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#Murderfunding

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WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PANIAC?, the latest reality TV show on the hunt for the next big-hit serial killer. But don’t worry—no one is actually going to murder anyone, as real as the fake gore and pretend murder may appear . . . uh, right? Seventeen-year-old Becca Martinello is about to find out. When her perfectly normal soccer mom dies in a car crash, a strange gi WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PANIAC?, the latest reality TV show on the hunt for the next big-hit serial killer. But don’t worry—no one is actually going to murder anyone, as real as the fake gore and pretend murder may appear . . . uh, right? Seventeen-year-old Becca Martinello is about to find out. When her perfectly normal soccer mom dies in a car crash, a strange girl named Stef appears to let Becca know that her deceased mom was none other than one of Alcatraz 2.0’s most popular serial killers—Molly Mauler. Soon, Becca ends up on Who Wants to Be a Painiac? to learn the truth about her mom’s connection to Molly Mauler, but things turn sinister when people are murdered IRL. Will Becca uncover dark secrets and make it out of the deadly reality show alive? Or will she get cut?


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WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PANIAC?, the latest reality TV show on the hunt for the next big-hit serial killer. But don’t worry—no one is actually going to murder anyone, as real as the fake gore and pretend murder may appear . . . uh, right? Seventeen-year-old Becca Martinello is about to find out. When her perfectly normal soccer mom dies in a car crash, a strange gi WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PANIAC?, the latest reality TV show on the hunt for the next big-hit serial killer. But don’t worry—no one is actually going to murder anyone, as real as the fake gore and pretend murder may appear . . . uh, right? Seventeen-year-old Becca Martinello is about to find out. When her perfectly normal soccer mom dies in a car crash, a strange girl named Stef appears to let Becca know that her deceased mom was none other than one of Alcatraz 2.0’s most popular serial killers—Molly Mauler. Soon, Becca ends up on Who Wants to Be a Painiac? to learn the truth about her mom’s connection to Molly Mauler, but things turn sinister when people are murdered IRL. Will Becca uncover dark secrets and make it out of the deadly reality show alive? Or will she get cut?

30 review for #Murderfunding

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sukh Singh

    Seriously though... How am I suppose to wait for a whole effing year.... I need it like RN. July 2019 Come Soon

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (TBR and Beyond)

    These books are just so much fun. I didn't love it as much as the first one but it was still a great time. RTC

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angie Crabtree-Liezel and Angie's Book Blog

    I need this book like yesterday!! I don’t think I can wait a whole year to read this! #murderwhat #wtf #crowsarealwayswatching

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pamela ✨I Blame Wizards✨

    #Murderfunding - Serves 1 1. Mix two parts GLOW with one part Suicide Squad. 2. Add a splash of The Hunger Games. Stir well to combine. 3. Simmer at low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens, and character and world building have evaporated completely. Best served with a sprinkle of glitter, to mask the bland taste.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lost in Book Land

