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Something Real

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,310 ratings  ·  271 reviews
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,Bonnie™has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. Butit's about to fall apart. . . because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™'smom and the show's producerswon't le...more
Hardcover, 403 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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12th out of 51 books — 53 voters
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39th out of 134 books — 21 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Giselle
Not only is this a wonderful story, but it touches you from many angles: family, romance, friendship, homosexuality, privacy - just to name a few. It's thought provoking and inspiring, with characters who are just plain genuine.

Chloe (aka Bonnie™) is a celebrity who was literally born into a reality show. This show, reminiscent of Jon & Kate Plus 8, was a real eye opener on how reality TV isn't reality at all. Not only that, but they're almost criminal in how they affect children who don't...more
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Bonnie Baker is a household name in America, thanks to a reality TV show that she, her parents, and her twelve siblings have been on called "Baker's Dozen." But the hit show went off the air four years ago, much to Bonnie's relief. She and her family now live in a different town and she goes by the name Chloe. She's got great friends, a possible love interest, and a town full of people who know nothing about her. But now MetaReel, the production company that made "Baker's Dozen," is back, and Ch...more
Blythe
4.5 stars, because the love interest, as much as I loved him, was way too perfect. No flaws, whatsoever. And like, a paragraph-long fight that's resolved the next page with kissing. So. Also, he hand fed her on more than one occasion. I love you, Patrick, but please don't do that.

But still, I love this one so, so much. Review to come.
Keertana
As someone who turns on the television maybe five times a year--for the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, and ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas--I couldn't adequately understand the hype over Something Real. I've never watched a reality TV show--not unless you count Food Network's "Chopped"--and was ignorant of the existence of "Honey Boo Boo" and "Dance Moms" until very recently. I may be young, but I really do live under a bookshelf. Needless to say, Something Real flew over...more
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

Initial thoughts:

I adored this book. I wanted to slap Bonnie™'s mother more than once, and I just loved how Chloe and Benny got each other through it all. That family was pure chaos! And Patrick...suh-woon. Yep. I loved this book, and I'm kinda surprised it didn't get more hype before it's release because it's full of win. I don't even like reality TV all tha...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
So basically this book just stomped, trounced, attacked, and wrecked my feels.

AND I LOVED EVERY PAGE OF IT.

Review to come, but this was fantamarvelous (fantastic-amazing-marvelous).
Ksenia
Dec 29, 2013 Ksenia added it
Shelves: publicist-books
Simply loved the brother-sister relationship between Benton and Bonnie.
Melanie
Okay, that was pretty damn awesome. I loved the characters all dearly--especially Benny and Lex though I wasn't really sold on the romance because their drama just didn't feel all that realistic for me. Despite that niggle, there's a lot of diversity in this book which is absolutely brilliant and the story line was well executed.
Howdy YAL
Full Review is available on the following sites:

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When done correctly, I love YA contemporaries.

However, most of the time they’re epic failures. Especially if they involve reality TV.

Luckily, Something Real seems to an abnormality.

And I think it succeeded, in part, because it avoided other pitfalls that are commonly seen in books that tackle reality television.

To discuss what makes this book so good, I think there needs to be some discussion in what makes books so bad that take u...more
Jen
Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker was born on TV—she and her twelve siblings were the stars of a reality show called Baker’s Dozen. Since the show's cancellation, Bonnie™ and her family have moved, changed identities, and built another life, a normal life. But it's all about to fall apart . . . because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. And the life that “Chloe” loves (with real friends and a real boyfriend) may soon be a thing of the past.

Bonnie™ struggles to do the right thing by her fami...more
Nick

Something Real has been receiving some fantastic reviews from bloggers and readers. I will admit that the idea of a reality TV show did not appeal to me because I hate most reality TV shows (except for MasterChef) and every time I happen to catch a glimpse of a show like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo", a few of my brain cells die. But of course, I couldn't ignore all the praise that Something Real has been receiving and boy, am I glad I gave it a shot.

Something Real was a lovely lovely book that foc...more
Sheyenne
WARNING:SPOILERS

I did not expect for this story to be this good. Not only is it a great story it's very well written. I just hope that we get a sequel someday!

In this story we meet Bonnie Baker one of 12 who was on the hit reality show Baker's Dozen. The show followed the life of her and her family. But after a big scandal they canceled the show which was like Heaven to Bonnie. So to leave it all in the past and start over Bonnie starts going by a new name. Makes new friends and doesn't tell any...more
Isamlq
Something Real. This is the third book about Reality TV in YA contemporary I’ve read this month alone. And while I may have been thinking it early on, NO, this is not instance of how to beat a dead horse deader.

We’ve a set of siblings who mark each moment in their life by the season or episode the same has taken place. We’ve characters whose names have that oddly annoying ™ attached after, oddly annoying in that the same felt disingenuous in getting its message across… because I kid you not, a...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

I hadn’t initially requested Something Real, because, much as I actually love the scenario, there were so many ways such a plot could go to places that I did not want to be. Thanks to reviews from friends and the awesome MacKids publicist, I was able to come to this one belatedly. Something Real is indeed something really good and not to be missed. Lovers of contemporary fiction will definitely want to check this out, even if, like me, you would never ever watch this real...more
Trisha
I don't watch reality TV. I can't say it's for a moral reason, I just don't like it. I don't like feeling uncomfortable peeking into someone else's life. And it never felt real anyway.

But this is the THIRD book I've read about kids being in the reality tv and how it's messed them up.

And it really makes sense. How invasive it is. How insane it is, not real life at all. The comparison to 1984 was very well done.

And I thoroughly loved Chloe/Bonnie. I felt her very real confusion, frustration, pain...more
Stacee
This was an interesting premise and I think it was executed perfectly.

