Published by Macmillan on 2014-02-04
Genres: Adolescence, Family, General, Love & Romance, Performing Arts, Social Issues, Television & Radio, Young Adult
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.
Sometimes, books take you by surprise and we all love when this happens. When you start a book with not so many expectations only to end up loving this book so so very much! Before reading Something Real, I read another story dealing with a Realty Show and it didn’t turn out like I hoped. Something Real however, totally blew my mind!
Just Being Normal
Chloe lives together with her huge (insanely) huge family and she grew up on TV. There were always cameras around and she never could do anything private. Having this huge family (11 siblings …) she also never had parents that were completely there for her. Some day when Chloe was 14 it was all too much and she finally wanted to get out of all this… so the cameras stopped, Chloe attended school incognito and she finally could be normal, with friends and a real life.
Just when she finally got over this very unique upbringing, her mother brings in the cameras again, and the circle begins anew. That’s it for being normal again, from now on everything will be filmed…
Wonderful and Broken Family bonds…
When I am thinking back to the book, I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling when thinking about Chloe and her relationship to her brother Benton and to Patrick, her love interest. As screwed up as this family is, Chloe and her brother are so wonderfully tight and close.
The whole story very much features and talks about relationships and family bonds, be it the screwed up one with her big family, the wonderful one with her brother, the very difficult one with her sister and the beautifully heartbreakingly sweet romance with Patrick.
I loved reading about these dynamics and developments and Heather Demetrio got me so completely sucked up into this story that I would have love to jump into the pages and get to know them all and follow their story more closely.
I guess the hardest and most complicated relationship to deal with was with Chloe’s mother. It’s hard to show a mother in a light where she puts herself always first and where she does not listen to Chloe, who wants to have a normal life and hates the cameras to the core, yet her mother was a selfish bitch and she got me so angry and worked up!
Oh So Sweet – The Romance . Oh Boy..
And now, let’s talk about Patrick and the romance. Ohhh Patrick! He was the perfect boy for Chloe! He was strong, didn’t give a crap about the life as a TV start she had before. Patrick wanted Chloe – not the brand-name Bonnie, and it didn’t matter to him how hard he had to prove it to her, that he was there for her, all the time.
Their relation took a while to develop and again, it was one of these aspects that made this story so unput-downaable. Their friendship slowly turned into love, with Patrick being so incredibly sure and secure about himself, that he gave Chloe all the strength she needed!
This story was absolutely and incredibly wonderful. Filled with angst, a complicated family, many difficult relationships but also with wonder, hope and love. Something Real by Heather Demetrio is a book that completely took me by surprise by how rich and deep the characters and the story were.
You know how often you find yourself reviewing a book and not being able to put your feelings into words. I fear that I couldn’t do this book enough justice as it was such an incredibly wonderful story that I wish many more people would go and read! It’s so rich, filled with so many wonderful characters on one hand and so cruel, selfish ones on the other hand.
Did you read Something Real? Did you love it as much as I did? Or, did you not care for the book and had different expectations?
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