Zero Stars, Do Not Recommend

A Novel

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Pub Date Aug 06 2024 | Archive Date Aug 10 2024
SOURCEBOOKS Landmark | Sourcebooks Landmark

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White Lotus meets Kevin Wilson in this whip-smart social satire about a man who finds himself trapped on an island resort after the sun explodes, and suddenly must choose whether to save himself from the chaos, or help the fellow guests make it off the island alive…

Vacation Checklist:

Pack swim trunks.

Apply sunscreen.

Survive the apocalypse?

Professional underachiever Dan Foster is finally taking a vacation. Sure, his life has been average at best, and yeah, he's never quite lived up to his potential. But after a few Miller Lites in paradise with his girlfriend, Mara, things are starting to look up.

Then the sun explodes.

With the island resort suddenly plunged into darkness (he really should've sprung for the travel insurance), Dan's holiday goes from bad to worse when elite guests stage a coup and commandeer supplies. As temperatures drop and class tensions rise, revolution begins to brew on the island, and Dan accidentally becomes a beacon of hope for the surviving vacationers. But when one six-person plane is discovered that could get them back to the mainland, Dan realizes he has a choice to make.

Does he escape the island with Mara? Or does he stay and fight to become the most unlikely hero of the end of the world?

White Lotus meets Kevin Wilson in this whip-smart social satire about a man who finds himself trapped on an island resort after the sun explodes, and suddenly must choose whether to save himself from...

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ISBN 9781464218026
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 93 members

Featured Reviews

Wow. Five stars, do recommend.

This will certainly be a book to pick up when it releases later this year. The copy on netgalley has some formatting issues, but the story is insane.

Shortly after the sun ceased to exist I started to think of the Stanford Prison Experiment and Lord of the Flies, but with in a newly opened remote island resort. The absolute worst parts of humanity were on full display as this cast of mostly unlikeable humans attempted to survive the apocalypse. The buildings themselves operated as a bit of a caste system, and the people from Building A wound up seizing control and letting a MLM woman and her megachurch pastor husband take the lead. I truly do not know if a more terrible duo could exist. There are murders, unsolved true crime mysteries, people behaving horrendously, and a few failed attempts to stage a rebellion against the worst couple in history.

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I was immediately drawn in by the title of this book, and the story did not disappoint!

The book is well written and conceived, with a colorful cast of characters and an interesting premise. Dan is a relatable protagonist facing familiar challenges in his day-to-day life. But then the sun explodes and you get to see how an everyday guy reacts to the potential end of the world. Even in this fantastic, imaginative tale, the range of responses experienced among the characters was authentic and believable.

The book is part dark humor, part satire, part accurate representation of humanity's ridiculousness. The writing was sharp, and I couldn't stop thinking about it, even after the story ended. I was honestly a bit surprised to learn this was a debut novel. I can't wait to read more from MJ Wassmer!

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Thanks for the ARC through NetGalley.

Let’s just say I was kept on my toes until it was confirmed at the end. As one wonders what would happen in a post apocalyptic world this book sure did bring to life done off the things I could think of but fine in a way that keeps you guessing. Any plot holes (or those that could have been thought to be) that I found were addressed by the end with I found refreshing.

I enjoy when books can transport you into them, which this did, although in a different way, since I was trying to figure it out. I made the mistake of explaining my theories to my husband who then gave me two options and told me what he would do personally. If I could rate lower because I had to utter the words most wives don’t like to tell their husbands “you’re right,” I still wouldn’t.

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Zero Stars, Do Not Recommend MJ Wassmer is a debut novel. Congrats! Please keep on writing!

Dan and Mara have been dating, they go to the Bahamas for a two week vacation ... and the sun explodes.

This book is really quite entertaining. I like the authors quick wit and writing style. "His mornings were slow, morose little things, but hers were set afire, from the bed to the shower to the sink to the coffee maker to the closet to the car, all one unstoppable bolt of activity, God help whatever's in the way."

Many thanks to NetGalley ... especially for introducing me to this new author. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for approving my request to read the advance read copy of Zero Stars, Do Not Recommend in exchange for an honest review. 384 pages. Publication Date is 06 Aug 2024.

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This book is everything, I HAVE to pick up the physical copy of it when it comes out. I was scared with the author's witty, satire writing at first because sometimes it can be too corny and cheesy where it drives me away from reading it, but this one....I NEED MORE. To be honest, I requested the book as I thought it was rom-com-esque but it's so much more than that, absolutely loved it.

