Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Real, Real by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

When Jesse O'Rourke gets picked for a "documentary" being filmed at her school she's tempted to turn down the offer. But there's a tuition check attached, and Jesse needs the cash for college. All she has to do is trade her best friend for the glam clique, 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.
The Real, Real is a story about what happens when you "sell" your soul to the camera. The only problem is, that "what goes on behind camera" gets put into a major reality TV show for teens.
Even though I didn't exactly enjoy the entire novel, it was a fairly good example of what happens when you become famous for something that wasn't suppose to be filmed. I liked the first half of the book because I admired Jesse's character and her sense of humor. Jesse seemed like she had a level head and couldn't possibly get wrapped up in the drama of the TV show. As the book progress, however, she looses her sense of right and wrong (as the book jacket says) and her character. Without realizing it, she starts creating things that will "sell on camera". Even though Jesse starts to realize that things need to change, it isn't like she made a step for silver screen exit. Just goes to show you what the film fever can do to you.
The other characters in this book were desperate do anything for the media--specially Trisha. The only person who stayed out of trouble throughout the entire book was Drew. There is also quite a bit of language and sexual innuendo which knocks a couple points off my rating. Sometimes this book felt more like an adult novel than a teen one.
Overall, I have to admit I didn't really like The Real, Real all that much due to the fact that I was kinda disappointed with how Jesse handled everything. Unless you love reading Hollywood-like dramas then The Real, Real probably won't snag your fancy. Fans of The Nanny Diaries might enjoy this as well. Appropriate for ages 16+.

|Pages: 309|Year Published: 2009|Publisher: Harper Teen|
|Genre: Contemporary fiction, romance|
|Age Group: YA, ages 16+|
|Content: Language, kissing, & some sexual situations|
|Enjoyed It: 2/5|Content: 2/5|Cover: 3/5|


Want to win a *signed* copy of the new paperback edition of The Real, Real? Enter my Anniversary Giveaway Bash to win this book and your choice two others!


Tales of Whimsy said...

You have a beautiful blog!

Unknown said...

I don't really think this book is for me but thanks for the review.

Cindy said...

Thank you for an honest review :) Great review

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