Review: #Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil

by Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Freeform
Publication date: Aug. 7, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Mystery Thriller

WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest 8/18 citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.

When eighteen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one?




When Dee wakes up on the floor of a warehouse after being found guilty of her step-sisters death, she knows exactly where she is. While her sister may have been obsessed with watching the live feed from Alcatraz 2.0, Dee wanted no part of it all. Funny that she has found herself in that very place. With all eyes and cameras on her, she does everything she can to stay alive. Dressed as a Disney princess, with #CinderellaSurvivor trending after her arrival, Dee has a huge target painted on her back. Will she be able to elude and fight off the executioner’s of Alcatraz 2.0, or will the viewers watch this Princess get an ending befitting a villain?

This book is seriously demented. You are aware of the fact that Alcatraz 2.0 is this twisted version of justice where only the most vile offenders end up on the island where they are killed off, one by one, while viewers at home watch. However, considering the fact that this is a young adult novel, I wasn’t prepared for all the blood, gore, and suspense of it all. And I do mean that in a really good way. Which makes me sound demented, but I love that the author didn’t tone it down. Alcatraz 2.0 is a really awful place where the executioners all have a moniker and style to their killings. For instance there’s a cannibal, a Robin Hood, and a deranged fashion designer that has a knack for decapitation, just to name a few. The fact that the executions are broadcasted not only live to the viewers at home, but is also blasted throughout Alcatraz 2.0 means that the prisoners, and thus the readers, don’t miss anything.

One thing that I found interesting was that the prisoners on Alcatraz 2.0 lived a semi-normal life. They had their own house, they were given a job at one of the various stores on the island, and they would go to the store to purchase food to cook at home. Granted, I say semi-normal because you don’t want to be out at night, there are cameras following you everywhere you go (even the bathroom), and you want to check under your bed every night because there could literally be a killer hiding under it. So while you got a few small moments of normalcy, it was always laced with this fear that you’re being watched and some machete-wielding lunatic could pop out of nowhere, at any second and snatch you up to take you back to the “stage” they have set up for the viewers at home. You know, because what fun would a public killing be if it wasn’t acted out with flair?

Needless to say, I really enjoyed #Murdertrending. We got to follow the main character as she makes friends, and fights to stay alive. However, we also got to read some of the comments coming in from the viewers between chapters. It was interesting to not only witness what was going on at Alcatraz 2.0, but to also see how people back home were interpreting it. Between the fanatics who loved it all, to those who called it a conspiracy, to others who thought it was all fake and scripted. It was actually kind of horrifying to think that there would be so many people who would watch something like this and then feel the need to argue about it in the comment feed. But then again, that is society today… which made the whole story just super creepy. My only gripe is the main villain in the story and the whole reasoning behind everything we’ve read. I wish that was a bit more fleshed out. I won’t go into details since I don’t want to ruin anything. I just felt like when everything was said and done, I was left kind of deflated. There was this big buildup and then it was just meh.

If you are looking for a dark and twisted story where a group of teens are stuck on an island filled with psychopaths, then look no further. This story is filled with suspense and death. It may be the first book by this author that I’ve read, but I will definitely be adding some more of her stuff to my list.




6 Thoughts on “Review: #Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil

  1. This sounds awesome!!!! I went over and added it to my TBR before I commented so I wouldn’t forget. Thanks soooo much for sharing.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. This does sound really good even though it lost some of its steam at the end! I’ve had my eye on it since I saw it. I can’t wait to read this one! I love the concept. It’s like the public executions from back in ‘the day.’ Though I wouldn’t have wanted to be around for those.

    Great review.

  3. YIKES! This sounds scary, but a little bit fascinating and different too! Glad you enjoyed the storyline! Hugs…RO

  4. Well that sure sounds different.

  5. This sounds like a trip, and even more twisted than I was expecting lol. Definitely can’t wait to read it now!

  6. This sounds so very good. I loved her other slasher horror book, Ten. 🙂

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