Yeah, like that.
The book is all about Alcatraz 2.
0 where killers are sent to be killed by serial killers while being filmed and shown on the internet Everyone is addicted to watching the gore Our heroine is a teen who was wrongfully convicted of killing her step sister Well, who doesn t want to kill their step sister I think that even if she was guilty, they should have let her go Have you ever HAD a step sister They are pure evil.
Huh And, I just learned that step sisters are slutty too According to the place where only facts are printed the internet.
This all sounds like a cool, scary premise, but the problem was that every single character was a bad caricature of OTT villains The serial killers were all some sort of theme, like Prince Charming who dresses the girl victims up like Cinderella and kills themGucci Hangman who uses fashionable, Gucci, ties to hang peopleRobin Hood who talks in ye old language and shoots them with arrowsGassy Al uses poison gasHannah Ball cooks people and eats themetcetcA bunch of characters who are ridiculous than scary, and they are even called The Painiacs.
Yes, it s as stupid as jazz And, jazz hands.
And, the heroine makes a bunch of friends on the island and they are called The Death Row Breakfast Club and they are all caricatures too.
Plus, the president of the United States is named The Postman and he is in charge of this computer show Nobody has actually seen his face sigh On the plus side, if you read it as a silly parody with the bonus of gross murders, you will like it.
But, if you are looking for a new Hunger Games keep on looking.
1 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum hate giving out 1 stars, and if you ve followed me for a while, you may have already noticed you don t see that rating here very often That s because even if I didn t like a book overall, there s usually still something I enjoyed about it With MurderTrending though, I think I d be hard pressed to find anything too positive to say about this hot mess It simply did not work for me on any level.
But first, here s the book s premise for some context of everything I m going to discuss It is the near future, and the President of the United States is a former reality TV star who thought it would be a great idea to outsource the justice and penal systems to a psychopath television producer known only by his internet handle, The Postman Court trials have become a farce where anyone who is merely suspected of murder is pronounced guilty and sent to a prison island near San Francisco, dubbed Alcatraz 2.
0, where every inch and corner is surveilled by cameras mounted on robotic birds This live footage is streamed 24 7 to millions of viewers around the world tuning in to see the prisoners executed in the most brutal ways by federally sanctioned killers with names like Gucci Hangman and Molly Mauler, whose cheesy names and shticks are an attempt to drive up their popularity on social media.
The book follows Dee Guerrera, a teenager who was sent to Alcatraz 2.
0 after being wrongfully convicted of murdering her stepsister She becomes the next victim of Prince Slycer, one of the island s executioners whose gimmick involves dressing up his executionees as princesses from Disney movies, immediately earning Dee the nickname CinderellaSurvivor when she manages to escape his clutches Determined to find her stepsister s true killer, Dee teams up with other teens on the island in order to expose the reality of Alcatraz 2.
0 and bring down The Postman.
Oh boy, where do I start As an avid reader of sci fi and fantasy I consider myself to be pretty good at suspending my disbelief But this book was beyond ridiculous If it weren t for the over the top gore and violence, I would have thought this was written for six year olds on account of how juvenile and ludicrous it sounds Even leaving aside the nonsensical elements, in today s world where you pretty much can t show anything on the television without getting someone up in arms over it, the idea of a 24 hour snuff show garnering wide acclaim and approval from the public isn t just eye roll inducing, it makes me want to bash my head against a wall.
And then there were the characters Had they been written well, perhaps I could have put aside my incredulity of the premise Unfortunately, at no point in the novel did Dee actually feel like a real person to me She seemed detached and strangely unconcerned with her circumstances from the moment she arrived on Alcatraz 2.
0 Sure, there might have been a brief flash of Oh crap, I am screwed , but this was quickly replaced by her utter conviction that she will find her stepsister s killer even though she has absolutely no resources on the island, zero places to start, and every reason to believe she ll be up next on the literal chopping block Yet there was no fear or sadness No hopelessness or despair This isn t badass This is bad characterization.
