Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review – Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos


The book is about a family living in Portland, Oregon, whose life becomes a reality show for the whole country to watch. Jared Stone is diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, which is a terminal brain cancer. In order to pay for his treatments, he sells his life on eBay, and it falls into the hands of a TV producer. Now everything the Stone family says or does is there for everyone to see, and the editing makes it worse. Jackie Stone needs to find a way to get her family out of this situation, but a lot of people make it difficult for her.

I didn’t really enjoy the book as much as I’ve enjoyed others. The POVs changed so much, you could hardly tell who was narrating at some points. The tumor was even its own character named Glio, adding more to the confusion. Also, they talk about life and cancer lightly, like they are disposable items, and it makes me feel really angry. Lastly, there is a LOT of profanity in this novel, both in language and actions.

One thing I remembered long after I finished the book was how random strangers came to help and support Jackie in stopping the reality show, from an online gamer to a Facebook friend. That could be both good and bad. You can’t always trust what’s online, and I think Jackie was lucky that her friends weren’t fake.


Reviewed by Heer, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Library

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