Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Reality Check by Jen Calonita
Sixteen-year-olds Charlie, Keiran, Brooke, and Hallie have just been signed up for their own reality television show. They can't even believe it. "You'll be The Hills meets The Secret Life of the American Teenager," the Armani-suited executive tells them, "and the hottest thing on our network." How could they say no?
But soon enough, cameras following them everywhere and interfering producers surreptitiously scripting their lives start to affect the four best friends' relationship. Brooke seems to want all the screen time. Keiran is abruptly written out of the show-and consequently the group's friendship-when she doesn't rate well. As soon as Charlie realizes what's going on, she figures out the perfect way to give the studio and her home audience a much-needed reality check.
Because friends don't let friends do reality shows.
After reading Jen's previous novel Secrets of my Hollywood Life a couple of months ago, I was ecstatic to read more by her. So when Reality Check ended up in my hands, I jumped right in, eager to see if this novel would live up to her previous one. Sadly enough, while I did overall enjoy it and liked the characters it introduced, I felt that sometimes it lagged a bit when it came to the actual plot.
Charlie is the classic door-next-door type of character since while she does have a great group of friends and a possible chance on having an amazing boyfriend, she isn't exactly what you would call High School royalty. Though, this soon changes when her and her friends Keiran, Brooke, and Hallie are offered an amazing deal filled money, money, and, well, more money. That deal? Well, a reality show, of course!
I really liked Charlie and her friends because each brought a different a side to the story that made in the fun read it was! My favorite character probably would've been Charlie, the narrator of the whole ordeal, because from the start she was sweet, smart, and a good friend, making her a character that was not only very likable, but one that I constantly rooted for. Plus I loved her cutesy type relationsip with Zac!
Adding to this, I also liked how Jen showed the different ups and downs of friendship throughout with Charlie, Keiran, Brooke, and Hallie. Since it not only rang a high point of reality, but it shows to girls out there that have gone through something like the Charlie went through in Reality Check that sometimes no matter what you do to stop it, your best friend can drift away and turn into someone you never thought she would be. And while this can be a hard thing, it does make you stronger and give you a better look on all of your friendships in the end.
I also loved how Reality Check gave you a reality check when it comes to all those reality shows you see on the TV constantly, and showed you that even though it can be a sweet deal, there is a lot of bad aspects that come along too.
Though, as mentioned above, the plot wasn't always filled with action, and because of that it became predictable. Leaving me to be able to tell from about halfway through what was going to happened, but because of the characters this wasn't always the biggest of problems. Plus, it did manage to pick up the speed it had lost in the beginning at the end and became a mostly decent read plot wise in the end. But I did like Jen's writing, I just would've liked to see some more action.
Overall, Reality Check is the perfect read for a lazy summer day that in addition to being a fun and charming read has some great messages thrown in also!
Reality Check will be out June 14, 2010!
Source: Author/Publisher. Thanks Jen/Little Brown!