But maybe, just maybe, these characters were actually meant to be caricatures After all, there was a character whose one memorable trait was his penchant to quote action movies from the 80s and 90s, and even as his friends were dying slow torturous deaths, he was busy channeling Rambo during the rescue mission I mean, something this fucking goofy has got to be a joke right In fact, this entire novel was so absurd and extreme with its irreverence when it comes to violence and death, I was half convinced it was supposed to be ironic But try as I did to see this novel as satire a playful mockery on social media and the American obsession with Reality TV, perhaps it was probably giving it too much credit If this was meant to be satirical, then the author lacked the delicate expertise to pull it off properly There was a desperation in the way her narrative attempted to justify the premise with very flimsy logic or to endear readers to the characters by giving them very annoying quirks , and while sometimes exaggeration can be used as an effective device, in this case it was a complete disaster.
There were so many other problems with this novel, not least the fact the story gets even unrealistic and ridiculous towards the end believe it or not Suffice to say, I think I ve covered all the major disappointments so I m just going to wrap this up by saying I probably won t be picking up anything else by the author I ve heard that being this insanely over the top is part and parcel of her style, and clearly I am not the intended audience.
I m between a 3 3.
5 star rating here We ve seen oodles of YA novels published with themes of youth battling each other to the death, which is why I m amazed at how unique and engaging Gretchen McNeil was able to makeMurderTrending feel In a sea of similarly plotted novels, does it stand out above the rest Not necessarily, but it was still a really fun read that I would highly recommend to those YA lovers who need something to bust their reading slump It was incredibly fast paced and action packed, the type of book that has you gripped with bated breath while sitting on the edge of your seat I did find some of the character development lacking and the backstory a little underwhelming, but overall those were minor complaints and didn t take away from the fact that this is an enjoyable read Readers who are squeamish will want to give this one a wide berth though it is VERY graphic with explicit descriptions of violence of all kinds If you enjoy the gory stuff like I do though, I think you ll want to pick this one up for the sheer fact that it s so gripping and the plot really draws you in Gretchen McNeil once again proves that she s a force to be reckoned with in the world of YA thrillers and will continue to hold a place on my list of auto buy authors 3I received a copy for review from the publisher via NetGalley.
Blog TwitterYou know what This was fun Empty your brain, don t expect some super literary journey, view it like this And you ll be all good.
The premise is this America elected a President that used to be a reality TV star hold up, no, this isn t nonfiction, peeps and he green lights a reality TV where young people who have been accused of capital crimes go to Alcatraz 2.
0 yes, the island surrounded by sharks and stuff where they get semi run down apartments and jobs and debit cards while they wait for professionally hired serial killers to murder them.
The serial killers have names like Molly Mauler, Cecil B DeViolent, DIYnona, and Gucci Hangman Fans of the show have a social media site similar to Twitter where they post and vote and hashtag everything Each of the killers has a theme Death by gas, mauled by animals, tortured by coffee shop tools.
It s all so silly and ridiculous The man behind the curtain and side story with the main character, Dee, who was kidnapped at 12 for a week or so, is so over the top, you just have to let it go and accept the insanity If you CAN, and not turn into serious, Sad BatmanAbout it you ll probably enjoy this Probably closer to a 3.
5 stars, but hey, I plowed through it, so being lenient.
Oh, I am not classifying this as Young Adult because it is quite violent and there are tons of F bombs Probably okay for 16, 17 year olds, but not for young teens Just my view There is no sex and it IS written in a way that would indicate a younger audience however, it feels like horror than your average YA I would rate it R, if it was me In case you are curious shrug This book was amazing There were so many twists and turns in the plot that I was riveted the whole way through I m obsessed with things prison related, San Francisco related, and twisted reality TV show concepts, so this book was just my cup of tea I couldn t put it down both because I was participating in a reading marathon and because it was just so good Thanks to NetGalley and Freeform for giving me a digital ARC of this book.