    Welcome Back! Last week I took a bit of a break from posting reviews and doing posts in general. I was really busy with stuff for work and my house (just trying to finish settling in and picking out bookcases and such) that I just wanted to spend the time I was not working reading my current reads and finishing those up! Also, I spent my time trying to start up a few new television shows I have been meaning to watch forever and catching up on my Youtube watch later list which is full Welcome Back! Last week I took a bit of a break from posting reviews and doing posts in general. I was really busy with stuff for work and my house (just trying to finish settling in and picking out bookcases and such) that I just wanted to spend the time I was not working reading my current reads and finishing those up! Also, I spent my time trying to start up a few new television shows I have been meaning to watch forever and catching up on my Youtube watch later list which is full of booktubers, gamers, and teachers. One of the first books I got the chance to finish up reading was #MurderFunding, the sequel to #MurderTrending. A book I read last year (reviewed, the review is still up on my page) and loved! SPOILERS AHEAD Now that Alcatraz 2.0 has been disbanded and people are set to get in trouble for the situation we have a whole new craze. See this television company has decided they are going to cast for a whole new show based off the Paniacs, they call it Who Wants to be a Paniac? and the lucky people who make it onto the show will get to fake kills in the style of Alcatraz 2.0 (except these won't be real). So where does this leave our death row breakfast club? They are all still in hiding, people are hunting them, they are loved and hated all at once. Some people want them dead for what happened on the island while others think they are heroes. On top of all of this people are trying to hunt down the real identities of the previous Paniacs from Alcatraz 2.0. One of these possible Paniacs is Becca's mother. Who recently passed away due to a car crash but before this, she was a suburban stay at home mom who loved scrapbooking. However, a girl named Stef shows up at her funeral and then confronts Becca at her school, the girl's make an agreement to try to prove one another wrong. However, in order to do so, the must go try out for Who Wants to be a Paniac? Alright, so this book was a bit of a wild ride at times however, it was not as wild as book one. I feel like maybe I compared this book to book one a lot and had super high expectations after the first book. I loved the story of Alcatraz 2.0, the death row breakfast club, and the Paniacs. I was so ready to meet Becca and see a new generation of Paniacs but I feel like this book went in a different direction as things went on and after about 100 or so pages I called the plot before it happened. Now sometimes I am okay with this happening because I still really want to see it happen, and I still wanted to see it happen, however, it was not as exciting as I wanted it to be. I still really love this series and I think the first book is beyond amazing and it still gives me Deadman Wonderland vibes, however, I am not as into this second book. If there will be a third book I will definitely give it a try but I feel like most if not all the plotlines with the Postman and the kidnapping are all tied up now (which I really love having those answers). I am giving this book three stars on Goodreads. **I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bookteafull (Danny)

    Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars If I skim more of the novel than I actually read - we've got a problem. Gretchen McNeil, I rated the prequel, #MurderTrending, 4.5 Stars. It was fun, innovative, and engaging - it may have had me rolling my eyes from time to time but it was something I honestly could not get enough of. I'm a sucker for Prison+Serial Killer tropes, 80s references, and plays on cliches. That's why #MurderTrending was such a delight for me to read and why I was so stoked to read the sequel. Unfortu Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars If I skim more of the novel than I actually read - we've got a problem. Gretchen McNeil, I rated the prequel, #MurderTrending, 4.5 Stars. It was fun, innovative, and engaging - it may have had me rolling my eyes from time to time but it was something I honestly could not get enough of. I'm a sucker for Prison+Serial Killer tropes, 80s references, and plays on cliches. That's why #MurderTrending was such a delight for me to read and why I was so stoked to read the sequel. Unfortunately, I think the positive praise resulting from the first book led McNeil to rush through completing this sad sequel...and it def shows, what with the dramatized and unrealistic scenes, one-dimensional characters, convenient plot devices, and far fetched political schemes that seemed poorly developed. #YIKES Honestly, my biggest issue with this novel was how much you had to suspend belief. It was almost like the author didn't even try to assist us in identifying ways to connect the narrative dots. How did we get from point A to Point 43 without anyone coming to some sort of logical conclusion??? 'Oh yeah, because Russians. Thats all you need to know, trust me.' I stopped falling for Jedi Mind Tricks in elementary school. You gotta give me some sort of realistic and feasible connection in order to have me willingly fall for your bullshit - like I did for #MurderTrending. Like, I dont need much but I do need soooomething. I also disliked that there's a clear focus on characters outside of the prequel, which made the eventual DRBC crew appearance and integration into the main plot feel distant and superficial. This was majorly inconvenient for me because I gave ZERO FUCKS about Becca and her constant distraction due to her crush. We get it. Stef is edgy and hot and cool but, like, you are literally facing murderers and possible painful deaths for you and your loved ones - can we keep it together, Becca? And after all that infatuation nonsense, their almost-but-not-really-relationship still felt unnecessary and fake. Like, I didn't sense *any* chemistry between these two characters. It just happened cuz #YOLO, I guess. Things I enjoyed: - So many LGTBQ+ rep! The main protagonist has two moms and pursues a relationship with another lady. A contestant is also gay and another is definitely open to possibilities. However, even the thing I enjoyed (this rep) had it's drawbacks. At times I felt that Lars (the contestant who's gay) was portrayed as extremely stereotyped, which left me a bit sad tbh. - Still vaguely intriguing enough for me to want to finish it, even if it meant skimming over large chunks of passages. Thats gotta count for something, right? - Scenes with the original DRBC members. I wanted more from #CinderellaSurvivor and a better scene than the one provided for her introduction to Coop and Becca. Ugh so many scenes would have vastly improved with a few tweaks here and there. Notice how all my points for things I enjoyed are immediately followed by salt. Fitting, since that basically describes what the author did to this series as a whole. Overall, the book was melodramatic, cliche, rushed, and extra af. It basically ruined everything I loved from the first novel. If there's more of a storyline following this book, I won't be reading it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. #MurderFunding by Gretchen McNeil wastes no time in getting down to business. It's a fast-paced follow up to last year's #MurderTrending. Just like it's predecessor, this makes great use of feeling up to the minute with its use of language, social media, and depressingly even a bit of the politics. It's easy to quickly tear through this story because it's just so compulsively readable. If only I had a nice tub of popcorn to go with it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Sadly this book wasn’t as good as the first one. We didn’t get to connect to the characters at all and things were far fetched even for this type of book. The first book had great characters, twists and political questions with various what ifs... this book doesn’t deliver on many accounts sadly!

