February 1, 2013

Review of Flash Point by Nancy Kress


Reality TV meets a chillingly realistic version of America—and the fame game is on!

Amy had dreams of going to college, until the Collapse destroyed the economy and her future. Now she is desperate for any job that will help support her terminally ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. When she finds herself in the running for a slot on a new reality TV show, she signs on the dotted line, despite her misgivings. And she’s right to have them. TLN’s Who Knows People, Baby—You? has an irresistible premise: correctly predict what the teenage cast will do in a crisis and win millions. But the network has pulled strings to make it work, using everything from 24/7 hidden cameras to life-threatening technology to flat-out rigging. Worse, every time the ratings slip, TLN ups the ante. Soon Amy is fighting for her life—on and off camera.

add to goodreadsFlash Point by Nancy Kress
Publication Date:  November 8, 2012
Publisher:   Viking Juvenile

Available for Purchase:
amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound
I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewFlash Point by author Nancy Kress is officially on my top twenty list of favorite novels of all time. It made me laugh, cry and it even managed to thrill me to the point where I had no clue what would happen in the future of the novel’s plot. The first thing I think I should say to anybody who is reading this review (and since you are *obviously* I’m gonna give you a pat on the back) is that if you’re a fan of the Hunger Games you are going to love Flash Point. In saying that, I don’t mean: “If you loved watching kids fight each other in a battle where murder is entertainment within a dystopian universe, you’re going to love this!” what I mean to say is that if you loved the entertainment portion of the Hunger Games you will love it in Flash Point. If you’re still confused, I’m talking about reality TV inside of a grim future world! The idea of having plots where the character is on a reality TV show and is being watched every single second has always fascinated me and in that Flash Point took the cake.

Flash Point takes place in a not so distant future in the United States of America where the economy has crashed and most of the population is left poor and barely surviving. Main character Amy Kent is living in this future world and is doing everything in her power to keep her family from starvation and death. The only problem is that she needs money to help her family and money is the one thing that she has nothing of. When Amy hears word of a job opportunity, she finds herself at a TV casting call where (after an awkward interview) she finds herself thrown into the world of reality TV. Amy goes from rags to riches when she becomes a star on the soon-to-be-hit TV show Who Knows People, Baby—You?

What could be wrong with that?

Only the fact that this TV show thrives on illusion and holograms. Every single situation that Amy finds herself in on the TV show is one that revolves around seeing her reaction and most of the situations have holograms. These holograms are supposedly supposed to look real except for the part where you can put your hands straight through them. The antagonist of the novel, Myra Townsend, the wicked producer, does anything and everything that will raise the ratings of the show and when things begin to turn south, it doesn’t take long for the holograms and the situations to reach an extreme and for the challenges required to be aired on the TV show tests the limits of both what Amy will agree to do and what her contract obligates her to do.

I think that the first thing that really got me interested in Flash Point was the main character Amy, Kress managed to create a perfectly flawed character. Amy is a character who will do whatever she has to do to help her family, while at the same time she is temperamental and still manages to feel strong emotions towards the other character in the novel. Because of her caring so much, Amy is a character who is blinded by her feelings as opposed to what she knows in her mind. Amy is a character that I think a lot of people could relate to. The only thing I didn’t like about Amy was that she didn’t tell her idiot and slutty little sister to shut up and listen to her, if I had like a dollar for all the times that Kaylie Kent annoyed me in this novel I would have enough money to buy… something… I’m not quite sure what I’d buy… But something pricey!

All that being said, Kent is an author whose writing and descriptions manage to make you feel strong emotions. This book made me furious, it made me happy, it made me fall in love and it made me sad. The romance portion of the novel is one that I’m glad wasn’t really focused on until maybe halfway through the novel and it had a gradual flow, it wasn’t this weird explosion of love and lust. It was nice and realistic and I admire the novel for that. One thing about the novel that I know was focused on for the most part, was how Amy’s grandmother is dying and considering that the situation of her grandmother’s death is one that I found relatable I was hoping for a scene that would make me bawl. While the scene did make me sad and I shed a few tears, I found that the mourning portion and aftermath of her grandmother’s death should have been longer and more heartwrenching considering how valuable her grandmother was to her. Her death felt miniscule compared to how it really is and I’ll admit that that one thing alone disappointed me a lot.

I would recommend this novel to fans of the Hunger Games, reality TV and YA readers who want a novel that is just all around awesome.

About the Author:

Nancy Kress is an American science fiction writer. She began writing in 1976 but has achieved her greatest notice since the publication of her Hugo and Nebula-winning 1991 novella Beggars in Spainwhich was later expanded into a novel with the same title. In addition to her novels, Kress has written numerous short stories and is a regular columnist for Writer’s Digest. She is a regular at Clarion writing workshops and at The Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland. During the Winter of 2008/09, Nancy Kress is the Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig’s Institute for American Studies in Leipzig, Germany.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Ashley

    Wow awesome review! I am so glad you loved this book! I haven’t read it, but I really wanted to… until I saw it getting such mixed reviews. But now I think I might give it a try! :D thanks!

  2. The mixed reviews had us pretty worried too, but the idea was so intriguing! One of those love it or hate it reads. But Gabby totallyyyyyy loved it.

  3. Juhina

    Wow.. top 20 novels? that is saying something! Before your review I really didn’t know anything about Flash Point other than the very mixed reviews and low ratings i’ve been seeing. But you seem to have loved it so much! plus I like the idea behind it. Reminds me of The Selection with the whole reality TV, but it seems to be so much better! I love to find out about the dangerous situations she has to go through. Also I am a fan of when the romance is gradual and like you said, isn’t an explosion. Your review has actually got me excited to read it! thanks!!

    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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