Published by Ballantine Books on July 12th 2016
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Received from the Publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I liked the concept of this book. A woman (Zoo)is competing on a reality television show about survival with 11 other contestants. They each have nicknames such as Zoo, air force, tracker, etc. (yes, Survivor comes to mind). The show is all about secrecy and she knows that she will be tested and things will be put in her patch to test her “survival” skills. As the game/show goes on, some contestants drop out as viewers from home watch.
Once she/Zoo is on her own for the individual survival challenge she begins to notice that her cameraman is not coming around. Ok, so she is being filmed secretly!?!? Is she? She finds patches of abandoned civilization with bodies that look real. She’s not going to fall for that. She will keep pushing on…
What is reality? What is real? What is a prop? Who can be trusted? Is what is happening to her “real” or a stint for the reality show. Is the young boy she met, a product of the show or is her for real? Is he being honest? Is he speaking the truth or is he a test?
I loved the concept of this book much more than I think I actually liked the book. The concept is brilliant. I really wanted to like this book more. I think the issue for me was that I really did not feel connected to Zoo. I wasn’t invested in her as a character. I like the book more that I have finished it than while I was reading it. I know this may not make too much sense. This is a book to read and then sit and think about. In the thinking about time, I like the book more because the concept is so good. When you are in a situation to believe that nothing you see is real, how can you trust the real things that you are seeing?
The ending was brilliant. This would make a good movie.