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This Is Not the Jess Show

(This Is Not the Jess Show #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  4,502 ratings  ·  1,079 reviews
Like many teens, sometimes it feels as though everything in Jess Flynn's life has been engineered for maximum drama--from her performance at the school talent show, to the reappearance of her childhood best friend and perennial crush Jeremy, to her friends trying to set her up with one of the hottest guys in school. It's almost as if everything might finally be going her w ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by Quirk Books
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  4,502 ratings  ·  1,079 reviews

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Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
At long last, the YA Truman Show book I’ve been dreaming of
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
What a rollercoaster of a book! I’ll admit what started off as a slower read for me totally pulled the rug out from under my feet, and I ended up really enjoying the crazy trip that was This Is not the Jess Show.

Jess Flynn is a typical teenager living in 1998–she loves Alanis, likes hanging out with her friends and is nursing a crush on a boy in school. Her sister Sara has been sick for a while and their parents can be a little over protective, but Jess can handle all that! Her hometown of Swick
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 3.5/5 stars.

Jess Flynn is your average, American, 90's teenager. Only she isn't. (view spoiler)
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Mar 07, 2022 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite middle grade books is Running Out of Time, it is a great surprise and my kids loved it as well. I saw that this book was compared to The Truman Show meets Black Mirror and thought that it would appeal and it definitely did.

Jess Flynn lives a normal life as a teenager in 1990s Swickley. Navigating high school, overprotective parents, and her younger sister's grave illness is tough, but she has loving friends and family to help her through. Then some bizarre things begin to happ
Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany)
Okay, this was EXACTLY what I hoped it would be! For those of you old enough to remember The Truman Show with Jim Carrey, This is Not the Jess Show is in many ways an updated version for a modern teen audience. It's smart, has a very well-crafted ending, and offers an unsettling blend of nostalgia and horror at the directions influencer culture could take (and perhaps some of what it already does at its worst).

The year is 1998 and Jess is a high school junior living in a small town in New York,
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
“Lower your voice. They’ll hear you,” he whispered. I stared at him, and my whole body went cold. “Who is they?” I whispered.

Basically, This Is Not The Jess Show is a young adult version of . . . .

And since The Truman Show is a film that is over 20 years old, I’m just going to go out on a limb and assume there are a metric shitton of youngsters who have never heard of or watched it so this book will be totally fresh and innovative to them.

The best part, though? Even an oldster like me w
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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Le sigh. The Truman Show is one of my favorite movies, so obviously when I heard that THIS IS NOT THE JESS SHOW was being compared to it, I was all over that like white on rice. And at first, I was really intrigued. Jess is your stereotypical 90s girl and the book is awash in 90s nostalgia, which I was super into. But then one day her friend drops a mysterious glowing device with an Apple logo on it. What could it be?! Suddenly, things s
the fun of the truman show is in its slow and unrelenting psychological tension, and its purposefully ambiguous ending.

this remix rids itself of all of that. jess finds out the truth in the first fourth of the book, and the rest is essentially just a chase sequence.

not an awful novel, but a gross misuse of a fantastic concept.
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, ebook, april-2020
The concept of this book was really fun, but it didn't go deep enough to truly grip me. This is described as a thriller, but I was never particularly thrilled. I would have loved a more in-depth discussion of how society got to this insane point, but that conversation never happened. (view spoiler) I kn ...more
Claude's Bookzone (semi hiatus)
3.5 Stars

Well I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this short YA novel!

I had been on the brink of giving up as there was no discernible plot. Then an oddly intriguing vibe developed followed by a corker plot twist. I have read a few reviews since finishing this and I would suggest going in with as little information as possible. It is by no means a new concept but it is fun to see it play out in a YA book. I honestly can't say more than that without it being a spoiler. For those who
Nov 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This Is Not The Jess Show is an imaginative, original, fun, YA thriller. I don't think I've said so much praise about a YA title since Karen McManus' One of Us is Lying! I am truly a stickler for this genre, but when books like this come around, it proves that I shouldn't be so quick to throw in the towel.

