LIFE IN A FISHBOWL – Len Vlahos

life in a fishbowl5/5

RELEASED: 12/01/2017
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury
GENRE: Young Adult, Teen, Contemporary

Jackie’s life wasn’t perfect, but at least it was normal. That is, until her dad received a terminal cancer diagnosis. Then he went and did what anyone faced with mountains of medical bills and a family to support would do: he sold his life to the highest bidder. Which turned out to be a TV station. Suddenly everyone from psychotic millionaires to cyber-savvy nuns wants a piece of Jackie’s family as they become a reality TV sensation. Jackie’s life spirals out of control just as her dad’s starts to run out, and meanwhile the whole world is tuning in to watch her family fall apart … Acidly funny and heartbreakingly sad, Life in a Fishbowl is an exploration of the value of life and what memories mean to us. Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness.

This book wasn’t at all what I was expecting when I picked it up; I had thought that I was about to read a typical YA book that would have me crying by the end. However, it had me crying from the start (with laughter) and I simply could not put it down! Len Vlahos’ writing style is so unique and engaging and gives this book such wonderful character, and he has the characters literally leaping off the page so you become totally absorbed in this real yet bizarre story.

At the beginning, you are introduced to the main characters of the story who Len will effortlessly switch between throughout the book, and this is where my love for the book began – literally with the first sentence! It gives you just the right amount of information about each character so that you know who’s who but aren’t drowned with a ridiculous cast of people, and it’s this cast that is central to the whole story. From the quirky nun Sister Benedict Joan (look out for her Ebay username!) to a bored psycho, these characters are so lively and have some bizarre yet believable stories that link them into Jackie’s heartbreaking tale.


Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me a proof of this book!

snailycanflyy Book Award 2017

For 2017, I decided to host my first snailycanflyy Book Award, where I narrow down my top books of the year. The award is split into three categories – Best Picture Book, Best Middle Grade and Best Young Adult, with a winner in each category and an overall winner. The criteria is simply that it has to be a five-star rated book published in 2017 and one that I want to talk about, one that has stuck with me since reading and one that I would recommend wholeheartedly. So, without futher ado, here are the category nominees:

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Best Picture Book Nominees

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Best Young Adult Book Nominees

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Best Middle Grade Book Nominees

BEST PICTURE BOOK:

The Worm and the Bird – Coralie Bickford-Smith
Thank You, Mr Panda – Steve Antony
The Grotlyn – Benji Davies
Grumpy Frog – Ed Vere
Grandad’s Secret Giant – David Litchfield

BEST MIDDLE GRADE BOOK:

The Bookshop Girl – Sylvia Bishop, illustrated by Ashley King
See You In The Cosmos – Jack Cheng
Moonlocket – Peter Bunzl
The Goldfish Boy – Lisa Thompson
A Place Called Perfect – Helena Duggan, illustrated by Karl J Mountford

BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK:

The One Memory of Flora Banks – Emily Barr
Life In A Fishbowl – Len Vlahos
Caraval – Stephanie Garber
All About Mia – Lisa Williamson
A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard

AND THE WINNERS ARE…drumroll please!

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Winners of the snailycanflyy Book Award 2017

BEST PICTURE BOOK
Grandad’s Secret Giant

BEST MIDDLE GRADE BOOK
See You In The Cosmos

BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK
A Quiet Kind of Thunder

OVERALL WINNER
The Goldfish Boy

A massive congratulations and thank you to all of the authors who’s books made it to the shortlist! All of these books are so incredible and I’ve loved reading them in 2017!