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What Is Real

3.11  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Dex Pratt's life has been turned upside down. His parents have divorced and his mother has remarried. When his father attempts suicide and fails, Dex returns to their small town to care for him. But heis not prepared for how much everything has changed. Gone are the nice house, new cars, fancy bikes and other toys. Now he and his wheelchair-bound dad live in a rotting rent ...more
Paperback, 295 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Orca Book Publishers (first published April 1st 2011)
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May 06, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it
My Summary: Dexter Pratt used to have a great life. His loving parents would buy him anything he wanted, he was popular, and he had a band and a camera and actually lived in the same house as the rest of his family. But then, all of a sudden, everything changes.

Dex's mom moves out, divorces his dad, and gets married to some politician guy she met online. His dad - so distraught by being abandoned by his wife - attempts suicide. Because of this, Dex is forced to leave his posh new life (private s
Aug 06, 2011 cecilia rated it it was ok
Shelves: blue-covers
Lost in the pot-induced haze in the cornfields behind his house, Dex Pratt cannot tell the difference between reality and fiction – or even past and present and future – any more. He smokes until he forgets everything, until nothing makes any sense anymore – and somehow that makes that makes the most sense of all. When he begins to obsess over the new girl and a crop circle mysteriously appears, Dex knows that something might be wrong. Yet he can’t seem to clear his head long enough to figure ou ...more
Mar 01, 2012 Librarysteph rated it liked it
Shelves: for-jury
Reading this book made me feel like I was on drugs. I've never actually done drugs, mostly because I like to be in control and the out of control nature of being on them terrifies me. It also reminded me of being very sick, you know when you're fever is so high you get delirious or you're in so much pain you can't really process anything else...those feelings I'm familiar with and so I had a hard time enjoying the book, it made me dizzy picturing things through Dex's perspective.

"maybe we laugh
Sara Latta
Jun 10, 2011 Sara Latta rated it really liked it
Whew...what a long, strange trip it's been. Or something like that. This is one dark, intense novel.
Dex Pratt's life is falling apart, as we learn from his pot-addled narrative. His father tried to kill himself after his mother left him for a rich politician, but ended up partially paralyzed instead. His step-brother dies of a heroin overdose. Dex's father, once a lawyer who defended marijuana growers, has taken to growing it himself. And Dex? Dex copes—or tries—by helping himself liberally to
This book was certainly . . . interesting. Told completely from Dex's perception, you're seeing things only through his eyes. Meaning if he can't tell the difference between what is actually happening and what he is only hallucinating, you can't, either. And because Dex is high for nearly the entire length of the novel, things quickly become distorted and it's easy to become as confused as he is.

I think 'confused' is a great way for me to describe how this book left me. It was good in its own ri
Jun 05, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
In this YA offering, Dex Pratt's life as he'd known and enjoyed it has disintegrated, gone forever. He is left trying to piece together what's left while taking care of his father who is confined to a wheel chair after a failed suicide attempt. His father, once a lawyer who grew tomatoes, now has a grow-op in a rented house in a rotting cornfield. Dex's mother has tossed him believing he was involved with the drug related death of his stepbrother and he has lost contact with his sister. Angry, l ...more
Mar 14, 2012 Alexis rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
This book is up for a YA prize in the British Columbia book awards. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this. Dex Pratt is 17. His parents split up. His dad tries to commit suicide, and turns from growing tomatoes to growing weed. Dex becomes the caretaker of the weed and becomes a massive stoner.

This is a really depressing book. It's also one of the best examples of an unreliable narrator. Dex makes up movies and is constantly reframing his life. There are times when you don't
Jul 22, 2013 Zahra rated it liked it
I found this book quite confusing because he has flashbacks all the time then there are bits where hes making a movie or something and there all these scripts so I couldn't quite keep up with what was actually happening in the book. I think the author put bits in which wear'nt quite nesassary.