This Is Not The Jess Show focuses on 17 year old Jess Flynn and her family—her parents, her sister Sara, and her dog. The story takes place in the 90s, which had me reminiscing about a
Angela Staudt
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5/5 stars rounded up to 3 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I honestly don’t have many feelings or thoughts on this book. It is short and fast-paced, but was not what I was expecting and I had way too many questions that were never answered. I don’t really understand how this is being marketed as a thriller, because it wasn’t really thrilling or did it keep me on the edge of my seat. I did have high hopes especially with the really fun
Mar 14, 2021 rated it liked it
I went into this book expecting a YA version of 'The Truman Show', and I was not disappointed. I've been in a slump for a couple of months and this is the first time this year I've truly devoured a story, excited to see how it ends, sleep be damned. I will say, though, that the premise did most of the heavy lifting. The story needed at least a couple hundred more pages of action, tension and world-building to truly live up to its potential, at least in my opinion. I did really like both main cha ...more
Feb 05, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars

Full review to day...maybe

Don't have much to say about this one, other than it was an interesting, quick read with such an abrupt ending, I couldn't believe it when I reached the last page.
There's a sequel coming out in a few months and it will hopefully give me some kind of closure.

The plan was to write a long review, but I am just not getting the words out for this amazing and fun book! Meet Jess, a girl who thinks she is living a pretty good life in the 90s... but then things start to fall apart and she notices that her world may not be what it looks like. It was really well written and reminded me of Truman Show which I absolutely loved. My heart broke for Jess and that her parents would do something like this. Poor girl, I can only imagine how hard it is going to be fo ...more
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
Anna Carey brings meta-reality to life through the experiences of Jess Flynn, a seventeen-year-old living in 1998 who is trying to figure out why nothing around her feels quite right as of late. Small-town Swickley, New York isn't geographically far from New York City, but Jess has never gone there. Her mother is overprotective, and Jess hears stories of awful things that can befall a person in the Big Apple. As a talented singer, she dreams of one day living and performing in Los Angeles, but t ...more
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Slap on your slap bracelets, get out that Britney CD, and pull on a skort - it’s the late 90s, everyone!

Or at least, that’s what Jess in This is Not the Jess Show knows. A simpler time before cell phones and social media. When tragedies happen every May and her friends disappear outside of school hours. Just your typical teen experience.

What Jess doesn’t know is her life is curated and live-streamed. Guess they hid The Truman Show from her when it premiered in theaters. This fact is not hidden f
Dec 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-fuck-yeahs
I'm sure you can tell from the title of this book that there are some The Truman Show vibes here, but I'll let you read it for yourself in order to find out just how much is real versus how much is orchestrated. This was unlike anything I have ever read!

From the inside flap: "The year is 1998, and like any other teenager, Jess Flynn is just trying to get through her junior year without drama . . . but drama seems to keep finding her. Between a new crush on her childhood best friend, overprotecti
Opal  (shesreading)
Oct 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Quirk Book Publishing for kindly sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my review whatsoever.



This is not the Jess Show by Anna Carey is a young adult thriller and a second one is coming soon! It was also named one of Brightly Best YA Books Being Published in 2021 (rightly so).


Like any other teenager, Jess Flynn is just trying to get through her junior year without drama ... but drama seems to keep finding her. Between a new
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
3.5 - 4 Stars

