The Goodreads description:
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.
MY REVIEW! YAY!
I don’t know what I was expecting from Something Real but I believe it greatly exceeded my expectations.
So, this book is about Bonnie™ Baker. (Yes, the ™ is used throughout the whole entire book. You get used to it.) Bonnie™ was on a reality television show from her birth, which was on television, to age thirteen. The show was cancelled because Bonnie™ tried to kill herself when the pressure of being on television 24/7 finally got to her. I am not exaggerating when I say that she was on television 24/7. There were cameras throughout the house with a live stream available to watch online.
Four years and one father later, Bonnie™ is now seventeen and she is finally beginning to live a normal life. Well, as normal as life can be with twelve siblings. That is when her mom announces that, whoops, Baker’s Dozen is being revamped! Bonnie™ is rightfully furious.
The rest of the book follows Bonnie™ as she does her best to escape the clutches of her AWFUL mother and live a life separate from Baker’s Dozen. I get the most furious in books that have a horrible mother. This was one of those books. Bonnie™’s mother had no redeeming qualities. I tried to see the best in her but I could not. Her mother was just so obsessed with the show that she did not pay attention to what her children were feeling. I screamed at my book because I was so frustrated with her.
I bet you may be thinking, “Well, is there a romance?” OF COURSE THERE IS! His name is Patrick. Okay, Patrick was a little too perfect. I like it when a boy in a book is realistic, not the fantasizing of an author. I felt like Patrick was a little bit of a fantasy. His only flaw was that he had greasy hair which I cannot accept. My book boys will have nice, clean hair. Patrick was a great boyfriend and Bonnie™ would not have made it through her trials without him.
Bonnie™ went through so many awful things and I could not imagine being in her situation. She was exploited by her own mother and lied about in national magazines. This book teaches a very important lesson on invasion of privacy. I won’t share many examples because I do not want to spoil anything! Just the fact that these children and teens are followed around by cameras for their entire lives disgusts me.
Many may compare the show Baker’s Dozen to John and Kate plus Eight (or Kate plus Eight). I have never seen the latter show but from what I have perceived, they have many similarities. Bonnie™’s parents get a divorce like John and Kate did. The shows both follow a family with many, many children. Some differences are that all of the children, save Bonnie™, were either adopted or came from surrogate mothers.
I think this book also has similarities to the movie The Truman Show in which the main character, Truman, has his whole life on live television 24/7.
A great part of the book was Bonnie™ and her brother Benny’s relationship. They had a great brother and sister relationship. I loved to see how they supported each other through all of the incredibly tough times.
The end of the book is bittersweet. I will not spoil it!
This book made me hate reality television even more than I did before I started the book and I really hated it. I don’t care if it is Deadliest Catch, Say Yes to the Dress, or (worst of all) Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I refuse to watch reality television (besides 48 Hours or something like that). I just hate it. This book revealed that it is even more vile than I imagined.
Read Something Real if you want something honest, maddening, and eye-opening. I recommend it for ages 13 and up. The romance is more of a side note. This is not a romance novel, this is just a realistic fiction novel. That said, I think both genders could enjoy this book.
Your favorite fangirl,
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