  9. 5 out of 5

    BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)

    I'm obviously in for book 2 after enjoying #murdertrending!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Yesssssss! Ok so the first one was better, but this was so good.

  11. 5 out of 5

    andrea caro

    I gave #MurderTrending 5-stars, but I'm kind of bummed out by this one. RTC.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wright

    3/5 stars — a premise that strained credulity despite a few redeeming features #Murderfunding is, like the previous book in the series, a B-movie-esque celebration of campy horror. However, the kind of quirky premise that made #Murdertrending unique and interesting was stretched to its limits in the sequel. Bluntly, it wasn't believable and didn't work for me. This gets three stars from me because a) it might appeal to readers who really loved the style/premise of the first book and those who enjoy a B-m/> 3/5 stars — a premise that strained credulity despite a few redeeming features #Murderfunding is, like the previous book in the series, a B-movie-esque celebration of campy horror. However, the kind of quirky premise that made #Murdertrending unique and interesting was stretched to its limits in the sequel. Bluntly, it wasn't believable and didn't work for me. This gets three stars from me because a) it might appeal to readers who really loved the style/premise of the first book and those who enjoy a B-movie atmosphere, and b) the redeeming features mentioned above. Redeeming feature 1: the author's willingness to double down on the real-life United States' current problem with Russian interference in politics. Actually, I thought this went a bit too far; (view spoiler)[the idea of an American businessman demoing a live-action murder show as a way to sell it to Russia as "the newest state-sponsored program of capital punishment" again seemed too far-fetched (hide spoiler)] Redeeming feature 2: the number of queer characters. The main character has two moms, she herself pursues a relationship with a girl throughout the book, and one of their fellow contestants is gay. (view spoiler)[This series very much buries its gays, often literally; only two of the queer characters survive the book. I don't take issue with this because of the overall death rate of named characters applies to straight ones as well. (hide spoiler)] My issues with the story outnumbered the parts I enjoyed, however. The attempt to invoke teen slang was outdated and clumsy, including characters unironically saying "For reals?" and "YOLO." The gay (male) character was portrayed as very effeminate and stereotypical, which, if I recall correctly, held true for the "Gucci Hangman" in the previous book as well. (view spoiler)[His death also felt empty and unnecessary. (hide spoiler)] Most of all, I hated how the main character kept getting distracted by her attraction to her love interest, including mentally commenting on her "hotness" on the day of the MC's mother's funeral and later while they were actively trying to avoid getting killed. The romance between Becca and Stef wasn't believable; they knew each other five days and were actively antagonistic toward each other for the first two or three. This book didn't work for me, but I hope it will appeal more to fans of slash-and-hack horror. If you really loved #Murdertrending or any of the author's other books, I suggest giving this a shot. Otherwise, I don't recommend it. ** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