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In the realm of literary wonder, MJ Wassmer's "Zero Stars, Do Not Recommend" emerges as a quirky and unpredictable tale that takes readers on a wild and hilarious ride. Protagonist Dan Foster, a self-proclaimed professional underachiever, embarks on a much-needed vacation with his girlfriend, Mara, seeking respite from his monotonous and unfulfilled life. Little do they know that their tropical paradise is about to be turned upside down by a cataclysmic event—the sun decides to explode. With the island resort plunged into darkness, Dan's holiday takes a drastic turn for the worse. Elite guests, driven by primal instincts, stage a coup and seize control of essential supplies, leaving the remaining vacationers in a desperate struggle for survival. As temperatures plummet and social hierarchies crumble, a revolutionary spirit ignites among the survivors, and Dan, quite意外地, finds himself thrust into the role of a reluctant hero. In this chaotic and surreal scenario, Dan's journey of self-discovery unfolds, as he grapples with his past choices, confronts his insecurities, and discovers hidden reserves of strength and leadership. His transformation from an apathetic underachiever to a beacon of hope for his fellow vacationers is both endearing and inspiring. Wassmer's witty and satirical writing style shines through as he weaves a tapestry of absurd and humorous situations, poking fun at the absurdities of modern society and the lengths people will go to survive. With its offbeat premise, quirky characters, and unpredictable plot twists, "Zero Stars, Do Not Recommend" is a refreshing and entertaining read that will leave readers laughing out loud and pondering the fragility of our modern world. Wassmer's unique voice and captivating storytelling talent make this novel an unforgettable experience, reminding us that even in the most extraordinary circumstances, hope and laughter can prevail.

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What an interesting book! Unlike the title, I definitely recommend that you read "Zero Stars, Do Not Recommend." As this is a new author with his debut novel, I took a chance on this book based on the title and the book description. And I was happy that I did! This book is about a couple who goes on a vacation to a new resort and as they're at the resort, the sun blows up. The resort guests are forced to come up with ways to survive and are forced to work with (and against) each other to make it through each day. The book had a lot of interesting twists and was actually pretty humorous for a dark topic. Definitely take a chance on this one - you won't be disappointed!

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I borrowed this one based on the premise and wowwowwow, was I impressed by this wildly entertaining debut novel! I was pulled in from the first chapter and enjoyed each and every page of this even when I was shaking my head and hating on certain characters; tbh, I couldn’t turn the pages of this dark comedy quickly enough.

Definitely not a ‘zero stars, do not recommend’ from me - this was fantastic and I can’t recommend it enough ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m already looking forward to reading whatever MJ Wassmer writes next!

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for the DRC

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Thank you @netgalley and @sourcebooks for the eARC of Zero Stars, Do Not Recommend by @wassmerwrites in exchange for an honest review!

📖📖 Book Review 📖📖 Dan is enjoying his tropical vacation with his girlfriend Mara, and it is the perfect 82 degree day when the sun explodes. This scenario was not in the travel book. The question lingers for all of us: how would you respond to the apocalypse in paradise? This book answers that question and so much more, filled with a gracefully executed existential humor that will keep you turning the pages in endless delight! Zero Stars, Do Not Recommend is unapologetically actually a five star, would recommend to anyone and everyone read!

Review is posted on Goodreads and will be on Instagram well ahead of publication!

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Zero stars do not recommend was a great book. It really kept me intrigued throughout the whole thing, I did not want to put it down. I will most definitely be buying this book just to read again. The ending was a complete twist and not at all what I had expected. I will most definitely be recommending this to anyone who asks for a good book to read. 11/10

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I had so much fun with this book! Between the lovable characters, comical writing, and fast paced unpredictable plot, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Playing with the idea of an apocalyptic setting with modern characters and humor is a fun premise where many books set at the end of the world can be super serious and a bit dull. The perfect book for getting out of a reading slump, this book keeps you on your toes and having a good time.

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Not at all what I was expecting, but everything I wanted. Dan Foster may be my new favorite fictional character.

Wassmer has clearly spent time with Southern mega-church folks, because some of his characters could have been biographical. Absolutely hit the nail on the head.

In fact, his characterization of each social subset was nearly perfect - a testament to the author's travels, colorful acquaintances, or simply that he's a very skilled writer.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page, and am eagerly anticipating Wassmer's future efforts.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this advance copy.

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This is a hilarious book about one man navigating the potential end of the world while stranded on an island resort with a bunch of panicked vacationers.

Dan is on vacation with his girlfriend at an island resort when the sun explodes. But the world doesn't immediately end, curiously enough; they're just plunged into darkness. There's some panic, of course, and then when reality sets in, Dan has to figure out who he can trust and how to get them all out of this situation. Told through Dan's hilarious, often sarcastic and self-deprecating voice, this is a very funny look at how the potential end of the world might go. I loved all the commentary on class differences -- it was so spot on -- and how vividly the characters are drawn. 5 stars, would recommend this book to anyone looking for a funny and thought-provoking read.

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