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This Is Not the Jess Show
Cover of This Is Not the Jess Show
This Is Not the Jess Show
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“A fantastically smart, funny, and thoughtful thriller.”—Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star The year is 1998:...
“A fantastically smart, funny, and thoughtful thriller.”—Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star The year is 1998:...
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Description-

  • “A fantastically smart, funny, and thoughtful thriller.”—Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star
    The year is 1998: Titanic just won six Oscars, boy bands are dominating MTV’s airwaves, and like any other teenager Jess Flynn is just trying to survive high school. Between a crush on her childhood best friend, overprotective parents, and her sister’s worsening health, the only constant is her hometown of Swickley, which feels smaller by the day.
    Jess is resigned to her small-town life, until the day she discovers a mysterious device with an apple logo, causing her to question everything and everyone she’s ever known. As more cracks appear in Jess’s world, she faces a choice: can she live the rest of her life knowing it’s a lie, or should she risk everything for the truth?
     
    A fast-paced, mind-bending YA thriller packed with ’90s pop culture references and perfect for fans of Riverdale, This Is Not the Jess Show will keep readers guessing until the very end.

    Now with an excerpt from the explosive and thrilling conclusion, This Is Not the Real World!

Excerpts-

  • From the book 1

    Three things happened the week I found out. Titanic won a bunch of Oscars, and my sister and I stayed up late to watch because we’d never miss a chance to see Leo in a tux. Meanwhile every news anchor was talking about the president, and everywhere I went people repeated that phrase, how he “didn’t have sexual relations with that woman.” I probably should have cared (president, impeachment, important stuff) but another, more pressing matter, had consumed me: I’d fallen in love with my best friend. 
         Tyler. Also known as Ty, Scruggs, or Tyler Michael Scruggs. Formerly known as Bugs, Bugsy Scruggsy, or Fire Crotch (more on that later). We’d managed to be friends for six whole years with no feelings whatsoever. We’d never got weird with each other, even when we were in the throes of puberty and I was having vivid dreams about hooking up with Zack Morris. Growing up, Tyler had these huge buckteeth and moppy, rust-colored hair. When kids weren’t making fun of his smile, they were heckling him for being a ginger, as if that alone were a sin against humanity. It had taken five years of braces to get his two front teeth back inside his head, but now those braces were gone and his smile was kind of . . . well, perfect. Now he was five eight, and his hair was longer and a little darker, and it fell into his eyes when he played the drums. Now he worked out.
         I rolled over in bed, my eyes squeezed shut. This thing with Tyler had gotten into my bloodstream and infected my brain. I was never alone because I was always imagining him right beside me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the way the sleeves of his tee shirt strained against his biceps. How he closed his eyes and tilted his head back when he played the drums, and you could see the veins in his forearms. He was still the tiniest bit bucktoothed, but now he rested the tip of his tongue against the bottom of them when he was deep in thought. Now it was totally hot.
         There was a knock on my door. My dad pressed his face into the room, his cheek on the doorframe à la The Shining. “Jess, what are you doing?” he asked. “It’s almost seven. Kristen’s going to be here soon.”
         “I’m alive. I’m moving.”
         But I didn’t actually move until he closed the door behind him.
         I turned over, watching the tops of the trees sway with the wind. A squirrel ran across the telephone wire. It was the end of March and the cold air had just broken, giving way to spring, so I’d slept with my window open for the first time in months. I got up and searched for my jeans and my pink, fuzzy turtleneck, trying not to obsess about the fact that I had band today with Tyler.
         Someone was shouting something. It was so far off I couldn’t make out the words right away, but it was the relentlessness of it, the repetition that drew me in. It was as steady and sure as a beating heart. Power was the first word I heard with any certainty. The next was harder to make out but it sounded like Forages. Forages, power, forages, power, on and on like that. The words repeated on
    an endless loop, but when I stepped into the hallway they sounded farther away.
         “The TV’s not on...