  13. 4 out of 5

    Zev

    What an enormous disappointment. What a bland but aggravating follow-up. I was bored by page thirty, rolling my eyes by page forty, and seriously considered DNF'ing by page sixty. I misunderstood what the sequel was going to be about in a very fundamental way, as well. I knew it was going to be from the POV of Molly Mauler's kid, but thought it'd all be set up and executed (pun unintended) differently. I was bored or annoyed by every person in this book, but thought it clever that the original s What an enormous disappointment. What a bland but aggravating follow-up. I was bored by page thirty, rolling my eyes by page forty, and seriously considered DNF'ing by page sixty. I misunderstood what the sequel was going to be about in a very fundamental way, as well. I knew it was going to be from the POV of Molly Mauler's kid, but thought it'd all be set up and executed (pun unintended) differently. I was bored or annoyed by every person in this book, but thought it clever that the original survivors were included. Somehow I thought the original cast would return, but only those three did. The world-building in this is terrible. Just because this is a sequel doesn't mean world-building isn't needed. "The Hunger Games" and "Harry Potter" (1-7 anyway) as examples, are terrific at using their sequels and subsequent books to enhance the built worlds. This book is coded as taking place right now., with its incessant references to President Cheeto and his cronies, but it quickly turns into a plot device. I kid you not, this novel has Russian agents involved, and Russians are some of the Paniacs' biggest fans. It could have been scathing commentary but instead is so, so stupid. The unfortunate implications from the first book are multiplied and intensified here. There's a Bury Your Gays trope four times over, alone, along with continued negative portrayals of POC and gay people before they died. But she did that in the first book too, so it wasn't surprising, just enraging. The cast doesn't start Paniac stuff until two hundred pages into the book. Around that time, supposedly strong bonds are unconvincingly formed and Enemies to Lovers is a trope that the author rams into my brain. This book has a lot of tropes I hated. The book ended with an incredibly melodramatic funeral scene, with the last line suggesting a sequel. I rolled my eyes and was glad the book was over. I'll reread the first one because it was interesting, but ignore this and further ones.

  14. 4 out of 5

    mary

    I had to read #murdertrending before reading #murderfunding so it took me a while to get to reading this one. Honestly, I questioned how this could be a sequel to #murdertrending other than the inclusion of characters from that book as minor characters in this book. The book moved so SLOW until almost midway through and then it moved at lightening speed and I saw how it could be the sequel. I felt like the characters were stereotypical and not well developed. Plot twists also didn’t give me the I had to read #murdertrending before reading #murderfunding so it took me a while to get to reading this one. Honestly, I questioned how this could be a sequel to #murdertrending other than the inclusion of characters from that book as minor characters in this book. The book moved so SLOW until almost midway through and then it moved at lightening speed and I saw how it could be the sequel. I felt like the characters were stereotypical and not well developed. Plot twists also didn’t give me the “holy cow” factor. It’s an ok book, it just took way too long to become a page turner.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I thought the first book was pretty fun if you didn't want to think about it too hard. Sure, there are better mysteries and there are better murder books and there are better nightmare-reality-TV books, but it was still fun. This one was just not. Issue 1: We followed two groups of people. Our time was not split evenly, and Dee's story wasn't especially interesting or, honestly, necessary. Issue 2: The crowdfunded murder TV show took up very little of the book, comparatively, and we di I thought the first book was pretty fun if you didn't want to think about it too hard. Sure, there are better mysteries and there are better murder books and there are better nightmare-reality-TV books, but it was still fun. This one was just not. Issue 1: We followed two groups of people. Our time was not split evenly, and Dee's story wasn't especially interesting or, honestly, necessary. Issue 2: The crowdfunded murder TV show took up very little of the book, comparatively, and we didn't really get to know the characters that well before they started dying. This doesn't matter for the first few that died, but (view spoiler)[ when Lars sacrifices himself to save Becca (hide spoiler)] I just did not care. Issue 3: The conspiracy theory was not entertaining enough to take up as much of the book as it did.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Clare dooley

    I hope this novel explains what the families of the previous inhabitants of Alcatraz 2.0 families have to say about their kettle balls and mako sharks owe to the innocent ~ grins ~ aaaaannnddd actiooooon #clarebdeviolent

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    3.5. I just didn’t like this one as much as I liked the first book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nannette Demmler

