Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

Title: The Real Real: A Novel
Authors: Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Type: Hardcover
Publisher: HarperTeen (May 19, 2009)
Accquired: Amazon Bargain Books online

My Own Summary:

Jesse was just a normal girl living in relative high school obscurity. That is until XTV (do ya get it?)casts her in their new reality TV show about the lives of Hampton teenagers. This isn't really Jesse's type of thing, but when your parents work for the rich people and you are trying to get into Georgetown the $40,000 XTV will pay you is just too good to resist. Now she hangs out with the popular kids whom the producers inform her are her new bffs. This scripted drama creates havoc both on screen and off. Romance abounds, real and fake, and friendships will be put to the test. By the end of filming Jesse might be rich and famous, will any part of her old life be left? Or has everyone forgotten the real real?

My Thoughts:

When I found this book I was so excited about the subject matter and the fact that it was on Amazon bargain books didn't hurt. I am going to tell you all a secret. I am addicted to a certain reality show that features men and women who keep the bronzer making people in business. The Real Real gives a peak into what the lives of these so called "reality TV" stars might be like. Jesse is a character who has her life turned upside down by the TV industry. Her and her parents are drawn in by the money that will allow her to go to college and they are basically "owned" by the TV station until her contract is up. During this time she makes questionable decisions, but she is a teen who is thrust into these manipulative situations. Through the authors' writing it was amazing to see how quickly and without provocation people who both know and don't know these teens turn on them. I really enjoyed this book and it made me at least, kind of feel sorry for people of celebrity.

The only thing that I found questionable, or just thought didn't jive was the reaction of Jesse's best friend when she doesn't make the show and Jesse does. Maybe I hold people to a higher standard, but when your best friend in the world gets the chance to pay for college you don't hate them for their good fortune. The other thing is the lack of her parent's involvement. They seemed close at the beginning of the book, but they sort of drop off until the ...crap hits the fan. There is a letter/message that the mom writes to Jesse that I just couldn't believe. I am a huge defendant of Jesse and felt so sorry for her. I absolutely loved this book. The Real Real gets a 4 STAR rating.

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