Something Real by Heather Demetrios
What is Something Real about?
There’s nothing real about reality TV.
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 and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.
Going into this book, I thought it would be a cute, funny story about a teenage reality TV star. Something Real was so much more. Going into this, you see right away how much Bonnie hates doing the TV show. She is done with it and does not want to be a part of it anymore. You see what a toll this lifestyle has taken on Bonnie. She didn’t ask for this and more than anything, she just wants to be a normal girl. Heather Demetrios made me connect and empathize with Bonnie right away.
Bonnie is such a great person that has been put through so much. Her parents are divorced and she has twelve siblings. I think sometimes that I have a large family. It is nothing compared to what Bonnie deals with. Her mom makes decisions and does things without regard for Bonnie or the rest of the kids. Bonnie’s situation just really spoke to me and made me feel so angry, hurt and outraged right along with her. Normally, I don’t get really emotionally invested in a book – even if it’s really sad, I won’t cry. Heather Demetrios made me connect emotionally so much to these characters and this story. Sometimes, this book was really paining me to read because of how much I wish Bonnie’s situation could have been different.
The main problem was Bonnie’s mom. She did things without talking to any of the kids about them or asking how they felt. She has all of these kids, but never even really spends any time with them or does what is best for them. Throughout the book, Bonnie’s mom did so many emotionally hurtful things to Bonnie – without regard to how she feels about it (especially considering it’s all on TV). She is pretty much unapproachable, and is never someone you can rationally talk to. She never listens to anything Bonnie has to say without twisting it or talking over her. She is so horribly mean to Bonnie and sometimes I just couldn’t stand it. I absolutely hate Bonnie’s mom, and she is completely unredeemable in my eyes.
There were so many things I loved about this book. Through all of this, Bonnie always had one person she could count on – her brother, Benny. I loved the wonderful brother/sister relationship between Bonnie and Benny. There aren’t nearly enough wonderful sibling relationships in YA and this one was amazing. Benny is always there for Bonnie when she’s feeling down or needs someone. He sides with Bonnie and stands up for her. It’s hard for me to even really explain how wonderful Benny was – you’ll just have to read it to find out.
I also really loved the strong friendships in this novel. Her best friends, Tessa and Mer are so incredibly supportive through all of the craziness that Bonnie’s facing. Even when there was a reason for them to be upset with Bonnie, they accepted it and forgave her. They have a true friendship that really lasted despite all of the obstacles. The love interest, Patrick was so cute too. So many things in Bonnie’s life were so complicated, but he didn’t care. He liked her for her and was willing to accept everything that came along with it. Their relationship definitely had obstacles to overcome, but they faced them together.
This book really just blew me away. I loved all of it despite the fact that it was very hard to read at times. I appreciate so much how Heather Demetrios was able to make me feel so many real emotions. I can’t remember the last time I felt so connected emotionally to a story. Any book that can do that is a success to me. This book really provides a completely new look at reality TV shows and made me look and think about them in a way that I hadn’t before. It made me feel so grateful for my kind, loving and supportive family, despite the hard times. Heather Demetrios is a wonderful author and I cannot wait to read more books by her.
Have you read Something Real? What were your thoughts? What Heather Demetrios book should I read next?