    ARC provided by Disney Book Group via NetGalley for an honest review. I enjoyed this sequel as much as the first one. It was quite the thrill ride with lots of ups and downs and some twists that I was not expecting. The social commentary on reality shows and murder is still there, but it wrapped up some questions that I had from the first book very nicely. This book is mostly told through Becca’s point of view, with a few scattered throughout the story from Dee. I liked Bec ARC provided by Disney Book Group via NetGalley for an honest review. I enjoyed this sequel as much as the first one. It was quite the thrill ride with lots of ups and downs and some twists that I was not expecting. The social commentary on reality shows and murder is still there, but it wrapped up some questions that I had from the first book very nicely. This book is mostly told through Becca’s point of view, with a few scattered throughout the story from Dee. I liked Becca, she was also a survivor and had a good head on her shoulders when things got tough. She was also a bit crazy for following a stranger to audition for a show about murder, but I got where she was coming from. It was interesting to see her perspective of the show and whether or not her mom was one of the executioners. I would have perhaps liked a bit more of an explanation of why this supposedly normal mom like person would have turned into a serial killer, but the duel nature of her personality was interesting. Becca’s other mom was also an interesting character, and I would have liked to have seen more of her. Stef was also a great character, it would have been interesting to see some of the story from her point of view. She was pretty closed off and didn’t give a whole lot away, but I felt for her and her need to find out who the real Molly Mauler was to help her have some closure. She was pretty fearless and bad ass. The light romance between her and Becca was sweet, and I loved that it went back and forth for both of them in that they couldn’t decide on their real feeling for each other. The plot of this story was more of a mystery/thriller than the first book. There were still some graphically gruesome murders, but not as many as the first book. Some of the questions from the first book were answered in this one, but there were still many left unanswered. But I am ok with that. There are also some plot holes, like really the FBI couldn’t figure out who the Postman was??? and some other things that just didn’t add up. But still as a light read it was very satisfying. Like in the first book, I was often amused by pop culture references in the names of the people commenting on the forums. These comments are sprinkled throughout both books and were sometimes interesting commentary on what was going on. If you enjoyed the first book, then this one won’t be disappointing. There are rumors that there might be a third book, I’m sort of looking for a prequel, or one that explains the origins of some of the serial killers. But what ever the third book is about I will certainly be picking it up. https://elnadesbookchat.com

  19. 4 out of 5

    Moo

    I absolutely loved #MurderTrending. This one on the other hand was hell to finish. It was so bad imo that I almost gave up on it a few times. Nothing exciting really happens in this book and it wasn't anything like the first one. It also ended as though there might be a 3rd one coming out. If that happens i'll pass. Even the introduction of the new Painiacs were a bore. So underwhelming, and you only get to read about the new Painiacs a little more than halfway through the book and it's only for I absolutely loved #MurderTrending. This one on the other hand was hell to finish. It was so bad imo that I almost gave up on it a few times. Nothing exciting really happens in this book and it wasn't anything like the first one. It also ended as though there might be a 3rd one coming out. If that happens i'll pass. Even the introduction of the new Painiacs were a bore. So underwhelming, and you only get to read about the new Painiacs a little more than halfway through the book and it's only for a few chapters. Also the characters in the book were annoying too. I didn't like anyone. So yeah disappointment all around. I was so excited and had high hopes for this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Candyce Kirk

    Full review to follow soon!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sondra

    This book would be 4 stars had the author removed the shove it in your face political agenda that she is clearly pedaling. The first book tiptoed, this doesn’t, I face palmed a few times at how far she went. Otherwise, I enjoyed the sequel’s main plot, the new and old characters, and would be interested in reading a third, but from the library. I regret I paid for a YA book that pushed an otherwise compelling sequel into a nonsensical political backstory.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

    Just started reading the digital ARC of #MurderFunding through #NetGalley ! I am excited to experience the wild ride that Gretchen McNeil promises her audience in this - the second book of her YA series. (I ALREADY have butterflies!) ___________________________________________________________ Gretchen McNeil does it again! In her latest book, #MurderFunding, she seamlessly picks up where the first book in this series, #MurderTrending, left off. Readers will not be disappointed in Just started reading the digital ARC of #MurderFunding through #NetGalley ! I am excited to experience the wild ride that Gretchen McNeil promises her audience in this - the second book of her YA series. (I ALREADY have butterflies!) ___________________________________________________________ Gretchen McNeil does it again! In her latest book, #MurderFunding, she seamlessly picks up where the first book in this series, #MurderTrending, left off. Readers will not be disappointed in her execution (pun intended) of the storyline, which includes: a new set of characters, government disarray following the Russian Government and the former reality TV star, POTUS, and the Death Row Breakfast Club. Missing the action from Alcatraz 2.0? While the Postman may be dead, his influence is alive and well in #MurderFunding. Get ready for "Who Wants to be a Painiac?" - a new reality TV show that pits fans of the show against professional Painiacs. Who will survive? Don't worry! Everyone will. After all, this isn't real murder. The theatrics are just for internet points... or are they?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Weber

