Release Date: February 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
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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, 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 that 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.
Heather Demetrios' Something Real is the winner of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award.
It’s been a while since I’ve read Something Real but the story has stayed with me this whole time. This book has pretty much everything from family, friend and romantic relationships as well as diversity, a little humour but a lot of depth as well.
Chloe and her family are the stars of the reality TV show, Baker’s Dozen. The TV show has been running ever since Chloe was young and goes by the name, Bonnie™, on the show. The show was cancelled after Bonnie™’s scandal but now 17, the show has decided to pick up once more. I absolutely loved the idea of this reality TV show and it was one of the main driving points that made me want to read this. I definitely wasn’t disappointed. It was so interesting to see what it’s like for Chloe and her 12 other siblings to have to be on camera pretty much 24/7 at home with no privacy. I felt so angry for Chloe, because her life is impossibly hard due to this popular TV show. Her mum doesn’t even listen to what Chloe had to say, she pretended to be the Perfect Mother on television, but off air, she was barely motherly.
This is a very character driven book. Each and every character–even the minor roles were fleshed out with so much detail, it was glorious. The sibling relationships had to be my favourite. I adored Benny and Chloe, they’re the same age and were always looking out for one and another. They did everything together and had each other’s backs the entire time. It was so nice to see how tight they were. I loved the Lex and Chloe dynamic too. They aren’t all that close and are pretty cold towards each other, but throughout the story their sisterly bond changes a lot. The familial aspect of Something Real was well rounded, and had a lot of depth.
The thing I had quibbles with was the romance. Patrick felt too perfect for me, and I really expected him to have more depth like all the other characters. The romance Chloe and Patrick had also felt unrealistic at times. That being said, I felt that Chloe deserved a relationship where things weren’t too difficult and crazy, because the poor girl had enough of that with her home life.
The TV aspect doesn’t just end with Chloe being filmed 24/7. We get the whole thing. We get snippets of past episodes from years back, we get the difficulty with the paparazzi, we get interviews and events and the fame, but also we get Chloe’s struggle to get her own life back. I also loved how the media was also included into this. Demetrios doesn’t skimp over details.
In all, Something Real is a novel I definitely will be recommending to people who want to be introduced to the contemporary genre. It encompasses pretty much everything. I will also be buying myself a hardcopy, because I can definitely see myself rereading this in the future.
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