Title: Something Real
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry Colt and Co.
Date Published: February 4th, 2014
Pages: 416 (hardcover)
Age range: 12+
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.
Was this book as fantastic as I hoped it would be? No. Was it something that I've never seen before? No. Was it a page-turner? No. All of that being said, I thought that a lot of people would like the book (which really didn't affect my rating at all).
First off, the characters. Bonnie/ Chloe got on my nerves SO much. She was incredible whiny, self-centered, whiny, bipolar, and have I mentioned whiny yet? She could never make up her mind, and her favorite thing to do was whine and wallow on a heaping mess of self-pity. We know that the author can write great characters, because Benny was a great person. He was funny, caring, and he just seemed like a good person. I feel like he would've been an amazing best friend and brother to have. Patrick, our love interest, was so average that I couldn't muster up any feelings toward him. Nothing made me go: "Oh, gosh, I like this guy" and nothing made me go: "Oh, gosh, I don't like this guy". I did, however, loathe Chloe's parents (all three of them), the show's producers/staff, and Chloe herself.
The plot itself was fascinating! It was such an amazing plot- it was just very poorly executed. There was a lot of potential for really great things to happen within the plot, but the story spent way too much time worrying about Benny, worrying about Patrick, and worrying about Bonnie, that we lost sight of the real twist at the end. For the first two-thirds of the book, NOTHING HAPPENS. We putz around in Bonnie's life, but almost nothing of importance happens. And I mean it. This book could have been about half its size, and it still would've been long enough. I liked the twist at the end(ish), but I feel like it could have been drawn out more. No, not more pages of suspense necessarily, but more development, more repercussions, and more... well, drama. Everything ends far too perfectly for everyone, and I wanted to know what happened to the rest of Chloe's family in the book- the end was lacking.
Okay, so, minor rant time... Were Bonnie's parents supposed to be villains? Obviously, MetaReel was a villain, but, in my opinion, Bonnie's parents were even worse. All three of her parents were absolutely awful- I couldn't find a redeeming quality in any of them. They were so distant and uncaring. According to Bonnie's mom, everything Bonnie complained about was just Bonnie trying to get attention. The mom became almost full-on abusive- verbally and physically. Overall, none of the parental figures sat well with me, and they left a sour taste in my mouth.
All in all, the book was okay. The plot was so promising, but a whiny lead, and flat love interest, awful parents, and too much detail on little things led to a book that fell wildly flat.