Written by a local Colorado author and Tattered Cover owner! What happens when a cancer patient auctions their life as a TV show! Caution: hospice and grief
Life In A Fishbowl was a very entertaining, surrealistic book. The story is about a father who finds out that he has a brain tumor, and decides to sell his life on eBay to raise money for his family and make something of his death.
I personally liked the book, but it did have a few flaws. While it was an easy book to read with a clear writing style and rollercoaster of a plot, it was almost comically unrealistic. From a young wannabe murderer to a convoluted plan to smuggle and iPhone, the plot had a vast array of improbable conflicts throughout the story.
My favourite part of the novel was the personification of the brain tumor. I found it very creative to give the catalyst of the story sentience and a say in the narrative.
All in all, I would give this book a 9.5/10 because, no matter how wacky they were, the many events that took place in the book were some of the most entertaining things I have ever read, and they made the book very enjoyable!
Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos is a powerful book on a family whose father suffers from a brain tumor. Somehow along the way, the father gets himself in a deal with ATN (America's Television Network) to film a reality television show on how his family is coping.
The producers of the show couldn't care less about the well being of the family but see huge potential for profit in it and take every opportunity to make a show out of it, often at the expense of the family, who slowly must overcome the power of the media.
In the middle there was so many random events and the author tended to focus on completely unnecessary characters. The author writes kind of like how i do : a clear beginning and ending but an almost improvised middle. There was quite a bit of filler in there too. Also I felt the author should have written it so there could be a chance that the dad lives, and then he should then crush the reader's hopes with a death.
It may be easy to criticise but this as a prey good story. Overall I found it to be quite a heart wrenching story especially when the Dad dies. There was a lot of buildup to how the family would get rid of the media group, and in the end all the build up pieces together to form quite an elegant ending. The sad parts weren't too cheesy and the satire wasn't too sarcastic. There was a lot of character development and
What was super interesting was how the author gave the cancer tumor a personality. I feel like he wanted to make the cancer tumour an enemy, but it didn't really achieve it. He made the tumour way too innocent.
Overall i would rate it a 7.5/10
I would recommend this title to younger, less sophisticated readers, such as preteens, but not to anyone over the age of 15 as the middle would bore them.
Len Vlahos’ tragicomedy novel, Life in a Fishbowl, blends together the pain of a cancer diagnosis along with the dark truth behind reality television.
Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone’s life is turned upside down after the shocking news of her dad’s cancer diagnosis; he has a brain tumor and only has a few more months left to live. Worried about what his family’s financial situation will look life after his death, Jackie’s dad takes to eBay and auctions his life off to the highest bidder. His bizarre bid catches the attention of many eccentric characters, including a ruthless reality television executive. Soon, the Stone family’s life is being recorded and broadcasted all over America. Finally fed up of all the lies being televised, Jackie and friends take to the internet to fight back against the people invading her family’s life.
Personally, I did not like this book, I found the writing style very peculiar and the characters very boring. There was a large amount of swearing in the book that contrasted oddly with the overly simplistic and otherwise grade 6 or 7 level appropriate writing style. Furthermore, many of the characters were flat and heavily relied on well-known stereotypes and clichés such as the ruthless businessman, the shy nerd, and vapid popularity-obsessed teenage girl.
Life in a Fishbowl begins with an interesting premise and its multiple points of view and lack of romance will appeal to some readers. However, it also contains more swearing than some readers may be comfortable with, given the reading level of this book. Additionally, characters and themes such as the topic of the morality of assisted suicide are underdeveloped, leading to a disappointing read.
What I enjoyed most about this book was: the multiple perspectives, the structure and how it was different than any YA I have previously read. The personification of the tumor was such a fascinating perspective. The fact that this book was willing to bring up such controversial topics as assisted suicide and the nature of reality TV and the power of social media, was refreshing. Personally, I struggled with some of the topics in the book, but if I remove my personal opinion it was a well-executed story that was told from multiple, fascinating perspectives. I quite enjoyed it.
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