Winner of the 2012 PEN New England Discovery Award!
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.
THIS BOOK WAS ADORABLE. It was so, so sweet. Yeah, it was twisted and messed up to levels that almost can’t be comprehended, but it was also sugary perfection. I love Patrick Sheldon. I love Benny. Matt too! Ahh, even Lexie. I was rooting for Chloe right until the end. I left feeling hopeful. At the same time, I’m glad I got to see the perspectives of others. I understood their motives, so I didn’t blindly hate them. It was more like… rational hate. Well, except Chuck. MetaReel was depicted like a big-bad corporation, and I wish Chuck wasn’t such a smooth-talking, manipulative scumbag. I guess that was the point though. I felt so sorry for the Baker kids. Chloe’s actions were annoying at times, but her situation was seriously screwed up.
This book is about family. Honestly, we didn’t get to know all the Baker kids too much. It was more about Chloe’s chosen family (which still included her brother). Chloe and Patrick were a bit too idealistic and innocent. It was so cute to go through the honeymoon stage with them, but I wonder if it’ll be sustained in the future. The die-hard romantic in me wants to say yes-yes-yes, but there’s still that chance that they’ll grow up in different directions. Who knows?
I have to admit that I’m a total reality show junkie. But wait! I’m not for keeping up with anyone or following exploits on some shore. I love shows like The Amazing Race and Big Brother (which was totally fitting with the whole 1984 thing in gov class—Demetrios was smart to juxtapose that with the storyline, while simultaneously depicting that feeling of finding a book that really resonates with you). The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle was fascinating, although inaccurate. I ended up looking it up, and it had more to do with quantum mechanics (and was incorrect at that) than a social experiment on human interactions. But the way it was used made sense anyway.
Overall, Something Real was a super cute, fluffy read. One page I’d be laughing out loud, another I’d be wiping away tears, and on another I’d be cheering (Benny and Chloe! Benny and Matt! Chloe and Patrick! True friends like Tess and Mer! YAAAAAS.) Even the unsavoury issues were handled with ease.
- You Look Different in Real Life – Jennifer Castle
- Reality Boy – A.S. King
- Watch Me – Lauren Barnholdt
- Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys – Kate Brian
- 1984 – George Orwell (pretty significant in the story)
- Cheaper by the Dozen (down to the last name!!)