by Heather Demetrios
Publisher - Henry Hold BYR
Release Date - February 4th 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
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.
I've never really read a book based on reality TV shows especially that of a young adult novel. I'd like to say the last one I really read and is also a key element of the novel was 1984 by George Orwell as part of my dissertation. That seems like a long time ago. Granted I've never been much of a classic reader either but the whole camera following you around purpose sparked an emotional if not erratic response out me, thinking why on earth would you subject yourself or have a world built of prying eyes. When I saw that Something Real was going to be my next club read, I jumped at the chance to read it and see that the emotions that welled out of me where ones of love and inspiration of people that Heather created.
Based in a world that very few of us really know we see into the life of a girl, whose life has been shamed in front of a camera since she was a baby. You see the happiness and the ugliness of someone with such vibrancy dulled in comparison behind a lens. This girl is no different from anyone else, her name is Chloe but her stage name is Bonnie Baker. Bakers Dozen, a TV show best known in the states about a family of a dozen children who's life is recorded day in day out of the life they lead. Bonnie Baker is the star of the show, when she little, her mum could really only have her, Lexie and Benton and due to complications. These three kids were the originals stars, but now more have joined the family. Once the show ended seven seasons into the show, it was time for a reality check and one Chloe fully intended to embrace. She changed her, her identity really as she didn't want to be that person behind a camera, I mean who could really blame her. Chloe has never had a real life, a childhood, it was full nannies and homeschooling and peeing little toms on the studio set. So when her mum finally decides, or more forces on the kids that Bakers Dozen is returning once again. Thus ending her dream and enter the nightmare.
Chloe has finally managed to build a life for herself outside of the show. Her identity is completely unknown to the school and even to her best friends, she is invisible to the naked eye for once. Like any normal teenager you want to revise, pass your exams with flying colours, have crush on a boy and also have him ask to you to prom. His name is Patrick, Patrick Sheldon. It's just bad luck that when they start getting to know each other that the Baker Dozen returns to live TV. She is afraid of the consequences and the media getting their grubby hands into something that is hers to have and hold, that isn't for the public eye. Can't she have anything in her life that is sacred to her. Patrick is completely unfazed by Chloe's status in the world and on TV. But her certainly doesn't want to give up on her either. That is what is so lovable about his characters, you fall hard for the boy who is going to love and protect her. I can imagine him saying, "I'll save you" but that is the humour and comedy that Heather really entwines with characters. Their romance throughout the book hits some walls but they jump over them, it's a romance that I felt connected too on a deep level myself, Patrick for me was just the perfect boy for Chloe and also for me. hehe. You can't do anything apart from fall head over heels in love with him.
“Hate is a lot like love. It's warm and fills you up until every part of you is tingling to release it.”
Her family was a beautiful and ugly affair, do not get me started on her mother. God I really wanted to bash her head against the wall. That is why I wanted to throw the book in the first place. Clearly being a celebrity really does strip the good out of you, all you see is this shell of person, twisted and cold. Especially in front of the camera. Mix her mum and the director of the show and you for yourself a time bomb for Chloe and for yourself. The one genuine character in the family is Benton Baker. He is the truest soul in the book and one that can know your deepest, darkest feelings and secrets just with a glance. He is pure ball of light and he just melt s your heart. What I also came across was that this was classed a LGBT novel, which in all fairness I haven't really read that many but I was surprised that it made me love it even more.
Something Real was a passionate book for me. Like I said it can drive you up the wall with anger. and annoyance. It's a book you want to throw at the wall because of such a diverse plotline that it is. It confronts the audience from indulging them in a literary version of Big Brother. But forces you to realise the reality of how a camera can corrupt yourself and ruin your life from such an early age. I'm elated to say that Chloe came out of it with a much more stronger approach to her life as well as a new start...
Rating - 5