Love love love the relationship between Bonnie and Benton. Their banter and they way they support each other almost make the entire book. The frustration they both feel over what they're going through is written so well, it's like I was with them.

And Patrick. JFC. I will be rereading just for this boy. I wanted to quote pretty much every thing he said. There were forts and playground camp outs and hidden roses and just so ma...more
Boyanna
A Receipt to screw up a dissent book: End it 3 chapter too late.

Up until that point it was a solid 3 (maybe even 4?) star book.
The main plot ended and than for a few chapter she was just deciding whether to go to college or not. It made her indecisive cow and made me loose my respect for the character and my enjoyment of this book.

for a more coherent (and nice) opinion, read Jasna's review on the blog:
Carly Thompson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jen Ryland
Initial reaction: reality television characters? a character with a trademarked name? No thank you!

Immediately after reading: I resisted this book for many reasons. But then this crafty book wormed its way into my TBR pile and into my heart. Could a book be anymore heartwarming or feel good or adorable than this one? I think not.

: The Hunger Games aside, I haven't had much luck with YA books that have a reality TV element. So I decided to take a pass on Something Real. But then I kept reading r...more
Misty
4.5

Something Realis a pitch-perfect coming of age story about finding yourself and your voice, and how much that struggle is compounded when all eyes are on you. I had a feeling I would like this one, as reality TV and the obsession with celebrity is something that freaks me out, frankly, and I think is ripe for the exploring through books like this. Fortunately, I wasn't wrong - Demetrios' story and characters easily won me over, and her humor and engaging style, and sharp understanding of huma...more
Celeste_pewter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff Raymond
Every so often, a book is recommended to you by a lot of people all in one swoop. I was surprised that it was this specific book, but if a number of people who know me from different areas of life all tell me to read something, okay, I'll give it a shot.

Something Real is a different premise. It tells us the story of Chloe, who is better known as Bonnie Baker, one of the children of the old reality series Baker's Dozen. She has successfully avoided the spotlight following an incident that ended u...more
Zoe

I’m sitting here on the Kaye Gibbons Show, and all I can think is that the whole country is sick. Sick with the idea hat it’s good to be known as seen by as many people as possible, to show every part of our lives to the public at large. Whether it’s Facebook photos, blogs, or reality TV, it’s like nobody is content to just live life. The worth of our existence seems to be measured in pixels and megabytes and “likes.” Those of use whose lives can be downloaded seem to have the most value – u
...more
Olivia Rauls
Something Real
by Heather Demetrios

I was originally drawn to read this book because of the interesting perspective it promised. I know I'm definitely guilty of watching a bit of reality TV, and we've seen that the people who are featured on those types of shows aren't always portrayed as "realistically" as they the TV stations claim. I expected something unique from this book, and it delivered.

First of all, I loved how the author inserted random media bits about the show into the story. Don't ge...more
Brad
Really enjoyed this one! Especially the brother-sister relationship.

Look for my full review soon!
Jasna


I hate to admit this, but I am a sucker for reality TV. While I know a lot of it is staged and altered, I can get sucked into the stories so easily. This book is definitely going to be in the back of my mind while watching them in the future.

I wasn't expecting much from this read from the beginning, but I really grew to care about Bonnie's experiences over the course of the story. I felt for her and spent most of the book furious with her negligent parents, reality TV, and a world where things...more
Ashleigh Paige
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I received from the publisher.

Reality TV is horror without gore or dead people. That's been my opinion for a while, especially since I read the brilliant Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV by Jennifer L. Pozner last year. Zooming out a little in my mind while watching reality TV horrifies me. All those crew members and cameras where we can't see them (and where they often shouldn't be), how easily we're man...more
Jess
You remember, about a year ago, when Kate dragged two of her oldest daughters onto some morning talk show in order to promote God knows what fresh hell? And they spent the entire interview in utter silence? And it was the biggest fuck you they could have ever said to her? And those of us that purposefully do not watch reality tv - especially featuring children - couldn't have been happy for them?

That's this book. This book is one girl finally breaking out from her mother's manipulations and fame...more
Ebony
Actual rating: 4.5 stars.

This review was originally posted on my blog, Daring Damsels.

Truly a unique contemporary, Something Real made me laugh, weep and feel for the characters in such a deep way which is something that I haven’t experienced a lot lately.

Chloe is a fantastic lead. She’s not the strong female protagonist that everyone looks up too, she’s actually quite the opposite. And, I love her for that. She hasn’t been dealt with an easy go at life, and she isn’t the best at coping with her...more
Kristina Lareau
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I found the discussions surrounding privacy to be timely and relevant, implications of constant surveillance of one another through social media and constantly performing to be philosophically engaging and appropriate for the characters to consider and discuss.

Chloe's character is well-developed and thoughtful; Heather Demetrios perfectly captures the misplaced guilt and feelings of inadequacy of adolescence especially when adults emphasize "selfishness" of teenag...more
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When she's not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real, which Publisher's Weekly calls “[An] addictive yet thoughtful debut” about reality...more
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“Hate is a lot like love. It's warm and fills you up until every part of you is tingling to release it.” 9 likes
“I’m sitting here on the Kaye Gibbons Show, and all I can think is that the whole country is sick. Sick with the idea hat it’s good to be known as seen by as many people as possible, to show every part of our lives to the public at large. Whether it’s Facebook photos, blogs, or reality TV, it’s like nobody is content to just live life. The worth of our existence seems to be measured in pixels and megabytes and “likes.” Those of use whose lives can be downloaded seem to have the most value – until someone outrageous comes along to claim their time in the spotlight.” 6 likes
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