Full review below Synopsis Dee Guerrera is innocent of killing her step sister, but this doesn t stop her from being convicted of first degree murder and sent to the country s top prison Alcatraz 2.
0 However, Dee doesn t spend the rest of her life trapped in a tiny cell Instead, she becomes one of many stars of a sick reality TV show Everyday she goes to work at an ice cream parlour on the island called I Scream and returns home to her house in the barracks But this isn t an idyllic, peaceful existence She along with all the other convicted criminals are always in danger Because on Alcatraz 2.
0, there are serial killers who hunt down the prisoners, and the killings are live streamed for the millions of fans watching from the luxury of their homes.
I absolutely devoured this book in one sitting It is a fun, campy, thrilling read with lots of relevant references to pop culture However, there aren t any pop culture references that would date the book McNeil limits herself to mentions of things like Disney princesses, and classic movies like Rambo and Die Hard It s definitely a good idea to stick to the classics, because if you focus too much on a movie that s a passing fad, the book will lose its relevance in a few years Murdertrending reminds me a lot of The Hunger Games, but it s a lot less emotionally taxing While I loved those books, they took themselves very seriously and Suzanne Collins was absolutely relentless in her attempts successful attempts, I might add to make me bawl my eyes out This is a much fun approach to the reality TV show where teenagers are hunted down and killed There s quite a bit of humour a lot of it black, but not all of it , but the book isn t without its intensity McNeil makes us care for characters before she does what she will to them.
Some of the complaints about this book are that it s far fetched A former reality star turned president is the cause of what society has turned into How far fetched America would never elect a former reality TV never mind All joking aside, the story isn t too inconceivable, and it definitely holds a mirror up to what society is becoming, which adds a hint of unsettling ness to an otherwise fun read.
As I just mentioned, the novel s concept and many of the elements introduced throughout the story are a commentary on current society For example, there are a few times in the book where the reader is treated to the comment feeds of the viewers who are watching this reality TV show Viewers have become apathetic towards the pain of others These are criminals in Alcatraz 2.
0, so they apparently deserve to be serial killed Insert exaggerated eye roll here There s a lot of fakenews thrown around, conspiracy theorists who question everything, and this TV show has amassed an obsessed and decidedly creepy fandom At one point the audience is fangirling over a character s outfit while she s fighting for her life McNeil is definitely making a statement here While the ridiculousness fit with the satire quite nicely, I did find that it got a little too far fetched for me towards the end The ways that the protagonist outsmarts the bad guys are very implausible Very I mean, maybe one or two villains can be stupid and gullible, but they all shouldn t be These twists were still enjoyable, but I did groan a few times.
This satire is extended to the characterization of the protagonists of the novel Dee Guerrera meets several other prisoners her age when she s first imprisoned on Alcatraz 2.
0 At first, they re all two dimensional people the jock, the cheerleader, the nerd But it s quickly revealed that they re voluntarily playing the role that they were assigned by the Postman , the producer of this widely popular reality show I loved the characters and the directions that McNeil chose to go with them They re quite diverse in every way, and I think that any teenager will have a hard time reading this book and not relating to at least one of these criminals.
All in all, I recommend this to anyone who s looking for a fun summer read so long as they aren t afraid of a little okay maybe a lot of gore.
Bad enough she d lost her sister, then been wrongly convicted of the murder now she was going to be humiliated, forced to prance around the island in these stupid clothes while millions of people gawked and laughed and placed bets on how many days she d survive until her blood was spilled in the name of entertainment.
This is one of those books that is just pure fun The concept is neat mixing murder with reality tv in a near future where death row means being sent to Alcatraz 2.
0 where a psychotic killer will hunt you down and end your life all while being live streamed for the entire world s viewing pleasure And if they d like, there will be replays available and forums where you can discuss your favorite murders or murderers Interesting, right Dee Guerrera wakes up on Alcatraz 2.
