Thanks to NetGalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: August 11th, 2020
Synopsis: Warcross meets Lost in this haunting young adult sci-fi thriller in which teens compete to survive in the wilderness for one million dollars on a new virtual reality show. When something goes horribly wrong and the contestants realize no one is coming to save them, they must question their very reality—and how much of the game is really for show.
Each contestant has their own reasons—and their own secrets—for joining the new virtual reality show CUT/OFF that places a group of teenagers alone in the wilderness. It’s a simple premise: whoever lasts the longest without “tapping out” wins a cash prize. Not only that, new software creates a totally unprecedented television experience, allowing viewers to touch, see, and live everything along with the contestants. But what happens when “tapping out” doesn’t work and no one comes to save you? What happens when the whole world seemingly disappears while you’re stranded in the wild. Four teenagers must confront their greatest fears, their deepest secrets, and one another when they discover they are truly cut off from reality. Sci-fi, mystery, and romance converge in this high-stakes, fast-paced read that will leave you guessing to the very last moment.
While I thought Cut Off was a little slow to start, by the halfway point the pace picked up and there were some interesting plot twists which made me glad I stuck with it. There were a couple of issues that prevented this from being a more enjoyable read. The first was the formatting of the eARC. Some of the sentences were out of order, especially during the interviews with the contestants, which made things hard to follow at times. The other problem were the characters who weren’t what I’d call one-dimensional, but I did think they were somewhat formulaic. I did wind up connecting with River (the loner) and Cam (the sassy beauty), but even though I enjoyed Trip (the brash genius), I wanted to know even more about him, and Lexie (the deceiver) never had any of her backstory revealed. Despite this, I did enjoy the overall story and it kept me questioning what was real and what wasn’t. I definitely will be trying the next book that Adrianne Finlay comes out with.