Title: The Real Real Author: Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Age Range: 15+
Publication Date: June 1st 2009 Pages: 309
Genre: Chic-Lit, Contemporary
Synopsis: Imagine there was never a Laguna Beach, a Newport Harbor, the shimmering Hills. Imagine that your hometown—your school—is the first place XTV descends to set up cameras.
Now imagine they've trained them on you.
When Jesse O'Rourke gets picked for a "documentary" being filmed at her school in the Hamptons she's tempted to turn down the offer. But there's a tuition check attached to being on the show, and Jesse needs the cash so she can be the first in her family to attend college. All she has to do is trade her best friend for the glam clique she's studiously avoided, her privacy for a 24/7 mike, and her sense of right and wrong for "what sells on camera." . . . At least there's one bright spot in the train wreck that is her suddenly public senior year: Jesse's crush has also made the cast.
As the producers manipulate the lives of their "characters" to heighten the drama, and Us Weekly covers become a regular occurrence for Jesse, she must struggle to remember one thing: the difference between real and the real real.
Review: The Real Real is a great, fun, and quirky book which gives teenage girls an insight on how real the reality tv shows teen girls worship really are.
As part of my unofficial new year's resolution list (unofficial because I am a picky reader and incredible stubborn) to broaden my reading library, I am begninning my new attempt into the world of chick-lit/contemporary reads. The Real Real was the perfect first read for my journey. It had just the right amount of chicklishusness without it being so annoying I was tempted to throw it across the room *cough* The Clique *cough*.
Jesse is just your regular everyday girl. She has no desire to have the limelight or to have a camera in her face 24/7. All she wants is to go to school, go to work to save up for college, snag her crush Drew, and hang out with her best friend Caityln in between. Is that what she gets though, Nope!!! Soon she is pushed into the very unreal world of reality television and forced to try to decipher what's reality and what's real.
To be honest, the characters in this book irked me. Jesse was a likeable chracter, though throughout the book she got more and more annoying to me. In the beginning she was a nice normal girl with rational thoughts in here head, then by the middle all that rationalitly leaves her, causing her to make stupid decisions and really lose herself. All annoyingness aside, I still enjoyed the book being told from her viewpoint. Her best friend Caitlyn annoys me most of all throughout the book. I didn't know it was possibly to harbor so much jealousy towards your best friend over something that she couldnt even control. I did though enjoy Drew's chracter all the way through the book.
Although the characters were not my favorite in the world the plot kept my nose in this book from beginning to end. It really was just like watching the making of a reality show. There is always one character that I start to sympathize with because it is seems that everything is going wrong for them. That was Jesse. She is all of a sudden looking at her life from the outside. Scandals, betrayals, and plastic surgery. All the aspects of reality television.
The ending wasn't exactly as I expected it to be. I just know I was shouting "you go girl" all through the last pages. I reccomend this book to all those who love chick-lit, contemporary reads, and reality television!!!
Writing Style: 8/10