Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 5th, 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Reality TV has a dark future in this thought-provoking thriller
To the people suffering on the war-torn mainland, Bliss Island seems like an idyllic place. And it is: except for the fact that the island is a set, and the islanders’ lives are a performance. They’re the stars of a hit TV show, Blissful Days—Characters are adored by mainland viewers, yet in constant danger of being cut if their ratings dip too low. And no one really knows what happens to cut Characters.
Nettie Starling knows she’s been given the chance of a lifetime when a producer offers suggestions to help her improve her mediocre ratings—especially when those suggestions involve making a move on the boy she’s been in love with for years. But she'll soon have to decide how far she's willing to go to keep the cameras fixed on her. . . especially when she learns what could happen to her if she doesn't.
“So beautiful. The scripted sky.”
For someone that is anti-reality tv I won’t lie and say I’m not at least fascinated by it. It’s like a train wreck; you know you should look away but you can’t. Scripted is kind of like that but in a good way. It reminded me of mash-up between the Truman Show and The Hunger Games but with more awareness and less action. It took me about 50 pages in to become invested in the story, as there is a lot of information thrown at you in a short period of time without clarification, but once I got to that point I was pleasantly surprised by the direction of the story.
“She chose Callen to be her boyfriend for ratings, and she’ll make the most of him being her ex-boyfriend for the same reason.”
To give you a little backstory Scripted follows Nettie Starling, a seemingly normal teenager if you can get past the fact that every moment of her life and those are her are filmed for those on the mainland to watch. If that wasn’t bizarre enough it takes a turn when Nettie is at risk to be fired and cast away if her ratings continue to dip low. But Nettie has a chance to improve her ratings with the help from The Initiative, suggestions meant to boost Nettie up in the ratings. One of those suggestions is for Nettie to flirt with Callen, the boy that has held her interest despite him having dated her best friend Lia a few weeks earlier. Not only does this give Nettie the courage to put herself out there but it will save her from possible elimination on the “show”. But despite friendship, first love, and the awkwardness of being on this island, there is something much more sinister going on and Nettie is determined to find out what it is.
“Rebellions in your heart, dearest.”
Like I said earlier it took me a little while to get into the story. There wasn’t much clarification about Bliss Island and “Characters” “Reals” “Crickets” “Patriots” and other descriptions for the people in this world. It came together the deeper into the story you went but I could see that those with little patience would take fault with the lack of description. I also had a difficult time connecting to Nettie. She kind of went from this meek, under-the-radar, type of girl until the very end where she was gutsy and all of a sudden heroic? I’m not sure how I feel about the direction the story took, especially at the end where it felt very rushed and a little too tidied up. I wouldn’t be opposed to reading more about the “Patriots” and what life is like on that side. Although I enjoyed myself I ended up with more questions than answers. Like why were these people on an island being filmed in the first place? I would be interested to see this story fleshed out and expanded, especially with a prequel, but if not it’s still an enjoyable dystopian read.