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Flash Point

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  698 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
A population hooked on televised entertainment. The chance to win millions of dollars. A producer who will do anything for ratings. One girl who doesn't know she's being fooled...

Amy had college dreams - until the Collapse destroyed the economy and her future. Now she is her family's sole support, desperate for any job. When she finds herself in the running for a slot on a
Hardcover, 502 pages
Published November 8th 2012 by Viking
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Edwin Peng In the near future, the United States experienced a horrific economic meltdown that made most Americans poor and desperate. The protagonist, Amy,…moreIn the near future, the United States experienced a horrific economic meltdown that made most Americans poor and desperate. The protagonist, Amy, signs up for a daring new reality TV show in order to support her family. This new show test its contestants in a series of "scenarios" that puts them in plenty of psychological and physical dangers. After some teenager shenanigans and more horrifying "scenarios", Amy and her new found allies seeks to overthrow the evil producers and the television company.(less)

Community Reviews

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Nov 04, 2012 Katy rated it it was ok
After reading 500+ pages, I have to ask. WHAT THE HECK ARE PHANTOMS?!? Can someone please tell me? Kress set up the beginning by making a big deal out of these things, and I guess they kind of lead Amy into her decisions, but I can't tell if they're voices in her head or shadow-like things. And the book alludes to some genetic code, but I'm not sure if they're some sci-fi thing or paranormal gift. And for something that has such a significant impact on Amy, they disappear for a good chunk of ...more
Oct 12, 2012 Stefani rated it did not like it
Short version – This book sucked. Nothing happens. Not a damn thing. Then suddenly the author seems to remember they are writing a book to interest people and something happens. Then the book is over. Save your money and buy a book where something, ANYTHING happens.

Long version – I was really looking forward to this book, it’s embarrassing just how much. I wanted to love it so much that I pre-ordered it months before it was released. Then I started seeing a lot of bad reviews and had an “uh oh,
Sep 15, 2012 Juhina rated it it was amazing
Oh wow, Flash Point was not what I expected. I tend to always check goodreads and read a couple of non spoiler reviews of books I am starting right now and what I found was that there barely was any reviews. However, what convinced me was the review written by Gabby from Chapter by Chapter (Review here). So while I was excited from reading Gabby's review, I was also a bit wary from the lack of reviews as well as the review copy being around 500 pages long. Even with that, I really liked the idea ...more
MacKenzie Manning
Mar 02, 2016 MacKenzie Manning rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charles Shingledecker
Jul 14, 2014 Charles Shingledecker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adult readers, Social SF fans
Wow! I suppose I could stop there, but what good would that do anyone skimming the reviews?

Let me start off by saying I had NO idea what to expect with this book. I've heard of Nancy Kress and am aware of the multiple SF awards and nominations she's received but I've never read her. I've also been somewhat disappointed with a few of my recent reads within the YA genre. Not this time. This book was an amazing, exciting, page turning read that I could NOT put down. Few books have kept me awake at
Dec 12, 2012 Jacob rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, from_library
Very interesting reading, especially compared to the Divergent series I am reading at the same time. Both are "Dystopian Girl Fanfic", as a friend put it. I thought this one would be right up my alley because it's about someone competing in a reality show where the pressure keeps increasing to drive up ratings, and survival-strategy situations are one of my weaknesses. However, there's actually not much strategy here, and not nearly as much competition as you would expect. It's kind of The Hunge ...more
Jeannette Mazur
May 11, 2013 Jeannette Mazur rated it it was amazing
I'm thinking about sending my brother-in-law Ryan flowers for recommending this book. It was one of those rare books where I found myself reading it all night long (I looked at the clock and it was 5am!!) Really, really, really good. Ryan, said it's kinda like the hunger games with lots of interesting twists and turns. It was SO good and such a quick read! I would recommend this to any of my friends who enjoyed the hunger games!

I'm surprised that Nancy Kress isn't more popular considering how GR
Jan 06, 2014 Cathryn rated it it was ok
Ever started a book and been like, "I want this?" Only to get to the end and be like, "Never mind, I don't want this anymore?" That happens to me sometimes. And it unfortunately happened this time.