    I was anxious to read this, as I really enjoyed the first book, #MurderTrending. Unfortunately, this one fell a little flat for me. My main complaint is that this one tried really hard to go the political route and went about it all the wrong ways. The political agenda felt really pushed and that's not what I wanted out of this. I loved the first book because it was so crazy, out there and creepy, and this one wasn't much like that at all. It was nice that some of the original characters were me I was anxious to read this, as I really enjoyed the first book, #MurderTrending. Unfortunately, this one fell a little flat for me. My main complaint is that this one tried really hard to go the political route and went about it all the wrong ways. The political agenda felt really pushed and that's not what I wanted out of this. I loved the first book because it was so crazy, out there and creepy, and this one wasn't much like that at all. It was nice that some of the original characters were mentioned and some even brought back, and overall the plot flowed nicely and kept me engaged. I just didn't get the creepy vibes out of this one like I did from the first. The suspense was really lacking and I didn't connect with any of the new characters. I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first, but I would continue to read the series if another book is released!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hailey Carrell

    OMG. I loved #MurderTrending and this was a great follow-up. It wasn't a cut and paste plot duplication, but rather a unique continuation. These are some of the craziest books I have ever read and I love them so much!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Taylor

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. My students are going to devour this! It’s a very fitting sequel to the first book and is very current and socially relevant. I enjoyed the the statements about social media, society, our fragile hold on morality, and our political climate more in the first one because of the subtly mixed with good old fashioned horror....this one was a little too obvious and in your face for me this time (even if they made me chuckle). My students I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. My students are going to devour this! It’s a very fitting sequel to the first book and is very current and socially relevant. I enjoyed the the statements about social media, society, our fragile hold on morality, and our political climate more in the first one because of the subtly mixed with good old fashioned horror....this one was a little too obvious and in your face for me this time (even if they made me chuckle). My students won’t mind one bit though. 4 stars for me but I bet it’s going to be 5 stars from my student readers!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Mandina

    We got all the same crazy with the painiacs and even with the Postman being gone, he still seems to have someone working things. Obviously no one is going to be okay with them actually doing the whole murdering thing again, and the president of the United States is in trouble for being in conjunction with the original reality tv show. But there is also talk of the president having been treasonous and working with the Russians as well. The game show that isn't supposed to be real murder, just try We got all the same crazy with the painiacs and even with the Postman being gone, he still seems to have someone working things. Obviously no one is going to be okay with them actually doing the whole murdering thing again, and the president of the United States is in trouble for being in conjunction with the original reality tv show. But there is also talk of the president having been treasonous and working with the Russians as well. The game show that isn't supposed to be real murder, just tryouts to be like the paniacs. However, the actual auditions are a little weird, and end up with those who are chosen being taken away to find out what is really going on with the show. Becca's character has a lot to learn, but in the end, she is able to grow and figure out how things happened, and what she should probably try to do to make things right. In the end, we are left with a thought of hers that maybe she hasn't quite learned all the lesson she should. I feel like this is the final book, but who knows with her final thoughts. What I loved about this story is how it really can be a snapshot of current events, but does it without being so in your face as other stories might be. It takes a good look at how online communities work, how reality tv isn't really reality, and also some realistic seeming behavior in relationships. I also loved that I didn't see the twist of who the Postman's son really would be, even with all the guessing and clues I had throughout. This author knows how to keep you on your toes, yet thinking all the way through on what she's giving you in details.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    See my full review here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti... #Murderfunding is an engaging and fast-paced sequel to #murdertrending. Alcatraz 2.0 has been shut down and #CinderellaSurvivor (Dee) and her friends are in hiding. The fans of The Postman are trying to find them- and not for anything good. Although we get some of Dee's perspectives in this book, we mostly follow Becca. Becca is an almost-eighteen-year-old whose stay-at-home mother has recently died in a car accident. As her mother's funeral, she noti See my full review here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti... #Murderfunding is an engaging and fast-paced sequel to #murdertrending. Alcatraz 2.0 has been shut down and #CinderellaSurvivor (Dee) and her friends are in hiding. The fans of The Postman are trying to find them- and not for anything good. Although we get some of Dee's perspectives in this book, we mostly follow Becca. Becca is an almost-eighteen-year-old whose stay-at-home mother has recently died in a car accident. As her mother's funeral, she notices someone with a camera. Later, the girl, Stef, confronts her to say that she is pretty certain that her mother was Molly Mauler, one of the Painiacs from Alcatraz 2.0. Determined to prove her wrong, Becca agrees to go with her to the set of a new reality show, WHO WANTS TO BE A PAINIAC? which is auditioning contestants to participate in a non-lethal (advertised as fake murders) competition to be crowned the next Painiac. As they audition for the show, Becca is trying to find evidence that her mother was (or rather, hopefully was not) Molly Mauler. However, the show turns out to be way more deadly than advertised and the teens are in for a lot of unexpected twists and turns. What I loved: This book continues the same page-turning and engrossing writing style that makes it difficult to put down. While the first one felt creative although the big twists were a little predictable, this one kept me guessing until the very end. There is a lot of creativity in the plot of the book, and it's really something entirely unique. Fans of the first will love this sequel, which is different but equally as enthralling. Final verdict: Unique, engrossing, and thrilling, this sequel is a perfect compliment to the first book. Highly recommend for anyone looking for something different and new. Starting with the first book is helpful to understanding this one, so I would recommend reading them in order.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Craig

