“LIFE IN A FISHBOWL,” by Len Vlahos, Bloomsbury USA Childrens, Jan. 3, 2017, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)
If you found out you were going to die, what would you do? Life in a Fishbowl follows a father faced with just that decision and the fallout from his choices.
Jackie has always been a daddy’s girl. She’s happy to blend into the background, always knowing he will be there for her.
Then Jackie’s dad is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. He’s going to leave her, and he’s not going to leave her on his own terms.
When Jackie’s dad learns his life is coming to an end, he does something desperate — he puts his life up for auction on eBay. All Jackie can do is watch as a strange group of characters bid on her father’s life and her future.
Life in a Fishbowl is told in third person from varying points of view — Jackie, her father, various bidders and the tumor that upended everything to begin with. This gives Life in a Fishbowl an almost documentary feel that works well with the subject. I admit this style took some getting used to initially, but the story is so compelling, I found it easy to adjust.
From the TV producer who will do anything for ratings to the father who just wants to provide for his family, Life in a Fishbowl is an excellent look at life and how it is valued — or not — as the case may be. Author Len Vlahos strips away the smoke a mirrors that often misguide us, and instead gives us a raw look at terminal illness and how being true to yourself can set you free.
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