Author: Gretchen McNeil
Series: #murdertrending #2
Genre: YA suspense/thriller
Release Date: August 6th, 2019
Source: ARC from publisher which did not influence my opinion
My rating: 5 stars
WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PANIAC?, the latest reality TV show on the hunt for the next big-hit serial killer. But don’t worry—no one is actually going to murder anyone, as real as the fake gore and pretend murder may appear . . . uh, right?
Seventeen-year-old Becca Martinello is about to find out. When her perfectly normal soccer mom dies in a car crash, a strange girl named Stef appears to let Becca know that her deceased mom was none other than one of Alcatraz 2.0’s most popular serial killers—Molly Mauler. Soon, Becca ends up on Who Wants to Be a Painiac? to learn the truth about her mom’s connection to Molly Mauler, but things turn sinister when people are murdered IRL. Will Becca uncover dark secrets and make it out of the deadly reality show alive? Or will she get cut?
I mentioned earlier this week about this being my favorite author and loving this series, and I have to say that this did not disappoint! If you haven’t read book 1, you can read my review of it HERE.
We got all the same crazy with the painiacs and even with the Postman being gone, he still seems to have someone working things. Obviously no one is going to be okay with them actually doing the whole murdering thing again, and the president of the United States is in trouble for being in conjunction with the original reality tv show. But there is also talk of the president having been treasonous and working with the Russians as well.
The game show that isn’t supposed to be real murder, just tryouts to be like the paniacs. However, the actual auditions are a little weird, and end up with those who are chosen being taken away to find out what is really going on with the show. Becca’s character has a lot to learn, but in the end, she is able to grow and figure out how things happened, and what she should probably try to do to make things right. In the end, we are left with a thought of hers that maybe she hasn’t quite learned all the lesson she should. I feel like this is the final book, but who knows with her final thoughts.
What I loved about this story is how it really can be a snapshot of current events, but does it without being so in your face as other stories might be. It takes a good look at how online communities work, how reality tv isn’t really reality, and also some realistic seeming behavior in relationships. I also loved that I didn’t see the twist of who the Postman’s son really would be, even with all the guessing and clues I had throughout. This author knows how to keep you on your toes, yet thinking all the way through on what she’s giving you in details.