It's a boy named dex and hes parents are divorced he looks after he's dad and he lives in a crappy house which is next to a corn field. He has a girlfriend but there's this new girl and he doesn't know if
Apr 29, 2011 Holly rated it it was amazing
Ok, I just finished this book. I was a little unsure of it when I first started reading it because of how some of the book is set up like a script for a movie. But, once I really got into the book I realized it really works. This was a really interesting story. You have your main character Dex who is basically high ( on pot) the whole time and you get to see things how he does, then he starts to question what is real and what isnt. I really enjoyed the ending of this book I thought it was perfec ...more
Shelley Daugherty
Jul 18, 2011 Shelley Daugherty rated it did not like it
I really tried to get into this book but it was really difficult. I felt more like I was reading the rantings of a person on a pot trip since the main character is a big pot smoker. Half of the time, the storyline didn't make sense and the constant repeating of phrases, plus the addition of the main character trying to put part of the story into his version of a film did not help this book at all. I was very hopeful before I read it but I was very let down that so much could have been done with ...more
Aug 03, 2012 Heidi rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, orca, read-2012
Dex narrates the story of a month of his life, plus a few pages about "Now" and a bit of the past. His wheelchair-bound dad has Dex growing pot in their basement and Dex's story is pot-induced, forcing the reader to wonder if Dex's reality is, in fact, the truth. At times the story reads like a screenplay. There is plenty of language which makes this more appropriate for older teens. I just couldn't get into this story.
Apr 20, 2014 Katelynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This book is beautifully written even when it's describing ugliness (maybe even especially then). The prose, the characters, the motifs, the style and the narration - everything was unique and gripping even though I couldn't make sense of Dex's drug addled descriptions half the time. I didn't always enjoy every moment (I could've done without the Olivia storyline) but this book was so different and unpredictable and touching that I can't really fault it for much.
Rachel Seigel
Jul 29, 2011 Rachel Seigel rated it really liked it
Written using alternating film directions and a type of present tense stream of consciousness, this novel tells the story of a boy who is barely hanging on, and the unbelievable encounter that changes everything. Liberal swearing and drug place this at older teen.
Tamara Taylor
Apr 12, 2012 Tamara Taylor rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, read-in2012
I really enjoyed this book. It is a total mindfuck and you feel as though you are taking a trip without ever leaving home. The narrator keeps you second guessing right to the bitter end. It was a bleak, sad novel but I am glad I read it. Full of amazingly skillful writing.
Jun 16, 2011 Ziaria rated it did not like it
I actually DNF this book. I could not even get past a few pages. The writing style did not mesh well for me.
Mikayla rated it did not like it
Apr 15, 2013
Elena Vega
Elena Vega rated it liked it
Jun 07, 2015
Jazz rated it it was ok
Jul 15, 2016
hannah may
hannah may rated it liked it
Oct 08, 2012
Jenessa Lopez
Jenessa Lopez rated it it was ok
Jan 08, 2015
Mandy rated it it was ok
Jul 07, 2011
Alonda Morgan
Alonda Morgan rated it it was ok
Dec 07, 2015
Rey rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2013
Counting_Coffins rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2014
Alyssa Soethout
Feb 25, 2016 Alyssa Soethout rated it liked it
it was slightly confusing but but other than that it was good
Melissa Byerly
Melissa Byerly rated it really liked it
Apr 10, 2014
Sarah rated it it was amazing
Jul 17, 2014
Carmelita rated it liked it
Aug 10, 2016
Caitlin Hendrick
Caitlin Hendrick rated it did not like it
Oct 21, 2013
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Karen Rivers is too thrown by the "Date of Death" drop down that has appeared below her name in the editing section of this page to actually write anything about her life. When she recovers, this box will be filled with imperative biographical information and may include SECRETS and probably also a few LIES. Now she is going to sit back and anxiously track that "Date of Death" box in case a date s ...more
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