The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus


The bestselling authors of The Nanny Diaries introduce a new heroine to root for: Jesse O'Rourke, coffee barista, high school senior, and unwitting reality TV star.

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.


I really didn't know what to expect from this because on one hand I LOVED Dedication by Emma and Nicola though on the other I disliked The Nanny Diaries. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised with The Real Real which never lacked in drama or romance; two of my favorite themes.

While the beginning was a bit too slow for my taste, as soon as Part II labeled "The Reels" started up it went by quite fast from then on.

I really liked Jesse's character. She was smart, nice, and had some funny lines. Plus, I loved how she wasn't the typical "rich and snotty" girl you see associated with most reality shows, instead she was some who cared about her grades and friends. The same with Drew and Melanie. Nico, Trisha, and Jase, on the other hand, where not people I was found of. Since they were constantly fighting for fame and fortunate, never realizing how there actions could hurt their cast mates

One of the most rewarding qualities of this was the plot. It was interesting to think how you would feel if you were staring in the first ever reality TV show. Plus, it showed you an inside look on that topic, one that made you never ever want to be part of one of those shows. Lastly, it sometimes provided a twist or turn that changed everything, ones that you didn't always see coming.

Overall, The Real Real is a fast read that I suggest for a day at the beach or pool. I look forward to seeing what Emma and Nicola have coming up next in the YA market.

Grade: B-/ C+

The Real Real is now out. Plus, The Real Real is part of Harper Collins "Browse Inside" program which allows you to view the first couple of chapters for free!


  1. Iread The Real, Real also and enjoyed it also. I think I'M goingbto check out Dedication

  2. Since I loved Laguna Beach and Newport Harbor, I think I may like this book. It has a really interesting plot. Good review :)


  3. I have been debating on picking this one up, thanks for the review!


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