About the Author-

  • Anna Carey is the author of BlackbirdDeadfall, and the Eve trilogy. She lives in Los Angeles.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2020
    A teenager uncovers a secret that alters her entire reality. It's March 1998. Jess Flynn is thinking of college and longing to leave the confines of her small town. Her mother is overprotective; her sister, Sara, is receiving palliative care for an incurable disease; and Jess is falling for her best friend, Tyler, whom she's been close to for 6 years. Every year the month of March brings Jess anxiety that something major is going to happen: Three years earlier, Sara received her diagnosis; the next year there was a tornado; and one year ago, Jess' family's home was burglarized. Now Jess is hyperaware of her surroundings, and she notices many things too strange to be ignored: far-off voices chanting outside, a mysterious flu spreading around town, and her closest friends keeping secrets. The strangest of all? Jess discovers that her dog has been replaced with a look-alike and her parents have no explanation. Jess decides to investigate, but she must tread cautiously because someone is watching her every move. Pop-culture references from the '90s are paramount to the story's fa�ade, and the final plot twist packs a punch. This is a fun stand-alone, but the ending leaves room for readers to explore more of Jess' world in the next series entry. The main cast is assumed white except for Jess' friend Amber, who is cued as black. A thrilling and thought-provoking ride. (Speculative fiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2020

    Gr 6-10-Carey's latest is an entertaining thrill ride set in the 1990s that will keep readers guessing even after the twist is revealed. Jess Flynn has a lot on her mind. A high school junior with a newfound crush on her best guy friend, Jess is also dealing with her sister Sara's illness, which seems to be worsening by the day. And then there are the odd things that keep happening around town: Half the population is out sick with a mysterious flu, her two best friends keep pushing her away from her crush and toward another boy, and only Jess seems to hear a mysterious chanting. When Sara is hospitalized, Jess begins to see the cracks in her world more clearly, and once she realizes the truth nothing will ever be the same. Jess is a relatable protagonist whom readers will root for as she forges through Carey's upside-down world and topsy-turvy plot. As the narrative careens past the twist, Carey's scrutiny of modern-day life resonates. Friendships, romantic relationships, and familial bonds are all examined via new perspectives as Carey's thriller not only entertains, it makes one think. Race and skin color aren't explicitly stated, though one of Jess's friends "look[s] like Dionne from Clueless." VERDICT A fun and thoughtful thriller; this YA novel will please fans of E. Lockhart and Kiera Cass.-Elissa Bongiorno, Washington, DC

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    October 1, 2020
    Grades 8-11 It's 1998, and Jess Flynn is entering her junior year of high school with a lot on her mind. She has just realized that she's in love with her best friend Ty, although that's nothing compared to her sister Sara's slow terminal illness. Then things get very strange: she starts hearing indistinct chanting no one else hears, half the school is out with the flu, and a weird object with a bitten-apple logo falls out of her friend Amber's backpack. Finally, Jess learns that she is the focus of a reality show, � la The Truman Show. Horrified, Jess learns that not only is Sara not sick, but she isn't really her sister. With the help of Patrick, a disaffected actor, Jess escapes the manufactured town of Swickley in search of a real life. The fast-paced, intricate plot ramps up Jess's paranoia and frustration, both of which are vividly expressed through her first-person narrative. In the end, things don't go quite as planned, but, well, that's life.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star "I read this in a single, compulsive sitting. A fantastically smart, funny, and thoughtful thriller about how our devices manipulate and exploit our closest relationships."
  • Tahereh Mafi, New York Times Bestselling author of the Shatter Me series and A Very Large Expanse of Sea "At once thought-provoking and hilarious, This Is Not the Jess Show is a timely, incisive book so masterfully-plotted you won't want to put it down."
  • Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game "Nostalgic, romantic, thrilling, and with an exciting twist, I devoured This Is Not The Jess Show and didn't want it to end!"
  • Kirkus Reviews "A thrilling and thought-provoking ride."
  • Foreword Reviews "This is Not the Jess Show goes deep in exploring how people live their lives and create their own realities--sometimes at a cost."
  • Booklist "The fast-paced, intricate plot ramps up Jess's paranoia and frustration, both of which are vividly expressed through her first-person narrative."

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