So I saw this book at the library with this absolutely amazing cover of this girl who looked ready to kick butt, against a backdrop of neon advertisements and screens and stuff. This book was called Flash Point by Nancy Kress, who's written a couple things I liked before. And when I read the summary, I
A Book Vacation
Nov 03, 2012 A Book Vacation rated it liked it
3.5 stars

To see my full review:

The synopsis of this book really piqued my interest as it sounded like a highly engaging dystopian novel, very Hunger Games-esk, as it were. But in reality, it’s actually nothing like The Hunger Games, which I found refreshing, further adding to the uniqueness of this novel. However, my feelings toward the novel are a bit mixed.

While the beginning of the novel helped set the stage, I have to admit that it moved a little too s
Jul 05, 2016 Alienne rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 10, 2012 Shiloh rated it liked it
The economy has crumbled, nearing Great Depression levels. The middle class is all but gone, leaving only a massive struggling lower class and a small, incredibly wealthy upper class. America is dying, foreign interests taking over. The public is simmering, on the edge of a massive revolution--a flash point. In the midst of this chaos, a TV network is planning a reality show which places people in dangerous situations and allows viewers to bet on the people's reactions to these situations. Amy i ...more
Book Twirps
Oct 15, 2012 Book Twirps rated it liked it
In the near future — a future that is a little too close, and a little too plausible for comfort — the economy has collapsed and the US as we know it is starting to change. There is no more middle class. You are either well off, or you’re not, and those that are not really struggle to keep their heads above water. Amy, the main character, is doing everything she can to take care of her ailing grandmother and her kid sister, but things aren’t looking good for them. They have no insurance, and can ...more
I was so excited when I got an ARC of this in the mail. It looked absolutely amazing, and I couldn't wait to read it! But I've been disappointed by many dystopians lately, so I was careful not to let my hopes get up too high - which was a good thing, because Flash Point was very disappointing to me.

The world-building: or rather, lack of. I knew this was a sort of sci-fi dystopian when I started it. But spread throughout the story, there's quite a few references to Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail,
Dec 22, 2012 Tara rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, dystopian

This is definitely a book for fans of The Hunger Games. As you can probably tell from the synopsis, the premise for this book is very similar to THG – I wouldn’t say that it’s ultimately a bad thing, but it does result in it being very easy to draw comparisons between the two. Unfortunately in this case, I felt a little like it led me to feeling a little like Flash Point was a watered down version of a very popular book.

However, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book. On it’s own meri
Apr 13, 2014 Unhappypenguin rated it did not like it
Okay, I was a little iffy about reading this. There are a lot of things that I hated about this book. I just kinda went Huh at some parts.

1. The Collapse.
I didn't really understand it. All I got was that the economy was down under and all everyone was dirt poor. But this didn't show in the book. All we really read bout was the rich part. I mean, if the economy is down under then shouldn't it alright if you were just getting by by being in middle class. All the stuff I read about was stinking ri
For the most part, this book was awesome. It felt like a more realistic version of Hunger Games. Totally unpredictable.
There were problems, however. (Which is why I didn't give it five stars.)
First of all, the ending was not at all satisfying. I think part of it is Kress's ability to write unpredictably. It's great for starting out, but trickier with endings. Although she attempted to bring it all together, the conclusion felt random and thrown together.
Second was Amy's "special ability". It was
Dec 09, 2012 Hmr28 rated it it was amazing
Unlike others I did not find the characters flat at all. In fact, I think the author did a very unique thing. Since everything is seen through the eyes of the main character only, we view the characters through HER eyes and she views things very one dimensionally. It is only as time goes on that the actions of her fellow contestants begin to color her views as to what type of people they are that she realizes that they are NOT what she originally thought. The handsome hero is a spi
Oct 16, 2014 Wealhtheow rated it liked it
This is the story of a poor teenager selected for a reality show that continually throws her into strange or dangerous simulated experiences. The rest of the world watches the scenario and votes on how she probably responded. As the show ratings start to dip, the simulations get scarier.

