I honestly knew little about BUBBLE WORLD before I picked it up. This knowledge was limited to the cover – Barbies in a fish bowl – and the synopsis, which didn’t give many clues other than dystopian leading toward apocalyptic perhaps. This book has pretty much been a mystery to me other than being labeled as science fiction/contemporary, and to reveal too much about it gives away stuff that you don’t see on the synopsis. Well, I’ll try to deal with this issue as best as I can by comparing it to The Matrix.Sadly, it wasn’t that part of The Matrix that BUBBLE WORLD is reminiscent of. Damn, if someone would write THAT book, I’d be down. But don’t worry, I am not going to spoil everything, but imagine if Neo and Trinity were actually Ken and Barbie, vapid, and actually only like 17. Then you’d have BUBBLE WORLD.FREESIA MEETS REALITYHere is my main problem with BUBBLE WORLD – the first fifty pages before we get to the twist which changes the book into an exciting page-turner are really, really not good. Unless you are really into watching a girl walk around talking about how pretty she is, how awesome her life is, and every single outfit in her wardrobe. But on the island of Agalinas, populated with nothing more than the hottest people in the world (and obviously the hottest teenagers), this is normal. It’s just very boring, very annoying, and it will no doubt make a number of people DNF this book before they get to the good parts.But after 50 pages, don’t worry – this book, relying on the strength of its somewhat predictable twist, gets going. It blends family drama, self-esteem issues, corporate espionage, and consumerism while being quite scary in a sense. This is really how our world is becoming, one based more on the laurels of getting what you want than actually having something to contribute to society, like skills and ambition. In Agalinas, ambition is relegated to having the most clothes and the biggest house versus things like getting a great education and into a good college.Freesia’s growth as she begins to unravel the problems with Agalinas is exceptional, albeit compromised by her conditions and those around her. But Freesia really did grow on me from the first 50 pages, I have to give her that, and she was one of my favorite parts of this entire book.ENDINGS DON’T HAPPEN IN FIVE PAGESMy biggest two problems with this book, though, are the beginning and the ending. After we spend 50 pages in the beginning doing set up about Agalinas and rubbing it into our minds by force that Agalinas is enthralled with shopping and houses and inexplicable things that add up to one big consumerist fairy tale, Snow spends about one chapter dragging this story to a halt kicking and screaming. As such, the ending definitely suffers. Books can rarely be wrapped up in a few pages, and BUBBLE WORLD deserved more pages and more time to tie up threads. As it is, it’s like the story slams on breaks before crashing into a brick wall, and in the end the bumper gets crushed but the occupants are okay. It’s not a great ending, but it’s far from horrible in the long run.But what can I really say about BUBBLE WORLD without spoiling it? Not much, just that I would definitely recommend this one to people who are into fast-paced moral young adult novels that have a lesson. BUBBLE WORLD is a fable about the excesses of life and the need to focus on simpler things, all while providing some definite entertainment.VERDICT: While BUBBLE WORLD has a horrible beginning and a car crash ending, it’s a consumerist-age fable that will appeal to teens looking for something reminiscent of The Matrix but not as violent. Check it out.