    A year ago, I read Gretchen McNeil's #MurderTrending and wasn't super impressed. Cool concept, lame characters. When I heard a sequel was coming out the next year, I wasn't sure if I was going to put it on my TBR list until I saw the focus would be more on the campy serial killer aspect from the first book. Since that was my favorite thing from the first book, I decided to give this book a chance. And I did like it better than the first book and feels more in the spirit of The Running Man, in terms of fun camp. P A year ago, I read Gretchen McNeil's #MurderTrending and wasn't super impressed. Cool concept, lame characters. When I heard a sequel was coming out the next year, I wasn't sure if I was going to put it on my TBR list until I saw the focus would be more on the campy serial killer aspect from the first book. Since that was my favorite thing from the first book, I decided to give this book a chance. And I did like it better than the first book and feels more in the spirit of The Running Man, in terms of fun camp. Plot- Becca Martinello is dealing with the recent loss of her mother. After the funeral, a girl named Stef ambushes with the theory that Becca's mother was actually Molly Mauler, one of the serial killers from Alcatraz 2.0. Becca scoffs at this. Her stay at home mother, who scrapbooked everything, a serial killer? Stef wants to publish her theory online. To stop her from doing so and to hopefully clear her mother's name, Becca goes with Stef to the auditions for the new crowdfunded TV series "Who Wants to Be a Painiac?" a show where people try to be the next popular serial killer, but won't be actually killing anyone. When people start disappearing from the warehouse in Los Angeles, Becca and Stef realize the kills aren't fake. Will the truth about Molly Mauler be discovered? Or will Becca and her new acquaintances be cut from the new show? What I liked- The serial killer costumes are somehow even more campy than they were in the first book. From Disco Dollies (Dolly Parton roller derby ladies) to John Carpenter, Actual Carpenter to Princess Slaya to Fitz-Killem Darcy to Psychoman and Gorefunkel, I really loved how much fun McNeil had coming up with the new batch of personas in this book. The characters are also slightly more 3 dimensional in this story than they were in Book 1. (view spoiler)[and one LGBTQ character, Becca, makes it to the end! Also, Fiona, the one person of color in their group, also made it to the end. Granted, the two other LGBTQ characters, Stef and Lars, both died. Lars' death especially felt egregious and hollow. (hide spoiler)] Cons- The plot is about as predictable in this book as it is in Book 1 and many of the characters introduced in the story are only there to be killed off later. It made getting invested in certain characters moot. There is also a narrative shift to the POV of Dee, the protagonist from #MurderTrending, which slowed the story down for me. I also feel like the commentary pop culture, including TV shows coming back thanks to crowdfunding, reality TV politics and online conspiracy theory groups didn't hit me as much as it did in the first book. If you're looking for a campy, popcorn read with some fun costumes and thrills, #MurderFunding is a quick, fun read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Unseen Library