Jess is like any other normal and average girl from the 90s. Crushing on boys, going to school, hanging out with friends, and obsessing over her favorite shows. But then, Jess starts to question things. Things she’s hearing, thing’s she’s noticing. What is that weird glass looking object that fell out of her friend’s backpack and that has an apple logo on it? Why does everyone give each other a sort of look when she mentions that the dog that’s at her home, isn’t actually her dog, a
Nov 14, 2021 rated it liked it
I give this book 3.5. It said it was a thriller and I did not find myself thrilled. I’m old enough to be familiar with the Truman Show and I was hoping for a different twist with this one, but in general it was fun. I definitely will be reading the second book when it comes out. Jess is just a normal girl living in the 90’s…until she finds out it’s not the 90’s and she’s the only one not in the know about her whole life being a tv show. I liked the glimpses of life in the future, but I wish it h ...more
Beary Into Books
Feb 28, 2022 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.75
Author: @annacareybooks
Publication Date: 2/2/2021

I absolutely love the idea behind this book and want you to experience it for yourself so my review will be kept short. When I was reading the synopsis it reminded me of the movie “The Truman Show”. This book takes place in the 90’s which I totally related to because I was born in the 90’s. The author did a great job of making it seem like it was actually the 90’s and reading this brought back so many memories. This book started out a
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it
I couldn’t get over the premise for this one, so I was quite eager to get to it.

I liked Jess. She’s determined and loyal and really has her wits about her when shit goes down. There are a good amount of characters here, but this is 100% the Jess show.

Plot wise, it was fast paced once she learns what’s going on, but wasn’t the thriller that I’ve seen it described as. I loved the commentary on influencers and vloggers and really would have loved more in that aspect. The ending felt a little abru
Oct 31, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I really liked it. Actual review to come?

So, I'm not sure why this is classified as a thriller - there's nothing too "thrilling" about it. It's hard to say too much without giving away the entire plot but I will try.

Jess Flynn has what you would call a fairly normal life. Has two really close friends and a crush on her childhood pal. But she also has a a sick younger sister and two detached parents. Then weird things start to happen around her - her dog is not her dog anymore, secrets are being kept, and her friend has an iPhone even
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I think I put this book on hold solely because of the name, and I would like to congratulate my past self on her excellent foresight.

I started to read this book with no idea what it was about, and I'm not going to ruin any aspect of it by telling you anything except:


Just go get yourself a copy. Bookstore, library, whatever. Just get it, read it, thank me later.
3.75/5 Stars.

It's been a while since I thoroughly enjoyed a ya contemporary, i also wouldn't call this book a 100% contemporary since it's a mix with different kinds of genres.
I won't talk about the book much because that'll include lots of spoilers. But all in all I really enjoyed this and if the author decides to turn this into a series i'll gladly read the rest of them.
Laura Peden
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it

I could easily describe this book to you by saying “if blank & blank had a baby, you’d get ‘This is Not the Jess Show’” but I’m not going to do that because it would ruin the reading experience. Reading the blurb is enough. If you enjoy Young Adult mysteries & reading stories similar to a Black Mirrors episode, you’ll love This is Not the Jess Show! It’s a new series too I believe. I can’t wait to see what people think of this one...
Feb 27, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars-22
CAWPILE Rating: 7.71 (4 Stars)

I'm so mad that I left this sitting on my shelf for around two years as I absolutely loved and devoured this book. The twist that takes place is one of my favourite plots in film/books and Carey did such a good job at writing it. This book was a constant thought-provoking thrill ride with fun and realistic characters. I do wish that the main character wasn't so trusting and questioned her situation a lot more than she did but the way this book ended leads me to beli
Samantha (WLABB)
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, arcs, ya
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Jess was just an average teen dealing with school, a crush, and her ailing sister, but then things got weird. Her dog was acting strange, her friends were acting odd, and she was hearing voices too! Stressed and verging on paranoid, Jess was determined to uncover the source of all this weirdness in Swickley.

This book was one fun ride! It started out just a day in the life. I was getting to know Jess and was totally eating up all the 90s references. Then, Jess started noticing s
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Anna Carey has been a gift wrapper, face painter, nanny, horrific cocktail waitress, sofa saleswoman and children's book editor. She graduated from New York University and has an MFA in fiction from Brooklyn College. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she can be found writing, reading, and referencing 90s pop culture. ...more

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