Freeform. Aug. 2019. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368026277.
Gr 9 Up–Welcome back to the near future, where reality TV has gotten even more complicated. In the wake of Alcatraz 2.0’s dissolution—and the possible impeachment of the president—Postmantics missing their fix can now look forward to Who Wants To Be a Painiac?, America’s search for the next big serial killer. Unlike in Alcatraz, however, all the blood and gore here are fake…right? Seventeen-year-old Becca Martinello, whose recently deceased mother may or may not have been the infamous Molly Mauler, will find out soon enough. Taking place roughly two weeks after #MurderTrending’s conclusion, this sequel continues the story of the Death Row Breakfast Club through the eyes of Dee Guerrera and picks up a new thread through Becca and her friends/fellow reality show contestants. Unfortunately, shifts between the two story lines, combined with the ever-mounting plot twists, make the story difficult to follow at times. Additionally, readers who enjoyed the action-packed blood and gore of the first book may be disappointed by the slower build of this installment. Readers learn early on that Becca had two moms—the surviving of whom is described as having dark skin and curly hair—and Becca herself establishes a romantic connection with a Latinx female character during the novel. A few supporting characters appear to be people of color.
VERDICT  Readers who have been waiting for the mysteries of #MurderTrending to be solved will be excited for the sequel. Recommended purchase for libraries that already own the first title in the series.

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