By: Melanie | December 1, 2014 | (44) Comments

Review: Something Real by Heather DemetriosSomething Real by Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Pages: 416
Source: Library
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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.

4 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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44 Responses to Review: Something Real by Heather Demetrios

  1. I loved this one! Heather is such a great author! 😀

  2. Oh wow, the reality TV show aspect of this book is definitely really interesting, from the “TV mum” to the sibling relationship that is portrayed. Really love the sound of this book Mel, thanks for the review! Will definitely have to pick it up 🙂

  3. Yay for minor roles being well developed as well! I think that’s very important in a novel–I think some people forget that we don’t just need the main characters to have some depth 😀 I’ve never read anything by this author before–but it sounds like you’re quite a fan

  4. Let me tell you a funny tale, Mel. Just two days ago I was staring at the hardcover, contemplating whether or not I should just press the button and PURCHASE THE HARDCOVERRR. And then I thought “No Jess, better not make yourself go broke LOL” and so I stopped. But NOW I OBVIOUSLY REGRET IT BECAUSE YOU LOVED IT AND NOW I WANT IT. Oh god, why does this happen?????

    I want to see this family dynamic for myself!!! And a reality tv show–the on screens and off screens? Yeah, I think I need this one. Thank you for the fabulous review, Mel. And thanks for making me want to spend money. Appreciate.
    Jess @My Reading Dress recently posted…Vicious by V.E. SchwabMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      AH NOOOO JESS WHYYYYY But I totally get what you’re feeling. This happens to me like…90% of the time. I always regret it afterwards, bleh. The on and off side to the TV show was so fascinating, I hope you love it, Jess!

  5. I’m a big of a reality TV show junkie, so I LOVE the premise of this book! Just don’t tell any of my followers that I said that. 😉 I have yet to read any straight-up contemporary romance, although I have checked out a couple of paranormal titles that were borderline. Thanks for the recommendation for us noobs. 😀
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Early Review: The Stag Lord by Darby KayeMy Profile

  6. Lily says:

    I’m not the biggest fan of reality TV but I do love the idea of reading about a family who is on one. I can see how awesome it could be. I also love character driven stories and I love how you described each and every character being properly fleshed out. EVEN THE MINOR ONES!
    Lovely review 🙂 I’m adding this one to my TBR <3
    Lily recently posted…Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3):ReviewMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, I don’t like reality TV all that much either–too much pointless drama for me, ugh. But yes, this didn’t annoy me at all, because it wasn’t just about the TV side to things–it’s so much more than that.

  7. I’ve heard only good things about this one. I really loved Exquisite Captive and I’m excited for I’ll Meet You There. I need to add this to my TBR.
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…25 Days of Book Boyfriends: Madoc from Rival by Penelope Douglas!My Profile

  8. I like the sound of this one and glad it was still good on the reread. I have her newest book and I am eager to try this author for myself.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: Cowboy Boots for Christmas (Cowboy Not Included) by Carolyn BrownMy Profile

  9. Melliane says:

    I’ve never read something like that and I love the idea because well it’s different. It’s nice to see you had a good time. I need to try!
    Melliane recently posted…Casual Curses & Meticulous Magic by Lee RolandMy Profile

  10. I was convinced that I wouldn’t like this one — I find most reality TV-based fiction to be pretty melodramatic and over-angsty. But I really liked this. I agree that Patrick was pretty much perfect, but hey, that’s a book problem I can live with.
    Great review 🙂
    Jen @ YA Romantics
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  11. Jasprit says:

    I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about Demetrios books lately Melanie, so I’m glad that you were able to enjoy this book overall. I remember reading a similar contemporary book to this a few years back about characters who had been in a reality tv programme and the show had come back to see what was going on with their life years after and that was one book that I really enjoyed, so I have a feeling that this book will be my sort of read too! Fab review as always Melanie! 🙂
    Jasprit recently posted…Monthly Recap: NovemberMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      To think of it, yeah, she’s been around the blogosphere a lot lately! Probably because she’s releasing/released two books so close to one and another. Oh was that You Look Different Somehow or something? I cant remember the title lol.

      Thanks, Jas!

  12. Missie says:

    I just couldn’t fully get into the story, it just felt so surface for me.
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
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  13. Mary Claire says:

    Ohh! Reality tv? I haven’t read a book with that concept in it yet. Sure, there’s the typical “girl next door gets cast in a huge TV show and becomes famous” kind of book, while “fall in love with a famous guy/girl” is more common (both of these types can be amazingly cute to me if executed right), but going in depth about someone’s life on and off-screen and showing what they’re really feeling, thinking, and going through sounds like a very interesting parallel to me. I’m putting this one on my TBR.

    Great review, Mel!
    Mary Claire recently posted…November 2014 Wrap-UpMy Profile

  14. Divya says:

    I just picked this up from my library after reading your review, Melanie! This has been in my TBR list for a long time now, and you just convinced me to go pick it up. The whole ‘reality show’ concept had me intrigued, since I’ve never read that in a book before. I hope I enjoy it as much as you did! 🙂

  15. I reeeeally want to read this. I hear only good things about it! Except…reality tv makes me angry. Gah. My mum and sister were watching the Bachelor (back a while ago) and gosh I get really annoyed and angry at those kinds of things. >_< IT'S SO STUPID. *calms self* But still. I want to read the book. *nods*
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Goodbye! I’m Moving!My Profile

  16. Humor’s always a niee addition. What’s sad is I can see this really happening. (I would not want to be famous.) Characters so make the book and I love that the sibling relationships are good ones. I don’t like too perfect love interests either, I’d rather one with a bit more reality, but I guess the author wanted something to go right.
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Princess of Thorns By Stacey JayMy Profile

  17. Valerie says:

    I WOULD NOT BE HAPPY WITH BEING FILMED. Just reading your review about it makes me mad for Chloe. Because to be commercialized just sounds sucky 😛

    Awesome review Melanie! I’m really interested in this actually!
    Valerie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #33My Profile

  18. I loved this one! The reality TV show is definitely a unique aspect to read about and I loved how much the characters were fleshed out. I really loved Patrick, but agree that he (and his and Chloe’s relationship) was a little to perfect and convenient at times. Glad you enjoyed this one, Mel – and thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂
    Ebony @ Daring Damsels recently posted…#RiteofRejection Blog Tour: Review + GiveawayMy Profile

  19. Gurl, don’t you be dissing my OTP and Patrick. 😛 Haha, no, I’ve heard this a couple of times, but I guess we don’t get enough of these type of “perfect” relationships in YA, so I ate it up with a spoon. I just loved them together so much.

    I really liked Benny, too, of course – he’s such an awesome brother. And I’d love to get a Lexie book at some point!

    Great review, lady!
    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted…ARC Review: Top Ten Clues You’re CluelessMy Profile

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