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.