In rural England, Liv and her friends have scored an audition for a new reality show—and cool as they are, it should be a snap.
Wealthy, arrogant Olivia “Liv” Dawson-Hill has just finished her A-levels. Wanting to grow her beauty vlog before university, she sees an ad for a casting call that seems made for her. Her friends Jeremiah “Jez” Livingston, former head boy and ostentatious do-gooder, and toned playboy Declan “Duff” Duffy are up for it. Camera-shy friend Henrietta “Hetty” Barraclough, daughter of a xenophobic member of Parliament, surprisingly puts herself forward. When the assistant director, Cassandra Verity, shows up early—instead of the guy Liv has been in contact with—she and her friends roll with it until Cass begins revealing dark secrets about the teens she seemingly has no way of knowing, secrets about their impact on the life of one girl. Left with a moral dilemma, with friendships in tatters, what will they do? McIntyre’s (The Number One Rule for Girls, 2016, etc.) update of An Inspector Calls is not entirely successful: The characters are all unlikable and a bit unbelievable, and well-educated teens (even shallow ones) would have seen through Cass’ “research” long before these do. The constant hopping back and forth in time quickly becomes tiresome, and the timeline frays. Still, the premise may interest reality show fans. All major characters are white.
Secondary purchase at best. (Fiction. 14-18)