by Heather Demetrios
Read: February 24, 2014
Published: February 4, 2014 by Henry Holt BYR
Category: Contemporary YA, reality tv
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Goodreads Summary: There’s nothing real about reality TV.
Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.
5 reasons why this book made me incredibly happy:
1) The reality TV show plot - This is actually a reason that I initially passed this book by. The name branding and made up television company made me nervous at first, but I ended up getting really into what it was like behind the scenes of a reality TV show. Or rather, what it might be like. I was completely fascinated and horrified seeing how 'daily life' was manipulated for the cameras, and how almost everything was fair game for TV use. The whole process made me completely sympathize with Chloe/Bonnie™ and why she wanted to get away from that life so badly.
2) Siblings - Chloe is one of 13 children, a chaos that I can't even imagine. But she's especially close with her brother Benton™, who has his own issues going on in this story. Chloe and Benny's relationship was one of the best parts of this book. I love how supportive they were of each other. I love my sisters, but Benny made me jealous about not having a brother. I was also just as wrapped up in Benny's life as I was Chloe's. My other favorite sibling was Lexie™, who is the exact opposite of Chloe, in that she truly seems to relish the spotlight. But I really liked the glimpses we got of her and how her relationship with Chloe progressed in the book, even though they'll always be bickering sisters. I could relate to that.
3) Well adjusted and supportive friends - Chloe has two close friends Tessa and Meredith, who are another great addition to this story. They don't know about Chloe's past when this book begins, and though there is some hurt when they realize Chloe isn't who they think, it's handled appropriately and realistically, and not in an over dramatized fashion. I appreciated Chloe's relationship with them, and their present/normal families too.
4) Romance - If you read this book for nothing else it should be Patrick Sheldon. This dirty haired boy is sure to steal your heart too. I can't say enough great things about him and the romance in this book. He pursues Chloe in a very sweet way and is incredibly supportive of her. Amidst the high drama and stress of Chloe's life he is a breath of fresh air, and a very normal but also incredibly swoony boy.
5) A plot that is fresh and fun and current - Even with the wacky reality show setup and crazy scheming mom, these characters felt like they were normal high school kids. It was a combination of the supportive friends, sweet romance and sibling relationships, but I felt like I was reading about real people and not tropes or how YA high school books think characters and angst should go. I cannot wait to see what else this author writes!
Love Triangle Factor: NONE
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone - but I have heard the rumor that the author is working on a book for Lexie™