Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on 04 February 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, GLBT, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Also by this author: I'll Meet You There
Place(s) Traveled To: Clovis, California
First Line(s): It took me four years, seven shrinks, three different hair colors, one Zen meditation retreat, and over six hundred mochas to get to this moment.
I am not a big fan of reality tv and there are only a couple of reality shows that I will watch but ones the follow around the lives of celebrities or similar aren’t among them. So the fact that I was drawn to Something Real by Heather Demetrios is out of the ordinary for me as it is a book that goes behind the scenes of a large family who spent the bulk of their life starring on a reality tv show. Something Real is told from the point of view of Bonnie(TM) as she struggles with being forced back on reality tv. Her mom and stepdad come up with a slew of reasons why its necessary to do the show again but Bonnie(TM) wants none of it especially with all the reasons why the show went off the air in the first place. To make matters worse, Bonnie(TM) seems to finally moving forward with her crush, Patrick Sheldon, and she fears that being constantly watched and edited for tv will ruin her budding romance.
Words can not accurately describe how much I loved Something Real I loved Bonnie(TM)’s story and loved her relationship with Patrick. They were just so sweet and genuine and they just made my heart ache. But the relationship that I loved most of all was that between Bonnie(TM) and her brother, Benny(TM). They were siblings and best friends and I would have been happy if the entire book was just those two talking to each other. There were moments of pure joy when Bonnie(TM), Benny(TM), Patrick, and Matt were all on the page together. I would have loved this book if it was just a straight romance but there was more to Something Real than that. There was conflict in this book and drama…oh so much drama. But not the sort that you normally see that causes a break up of the main love interests so praise be an hallelujah for that.
No the conflict comes between Bonnie(TM) and her mother. Oh. My. Stars. I have not seen such an evil, manipulative parent in a long time. I almost prefer the absent parents to ones like Beth Baker-Miller. Ok so she wasn’t really evil but she wasn’t a good mother either always putting her own wants and desires above those of her children. Letting her kids get exploited all for ratings and not caring about the damage that the show did to them. If I could have reached into the pages and shaken one character it would have been her. Though Bonnie(TM)’s stepdad and real father weren’t all that much better either. My heart broke for Bonnie(TM) over some of the things that she had to deal with in the story and if it wasn’t for Benny(TM) and Patrick she might not have survived it with her sanity.
Something Real is one of those books that you don’t necessarily expect much of when you first pick it up but then you find yourself lost within its pages. When you hit the end of the story your heart aches because there is no more. The writing is strong and compelling and its hard to believe that this is a debut novel. I fell in love with Demetrios’s writing style and I am eagerly awaiting her next contemporary story, I’ll Meet You There (February 2015, Henry Holt), as I am sure that it will be another emotional, feel good story that will make my soul happy. I am less sure of her fantast story, Exquisite Captive (Oct 2014, Balzer + Bray). I’m sure that the writing is good but I’m just not sure if I want to get started on another series at this time. Have you read Exquisite Captive? If so, let me know in the comments if its worth the read. And if you have checked out Something Real yet then you really need to get on that as its such a good book.