Cut Reality Book Review
  • Title: Cut Reality: A Novel
  • Author: Zack Hacker
  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller
  • Pages: 344
  • Publisher: Anywhere Press on 04/16/2019
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars

Synopsis of Cut Reality:

Join Jason Debord as he seeks clarity following the death of a reality TV co-star and ends up uncovering criminal conspiracy.

When Jason returned home from competing on Beached he’d lost weight, couldn’t sleep, and felt more alone than ever. But, he expected those changes. Jason had no way to predict that one of his fellow competitors would fling himself from a cliff. Unless he didn’t.

Jason can’t believe it, but the network broadcasts the alleged suicide to the world, so he pushes forward in his own amateur investigation. Met with resistance from the cast and crew, he persists only through the support of his developing romance with Blake, a psychologist who observes alarming similarities between her patient and her partner.

Events in Cut Reality have a variety of interpretations. While under the watchful eye of the public, Jason has to decide: is what he uncovers too coincidental to be true, or so hard to accept because it’s his new reality.

My Review of Cut Reality:

Cut Reality: A Novel written by author Zack Hacker is a novel that is a murder mystery, mixed with a part-time thriller. I am still trying to work through my feelings about this book, as the ending was a major shock to my system.

In this novel, we follow Jason Debord as he is coming home from participating in the 50th season of his favorite reality show Beached, a Survivor-esque show that follows the lives of 14 contestants as they battle it out for a million-dollar prize, by living on a deserted island and participating in random challenges for safety. This 50th season is heartbreaking, though, because one of the members of the cast dies and the rest of the castaways have a difficult time dealing with the aftermath. None has it as bad as Jason does because Billy was his best friend out there. Jason’s relationship with best friend/girlfriend, Blake, is in jeopardy, and he seems to spiral more and more out of control with the conspiracy theories that manipulate his senses.

The ending of Cut Reality: A Novel was disappointing to me. After enveloping myself in the cocoon of a thrilling mystery, I couldn’t make my brain reconcile with how this story ended, needing a different ending deep in my soul. Now, this is not a slight on the writing because a great novel is one that can wrap the reader in its folds until they are so far gone that they feel as though they are a part of the story.

I lived through this tale with Jason. I was as crushed at the end as he was.

In no way can I explain how caught up in this novel I have become. I keep rewriting it in my head so that I can get the conclusion that I needed, and not the one that broke my heart. The author writes the characters in a way that makes the reader want to reach out and help them. The plot is an interesting flow where the novel breaks up, not in straightforward chapters, but more in a stilted pattern of phone calls, text conversations, and memories, interspersed with the chapters.

This book is a splendid read, but be sure to set aside time for a thorough inventory of the novel as it does have the tendency to bend your mind. I urge anyone with a love for adventure, mind thrills, or reality television to give this book a try. I wish I could promise you that disappointment was not on the horizon, but I cannot do that. This novel doesn’t present itself in a box with a pretty bow.

For all these reasons and more, I am awarding Cut Reality: A Novel a complete 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to Mr. Hacker for gifting me a copy of Cut Reality. It has been my pleasure to read and review this book for you.

Cut Reality: A Novel
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