Release Date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Freeform Publishing
Target Audience: Young Adult
Synopsis: WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest 8/18 citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.
When eighteen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one?
Alright friends, let me tell you about #Murdertrending. This is an action packed horror/thriller of a novel that is basically if The Purge was run by Hollywood and streamed via Youtube. I’ve never read a horror novel/thriller that had me laughing as well but this one is so morbid and has excellent one liners that come out of nowhere and keep your attention.
In a semi-near future we meet Dee Guerrera, a character who at first seems a little flat. She’s got some spunk, sure, but over all she just seems a little off on the page. Someone has knocked her out, kidnapped her, dressed her up as Cinderella and dumped her in a warehouse. Fun fact: this this isn’t a fairy tale, even though a handsome prince with an accent does show up. Turns out, she’s been brought there to be executed by Prince Slycer, basically a paid hitman to torture, maim, and otherwise destroy infamous criminals, all while the cameras are rolling. You see, in this reality, executions are broadcasted live on a social media app known as The Postman which is a lot like IGTV or Instagram Stories. Which is both extremely fascinating and a little terrifying when you check out the included snippets from the chat threads and how obsessed with The Postman society is with the chatters almost becoming characters in their own right.
There is so much banter in this book that it’s really hard to keep a straight face due to the sheer cheese of it (Ethan’s movie quotes anyone??) and the little bit of romance that we see is mild and honestly feels a bit more like a holy shit we’re all gonna die response rather than instalove. Though whether or not it’s realistic I’ll let you decide on that. The setting and the descriptions of the violence (both one sided and not so one sided) steal the show and make up for the lack of true character bonding that I would have liked to see. Which, honestly, makes their hashtag more realistic if anyone remembers the original Breakfast Club movie.
Overall, I give this book a 5 out of 5 for being a fun, engaging read that I couldn’t put down! The setting and premise were unique for YA and I really enjoyed the inclusion of social media and how the setting reflects our own current turbulent times (I mean who knows what’s really going on in the Pacific coast, am I right?). Also it gets an extra bonus point for keeping me up at night wondering who The Postman really is.
Recommended for: Anyone who is intrigued by The Purge franchise but doesn’t want to watch them, terrified by what’s going on in current American society and needs a way to laugh at it, fans of The Breakfast Club movie who need a more modern spin. Fans of mystery/thrillers who want something for their stubborn teen reader.