Author: Heather Demetrios
Release: February 4th 2014
Genre: Contemporary, YA
#1 in the Something Real duology
Companion novel: The Lexie Project (#2)
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.
Honestly, there was something so off about this novel and that strange feeling carried throughout the whole book, making it impossible to fully enjoy it.
And you know what? I pin that entirely on the repetitive-ness of the novel. It felt like every single plot line was just forever on repeat, I swear Chloe breaks up, or almost breaks up with Patrick three times because she wants to protect him, and Chuck threatens her with the same things multiple times, it just got really freaking tedious after a while, reading about the exact same thing over and over.
The characters fit into this really well too, because I could count on all of them to stay the same over the course of the book. None of them really developed in any way, and I think that was what really set it apart from others; that's what made it feel so ... awkward and strange. These characters continuously did the same mistakes, said the same things, in an endless loop. There was no real progress for any of them.
Which is sad, because, as a result, the dynamics between the Baker family and Chloe's friends were non-existent, too. The only relationship I really loved and that was actually getting some sort of development was the one between Chloe and her sister Lexie, which was well done and emotional, but then again, there were ever only little snippets of them interacting either. It's very much in the background, sadly. Patrick and Chloe's relationship is extremely lame if you ask me, especially because it was the easy way out, saying that Patrick and Chloe have liked each other all along and stuff, there was no tension, no "will they or won't they" involved, which was boring. Her friendship with Tessa and Mer was two-dimensional, and the bond with Benny was only ever shown from one angle as well. There was so much potential in building up all of these relationships, but Demetrios didn't take the chance. Also, there is absolutely no info on the other 10 siblings Chloe has, we don't know shit about them. Nothing. They have no personality at all, it would seem.
The adults are all pretty shittily portrayed if I do say so myself, because all of them seem to be evil villains who don't care one iota about them and only want to exploit them, yadda yadda yadda. It got tiring after a while, and the saddest thing is that it was mostly true. Because Demetrios didn't write them any other way, so the reader had no choice but sympathize with Chloe because her Mom really was a controlling shitbag.
Didn't enjoy this one too much. I still might read the companion about Lexie, though, because I did like her.