How far would you go?
The Collapse has ransacked the economy, making work almost impossible to find and forcing Amy from college hopeful to sole provider for her terminally-ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. To make ends meet, Amy auditions for a slot on a new reality TV show, which promises both a hefty salary and full medical benefits for her entire family. Somehow, she gets chosen, and she leaps to sign a contract despite her misgivings.
The show in which she’ll take part has an irresistible premise: audience members can win millions by predicting the behavior of each member of the cast in a crisis. But the producers are willing to do anything to maintain ratings, including using blatant setups, 24/7 surveillance, and even state-of-the-art holographic technology to simulate danger. But soon, the danger becomes all too real, and Amy—on and off the camera—must fight for her life….
“Breakneck, twisty plot. The day-after-tomorrow setting, anchored by brand-name allusions and crises ripped from the headlines, adds both eerie familiarity and terrifying plausibility.”—Kirkus Reviews
“High energy momentum that will keep the pages turning… readers really will want to find out what happens to their faves.”—Booklist
“During an economic downturn there is always a flash point, when things can either get better or become a complete disaster. Amy, a teenager during the flash point, had dreams of an academic future until the downturn hit in the worst ways. She is desperate for any job that will help support her terminally ill grandmother and her defiant younger sister. When she is offered a steady salary, medical care for her entire family, and the chance of a lifetime on a new reality TV show, she can’t turn it down. The risks for this show get more extreme and the rewards continue to grow. The line between reality and TV are starting to blur, and soon Amy is asking herself what is worth risking her life. Kress captivates the reader from start to finish by creating characters that come to life within this gripping plot. This book is hard to put down!”—LMC
“Amy, 16; her sister; and their sick grandmother are just barely making ends meet since the “Collapse.” Amy works a low-paying job to cover the rent on their rundown apartment. When she stumbles into a job interview at a television station, she’s offered a spot on a new show called Who Knows People, Baby–You?–complete with a cash advance and full medical benefits for her family. In this new reality show, viewers vote on what they think the six participants from vastly different backgrounds will do in each new situation presented. The voters can win large sums of money for being good judges of human nature. But for the teens on the show, waiting for the next surprise scenario to unfold becomes extremely stressful. As interest in the show reaches a fever pitch, producers will stop at nothing to get the ratings they need, even putting the contestants in grave danger. This is a high-interest book, but the high page count will scare off reluctant readers. However, for those who get hooked, it is a real page-turner. Several of the teens on the show are true individuals, easy to remember and realistic in their responses to the scenarios. With the moral dilemmas it poses, both in interactions among the teens and on the part of the station’s adults, this would be an excellent novel to prompt discussions about reality TV and ethics.”–SLJ