Kress is known for her ability to create near futures that are frightening, exciting, and plausible. Her attention to the social and economic consequences of technological progress sets her work apart. Unfortunat
Jul 17, 2013 Patti rated it liked it
An interesting look at the US after an economic collapse. A network sets up a reality show where the contestants aren't immediately aware they are being filmed. This probably could have worked set in present day, as well.

While touted as YA, there was some cursing that I haven't seen in YA before. Not that I'm a prude about language - ask my best friend! - but for some, it might be an issue.

I found Amy's "phantoms" irritating and not germane to the story at all.

Some of the plot surrounding Violet
Jill Heather
Dec 04, 2012 Jill Heather rated it liked it
It's a fun book -- I really enjoy the dystopian reality show genre, apparently -- but I kept getting pulled out of the story by all the brand names. Only for clothes and web services, oddly; electronics were talked about in very generic detail.

It's altogether a little silly, and the Bad People Who Get Their Comeuppance vs the Bad People Who Are Dropped is a weird thing for the book, which is all about how people (except perhaps the narrator) are complex. But it's still a fun, very fast, read.
Dec 22, 2013 Tamara rated it liked it
Ummmm sounds familiar doesn't it?? So I love hunger games, but don't love this. So when people say that flash point is for hunger games fans I totally and completely disagree. It could have been great if there was more clarification and development. And it left some unanswered things that were mentioned REPEATEDLY throughout the book.
Books are TARDIS
On hold.

I don't even know why I picked this, seeing as how I don't really go for reality TV. Also, there was something sanctimonious about the lead character, maybe I'm being too judge-y. I wasn't really feeling it. Maybe will come back to it someday.
Jun 25, 2013 Jaidab rated it liked it
There was some stuff that I really liked about the book, like it's unpredictability at parts, and the characters. Other things I hated, like the phantoms... They were a little too convenient for me. Also, the language was a bit much. It's like Kress assumes that there is not a single soul left in existence that chooses to keep language PG.
Lisa (A Life Bound By Books)
That was a strange read. Had so much potential but fell & fell hard. Sad when a book you're looking forward to leaves you wondering what the heck that just was? Full review to follow.
Sierra Abrams
May 09, 2012 Sierra Abrams marked it as to-read
Ummm Hunger Games, anyone?
Nov 21, 2012 Chrissy rated it really liked it
Okay, so I'm really conflicted on my thoughts on FLASH POINT by Nancy Kress, so join me in this review where I attempt to sort out these 500+ pages and hopefully manage to say something coherent about the plot and characters too, right?

For starts, FLASH POINT takes place in a futuristic society after a major scenario called THE COLLAPSE, in which the entire US government and economy pretty much fall apart, leaving the majority of people desperate, destitute, and starving, unemployed and complete
Chapter by Chapter
Oct 05, 2012 Chapter by Chapter rated it it was amazing
Flash 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 ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Ioana rated it it was amazing
This was GREAT! It was off the bat crazy and that made it so much better for me. Excellent with a capital e. And before any of you ask, no, it is not similar to The Hunger Games.

This is Big Brother meets Candid Camera, with a dangerous twist. Six teenagers agree to be part of a new reality show called Who Knows People, Baby – You?. They are told almost from the start that they will be filmed while being put through, seemingly, dangerous situations. The point of the show is guessing correctly wha
Sep 30, 2016 Ashley rated it did not like it
I made it about halfway through before it really got boring. I skimmed the rest because it just didn't get better. Such a waste of time.
Edwin Peng
Mar 23, 2016 Edwin Peng rated it really liked it
The Pitch: deadly competition (i.e. The Hunger Games) + reality TV show featuring attractive teenagers (i.e. The Selection) + future Great Depression

In the near future, the United States experiences the Collapse: a horrific economic meltdown that's made most Americans poor and desperate. Amy signs up for a daring new reality TV show in order to support her family (a dying grandmother and a stupid, selfish little sister), and perhaps pay for her college education. This new show (with a ve
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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 Spain which 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 Clario ...more
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