    For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday, I check out an upcoming thriller that is probably going to be one of the most entertaining and bloody young adult books of 2019, #MurderFunding by Gretchen McNeil. #MurderFunding is the sequel to last year’s crazy young adult hit, #MurderTrending, which featured a pretty awesome and over-the-top plot. #MurderTrending followed a Breakfast Club styled group of teens fighting for survival on a reality television show broadcasting their state-sanction For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday, I check out an upcoming thriller that is probably going to be one of the most entertaining and bloody young adult books of 2019, #MurderFunding by Gretchen McNeil. #MurderFunding is the sequel to last year’s crazy young adult hit, #MurderTrending, which featured a pretty awesome and over-the-top plot. #MurderTrending followed a Breakfast Club styled group of teens fighting for survival on a reality television show broadcasting their state-sanctioned executions by a gallery of eccentric killers. #MurderTrending was an exciting action-packed novel that was really enjoyable and featured quite a distinctive and addictive story. This sequel is set to be released in just a few weeks and I am loving some of the details that have already been released. Not only is #MurderFunding keeping the cool cover design that was first utilised in #MurderTrending but the plot synopsis also sounds incredibly intriguing. Based on the plot synopsis, I think #MurderFunding is going to be an excellent sequel to the first book. Not only has McNeil come up with another dark television show to focus the story on but it looks like she has chosen an interesting way to tie this book into #MurderTrending, by focusing on the daughter of one of the original book’s villains. I am also assuming, from the name of the book, that the author will continue to examine the dark side of social media in this book. Having the story punctuated by social media posts analysing and revelling in the carnage of the reality television show was a memorable part of the first book, and I really hope that McNeil continues to utilise it in #MurderFunding. I had a lot of fun reading the first book in this series and I have no doubt that the sequel will be just as entertaining and over-the-top as the #MurderTrending. It sounds like McNeil has come up with a cool new story for #MurderFunding, and I look forward to seeing how she parodies our fascination with reality television once again. For other exciting reviews and content, check out my blog at: https://unseenlibrary.com/

  30. 4 out of 5

    Khushi

    I wanted to like this. I really did. I read the first one and it was a mix of Survivor and Hunger Games, and I just thought it was written very well. I was invested in each character and at the end of the series, I was anxious to see what would happen to the ones left in the next book. And then I got the next book and it’s… not about the previous MC at all. The protagonist in this one is Becca Martinello, daughter of one the Paniacs from Alcatraz 2.0, who had no idea her mother killed I wanted to like this. I really did. I read the first one and it was a mix of Survivor and Hunger Games, and I just thought it was written very well. I was invested in each character and at the end of the series, I was anxious to see what would happen to the ones left in the next book. And then I got the next book and it’s… not about the previous MC at all. The protagonist in this one is Becca Martinello, daughter of one the Paniacs from Alcatraz 2.0, who had no idea her mother killed criminals for a living. She gets this shocking news and teaming up with the person, Stef, who gave her the news in the first place, she decides to sign up for a new reality show called “Who Wants To Be A Paniac?” in order to find out the truth about her mother. Naturally, Becca denies a whole lot of what she’s told from the start and as expected, things happen later on that shakes up her worldview. While the story does flip back and forth between Becca and Dee from book 1, it largely focuses on Becca’s journey to find out about her mother. Along the way, you meet other contestants of the reality show, a slew of characters thrown in, that I honestly felt no connections to. Dee’s side of the story was miniscule as well that I didn’t feel the same grip to the storyline as I did in the first book. There’s a shocking twist at some point closer to the end, of course, but it seems to fall flat right afterwards, and the story gets wrapped up pretty quickly in a way that made me sit up and stare at the wall and think “what just happened”. As for representation, the MC is queer, as are her moms and her love interest, Stef, (who also happens to be Latinx). But, the fact that her mother starts off dead in the very beginning of it, it left a very “Bury the gays” trope taste in the mouth, and so, there was already a pretty low impression of the series. Content Warning: gratuitous violence, death, description of blood and gore (Copied from my blog, Scrubs and Books)

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