Review Detail

#Murdertrending Featured
Young Adult Fiction 492
engaging and fast-paced YA thriller
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
In the near future, a reality TV star has become president and signed off on Alcatraz 2.0, a new prison where convicted murderers are sent to be watched by TV cameras 24/7 until they are selected by executioners and killed. The whole show can be streamed via an app, and users comment on the deaths and people constantly. The whole thing is run by The Postman, who decides which cameras to show and edits the murders for mass appeal.

Dee Guerrera was never a fan, owing to the trauma she suffered when she was held hostage as a girl. Her stepsister, Monica, was, however, so she knew about it all in passing. The executioners are known by stage names such as Gucci Hangman and Prince Slycer and referred to as Painiacs by the inmates. Dee was sentenced for killing her sister Monica based on weak evidence and an odd testimony from a psychiatrist, Dr. Farooq- however, she is innocent.

Once on the island, she notices something odd about the inmates- they are often young and attractive- were they guilty? What is going on behind the scenes? And the biggest question is can she somehow make it out alive?

This is a unique premise that plays off the social media obsession and the death penalty. Although some things were predictable in the book, the pacing is such that it completely pulls you in to the story and quickly moves to a satisfying ending. There is a lot unique about the killers and the way that things develop- in a reality show culture, this was an interesting take that certainly kept me page-turning.

There are also some really fun side characters, such as Ethan, who is obsessed with quoting action movies, even if it's in ways that don't necessarily make sense. I also would have loved to get to know Gris better, as she seems pretty awesome. I would have loved to go deeper into a lot of these characters, but keeping it plot-focused added to the fast pace of this YA thriller.

I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a deliciously light thriller. As a beachy read, this book delivers big time with not-too-scary thrills and fun characters. #MurderTrending is a unique read that will appeal to a broad audience.
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