Best friends Derek and Lucas spend the summer between their sophomore and junior years working and hanging out with their friends and girlfriends. There’s a bit of drinking and experimenting with pot, but overall they’re good kids. Derek is smart, athletic, and good-looking, but he’s also a tormented soul. His mom died when he was in elementary school and his dad recently remarried. His stepmother seems to be controlling the family and suggests that Derek be a contestant on Loserville, a TV show aimed at exposing ''troubled young men.'' Why Derek agrees to take part is never quite clear, but he does, and his experiences on the show may be responsible for the tragic ending. This book offers a revealing look at the ethics of reality TV: how circumstantial video can skew the truth and how a callous disregard for the truth debases human beings. It will make readers reconsider this cultural phenomenon and whether a few moments of schadenfreude are worth ruining someone’s life.–Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA
—School Library Journal
The writing shines in its quiet observation of human interaction... [F]ans of brooding and thoughtful accounts of human dynamics may find interest here.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books