makes a lot of her character even worse was her questionable actions for her age, and even to a point, the way she was presented. The remaining characters of Flash Point where pretty much how you might expect. This is after all a "reality show" and the characters are there for stereotypical reasons. There is a little depth to these characters, but it does not subtract much from the overall enjoyment of the read.

Final Verdict:

I really wanted to like Flash Point. There is a part of me that did, at points, and a part of me that was left scratching my head a bit. Flash Point was basically a 'what you see is what you get' type read. I would be lying if I didn't say that I wanted more, but, truth be told, I was pretty happy with what I got.

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