0 after her hearing Three weeks ago, she would ve never seen herself here It actually makes no sense because she didn t kill her step sister regardless of what the jury said Will Dee be killed off before she can prove she didn t actually commit the crime If you think this sounds thrilling and fast paced, you re right It could ve been better if there was development to the characters I was in the need of a palate cleanser read, so I didn t mind it I was in this for the murdery fun I didn t care about the lack of believability or the predictable moments I still liked the journey of figuring out whodunnit regardless of how obvious it was.
I did love that Dee was constantly given Disney princess outfits It made for some fun references throughout the action and gore Now that I m seeing there is a sequel, I am curious where it will go More horror is always welcome Since I enjoyed this and Ten, I ll have to read McNeil.
5 stars In a world where The Purge and The Hunger Games collideMURDERTRENDING shows us a society crippled by reality television and instant social media validation Seriously folks, this book is a lot of fun and all too real for me Dee Guerrera is wrongfully convicted for the murder of her step sister Monica and sent to Alcatraz 2.
0 for punishment Alcatraz 2.
0 is a man made prison island off the coast of San Francisco where the worst convicts imaginable are sent to live out their days in fear They must work, they are provided housing, and they are able to maintain their lives accordingly However, the prison is run by The Postman businessman and reality television producer who enlists the help of a rolodex of infamous serial killers to provide excruciating executions of the convicts all captured on the The Postman app that viewers can tune into Dee awakens on Alcatraz 2.
0 and immediately realizes that she s fallen victim to the show and must fight in order to survive She knows that she was wrongfully convicted and wants to prove her innocence before it s too late She meets a group of other young, attractive people in Alcatraz 2.
0 and starts an alliance with them DeathRowBreakfastClub Time is running out for the newly established group, because as everybody knows nobody gets out of Alcatraz 2.
Gretchen McNeil, I truly love the sick and twisted world you provided inMURDERTRENDING I really didn t think this book would be as fun as you made it for us The pacing ofMURDERTRENDING is fast, action packed, and edge of your seat thrilling The story starts off with a bang, but it doesn t stop from there so I urge you to plan the day accordingly seriously, this book is unputdownable I had a few critiques about the story, which is why I couldn t giveMURDERTRENDING a higher rating I felt that the backstory was a little weak and unbelievable The foundation to the overall arc of the story was a little flat and could ve been handled in detail I can t comment about that without ruining the story for you, so after you readMURDERTRENDING , talk to me I also felt that there were serious plot holes and continuity issues that were made to keep the story going at it s fast paced level I wanted story foundation, rather than continuous action I actually rolled my eyes several times at how the situation was randomly handled and that definitely affected my rating Maybe if the backstory was handled and the secondary characters had a POV, the development of the story could have been persuasive for me Even though I had some critiques about the story,MURDERTRENDING was fabulous in the most disgusting way possible It s very, very, very graphic at times so if you can t stomach gruesome violence, maybe give this one a pass My boyfriend thinks I m totally messed up in the head for enjoying this book, but what can I say I urge you to pick this story up if you re interested in a YA story with an original spin on a dystopian society P.
S Don t think I didn t notice all the Rupaul s Drag Race references Love, love, loved that Thank you Netgalley for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest reviewMURDERTRENDING will be released August 7, 2018.
Intriguing concept at face value mind you, I m of the mind that the future will see the abolition of the death penalty in most developed countries due to increasing social moral pressure, and the entire premise ofMurdertrending is rather misplaced in its plot So, we ve got all this high tech digital world to explore, yet it seems to be very ultra republican US in its ideology the whole thing of it just confused me Labelled as horror , I can t honestly say I found the book scary, just very violent and graphic in an exaggerated, self indulgent way In this I find that the book fails to understand humanity and empathy We have a dystopian world of sadists who get off on gory videos of people dying, and it doesn t bother any of them Exactly why is that The book doesn t even explain the psychology or reasoning behind thisMurdertrending is so absurd and ridiculous that it had me thinking it was written along the lines of satire, similar to Heathers in its embellished violence and character apathy as perhaps a chilling social commentary to the darker side of the internet After all, we do live in an age where we can watch the full suicide of Budd Dwyer and people mock his actions and make jokes about the poor guy We live in an age where entertainment is a video of a fat person tripping and getting hurt as they fall because they re fat Ha ha Fat right The internet can bring out the worst of society, but this book seems to actually believe that all human beings have this depraved sort of mentality, and its events and characters are just so crazy that I can t take it seriously There s no substance to the characters, most of whom conform to typical roles and aren t very realistic at all, but what threw me off the most was that the events inMurdertrending just seem hashed together almost at random, mimicking a slasher film in the style of cheesy murders and spontaneous attacks chases It was difficult to follow at the best of times.
