SOMETHING REAL is a contemporary young adult novel written by the very talented story-teller Heather Demetrios.
I have had the pleasure of discovering Ms Demetrios amazing writing and stories earlier this year when I read her newest novel I'LL MEET YOU THERE. I was impressed and of course had to have in my library all of her books immediately. This is how I come to read SOMETHING REAL.
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 the 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 all about to fall apart ... because Baker's Dozen is going back on the air. Neither her mother nor the show's producers will let Bonnie 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 going to be her own - even if it means being more exposed than ever before.
Let's start with the easy part first. It's time to look at the edition of the book. I own the first edition. A hardback published by Henry Holt publishing house in 2014. 404 pages long divided into single episodes of season 17 & 18 of Baker's Dozen reality show. I like how the titles of each chapter (episode) captures the development of the story. The cover of the book illustrates a lot of different TV screens, obviously I think this represents the cameras and TV screens in the life of our main protagonists. It's quite a colourful design which immediately catches your eye. When we take off the jacket, there is a red book hiding inside. It is a beautiful edition.
Now, let's have a little talk about the writing. As I mentioned before, I was really impressed with Ms Demetrios style of writing and story-telling. It's modern. Very relate-able. Exciting. Emotional. Thrilling. Entertaining. And very funny at times. It presents us with a great look into a life of reality TV.
Ever wonder what it would be look like to be a part of Kardashian clan and spend all of your life on TV? When it is not all glamorous and fun as it seems on the TV screens. It has been actually pretty great to have a inside look into the lives of these people and I did enjoy that the author chose somebody who doesn't like their life to be shown to everyone in the nation. Bonnie (Chloe) is a great example of when fame got wrong. She actually tried to kill herself because she was struggling with her family's problems and every details being recorded by cameras.
The story touches upon various issues like suicide, betrayal, break-down of a family, cheating, finding out your true self. It's a great read. It tells a story of a young girl and her brother, who have been struggling with fame. They have finally found piece, true friendship and a little stability in their lives. But nothing lasts forever and Bonnie's mum sign up the family for another season of Baker's Dozen. And their lives are thrown into chaos once again. Past mistake are brought up again. Heart-breaks are shown on live TV. There is no thing such as privacy. But this time Bonnie and her brother Benton decide to fight for what they love and what they want.
This book was a wonderful read. It wasn't as amazing as the first book I've read by Heather Demetrios - I'LL MEET YOU THERE. But it was an enjoyable read. There was laugh, tears, broken relationships, newfound relationships and friendships, fight for freedom and privacy... It's very emotional as it does portray family relationships at its best and at its worst.. And sometimes it breaks your heart when you see how much Bonnie's mum doesn't understand her children and does everything in the name of fame and high ratings. Nobody's family should betray them like Bonnie's.
The characters are all loveable and very relatable. Every single reader can find bits and pieces of them in all of the characters. The emotions and characteristics are very raw and makes go on an very sensitive ride.
But saying that, there was just something which held me back when reading the book. I didn't fall hopelessly in love with it. I didn't rave about. Even though, it was beautiful, I missed some important ingredient which would make it un-put-down-able.
All in all, I would give this book a 3 star rating. It was a great read. Lovely. Emotional. Packed with some hilarious and also some heart-shattering situations, but it was the best for me. I much preferred I'LL MEET YOU THERE.