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™
Ack! You make this book sounds awesome. I'm so glad you loved it :D Amazing review sweetie. <3 I am not sure about it, though. But I like the sound of the romance and Patrick, hih. And no love triangle? YAY :D But holy. 13 children? TOO MANY, lol. Thank you for sharing and being honest. <3ReplyDelete
I have heard nothing but good things about this book! I'm not a big contemporary reader, but I think I'm going to give it a go. I love a strong sibling relationship and an mc with supportive friends is even better! The romance, too sounds swoon worthy. Great review!ReplyDelete
The reality TV show plot was also the reason I was not planning on reading this book, but after reading your review, I'm going to have to add it to my TBR list! You make this book sound amazing. The friendships, the romance, the siblings, the fresh and fun plot. And it's a standalone. And no love triangle. Sold! ~PamReplyDelete
Yay! I'm so happy you loved this as much as I did, Lauren. I was initially afraid to read it too because of the reality TV show aspect, but I ended up loving it because of how eye-opening it was. Benton and Chloe's relationship was also one of my favorite parts of the book. I loved how close they were and how they weren't afraid to tell each other that they were wrong when they were.ReplyDelete
And of course Patrick Sheldon! *swoon* That guy is so perfect!
Lovely review, Lauren. :)
I think the romance alone is enough to sell me on this story Lauren, you know how much I love a good swoony boy, but everything else sounds amazing as well. I love that family plays such an important role, as do Chloe's friendships. It just sounds like an all around winner of a read and I need to go out and buy a copy immediately!ReplyDelete
I absolutely want to read this book and am so glad my library has it. I just read Reality Boy, though, so I want to wait just a bit before I do another reality tv show plot story. HOWEVER, I can imagine how I may feel about the reality show plot, because I know how I felt about the show in Reality Boy - although I know these two stories are not really alike. So glad you liked this one. I think H liked this one too, so that makes me feel good about reading it soon. (:ReplyDelete
ummmmmm! Can I borrow this one please friendie?? :)ReplyDelete
Okay that's it I have to read this one now. initially i didn't give this book a second chance because the whole "reality TV" aspect wasn't a selling point for me but lately i've been seeing so many positive reviews for this one and now i just know i made a mistake and need this book now. if anything,, like you said, for Patrick. He sounds adorable.ReplyDelete
Great review, Lauren!
You know my feelings on this. :) I couldn't agree more with your list!ReplyDelete
I'm pretty sure this is going to be one of my reads for the upcoming Bout of Books. I'll admit this is a book I initially dismissed when I first read the synopsis, but I've been reconsidering since then. I love that this seems to really focus on sibling relationships - and that the romance is pretty good itself. :) And yay for no love triangle!ReplyDelete
Well, thank goodness she has well-adjusted friends who have her back. Can you even imagine? That sort of life sounds like complete hell to me, although it sounds like it makes a fantastic story!ReplyDelete
I loved Something Real! I was surprised at how long it was when I first got it, but I definitely tore through the story real fast. I love that Heather managed to make her characters come to life, particularly Bonnie/Chloe, Benton, Patrick and even Bonnie's family and her two best friends. That was probably my favorite part of the novel, as I really enjoyed feeling like these characters should exist in (my) real life.ReplyDelete
I'm not a big fan of reality TV shows, but this book sounds pretty cool. I'm glad to hear the characters are so down to earth. Thanks for the great review! :)ReplyDelete