Doctorfusionbebop Some Y O Chick Named Dee Guerrera Was Just Sent To Alcatraz For Killing Her Stepsister So, How Long Do You Think She Ll Last Morrisdavis I Hope She Meets Justice She Ll Get What S Coming To Her BWAHAHA EltonJohnForevzz Me I Think Dee S Innocent And I Hope She Can SurviveWELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, Where Good And Honest Citizens Can Enjoy Watching The Executions Of Society S Most Infamous Convicted Felons, Streaming Live On The Postman App From The Suburbanized Prison Island Alcatraz When Seventeen Year Old Dee Guerrera Wakes Up In A Haze, Lying On The Ground Of A Dimly Lit Warehouse, She Realizes She S About To Be The Next Victim Of The App Knowing Hardened Criminals Are Getting A Taste Of Their Own Medicine In This Place Is One Thing, But Dee Refuses To Roll Over And Die For A Heinous Crime She Didn T Commit Can Dee And Her Newly Formed Posse, The Death Row Breakfast Club, Prove She S Innocent Before She Ends Up Wrongfully Murdered For The World To See Or Will The Postman S Cast Of Executioners Kill Them Off One By One Set in the near future, eighteen year old Dee has been convicted of murdering her stepsister, and is sentenced to a new type of prison, known as Alcatraz 2.
0, run by a mysterious figure known as The Postman Located on an island, Alcatraz 2.
0 is always under surveillance, and the public can tune in at any time to watch the live feeds of the prisoners What makes this prison different is the fact that there are killers on the island, who, allowed by the government, torture and kill the convicted felons that end up there The audience can watch the murders and place bets on who they think the killer will be for each inmate.
Dee swears she s innocent, and refuses to become one of the island s next victims She forms a group of friends, nicknamed by the public the Death Row Breakfast Club, and together they try their best to stay alive day by day Dee is determined to find a way off of the island to prove her innocence, but in doing so, has placed herself right in the The Postman s line of sight.
As soon as I read the blurb for MurderTrending, I knew I had to read it I am a huge fan of books that incorporate social media into the plot, given how prevalent social media is for most people these days Reading the book was an interesting experience, because while we know from the beginning that Dee says she s innocent, you can t help but rooting for not just her, but her entire posse of friends, even knowing that they ve all been sentenced to the island because they are convicted killers regardless of whether or not they say they are innocent Another element to the book that I loved was the mysterious character, known as The Postman a former reality TV producer, who no one knows the identity of, but who runs the island There are a few chapters that are told from The Postman s point of view, which made him even intriguing If you are a fan of books like The Hunger Games and 1984, movies like The Purge and Untraceable, and shows like Big Brother, I think you ll be a fan of this book There are elements of survival, voyeurism, social media, dystopia, and corrupt governments and legal systems, and I think some of these things are really relevant to today s society, just on a smaller scale All in all, this was a perfect YA thriller for me, and exactly what I needed to read at the moment Because it s YA, it was quick and easy to get through, but didn t skimp on the gore or reveals I also loved the ending of the book it did a great job wrapping up this story so the reader doesn t feel like they got ripped off, while leaving it open just enough to leave room for a sequel which comes out next year I d like to thank Freeform for my copy of the book It was my pleasure to provide an honest review.