I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.For Real by Alison Cherry
Published by Random House Children's Books on 2014-12-09
Genres: General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
From Alison Cherry, author of Red, a novel PW declares “sparkles with wit,” comes a terrific new book about two sisters and one big question: how do you know who’s for real?
No parents. No limits. No clue what they’re in for. Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister’s shadow. While Miranda’s life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality television.When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just after her college graduation, it’s Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They’ll outshine Miranda’s fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks.
Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome. But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life . . . or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what’s for real?
I have to admit that I am not a reality TV person. In fact, I think the only reality TV show that I have actually seen the most seasons of is Dancing with the Stars. I have also watched a few seasons of America Idol and America’s Got Talent but Dancing with the Stars is the only one that has really fully captured my attention. Oh, and admittedly back in the day I did watch episodes of Rock of Love because I had friends who were addicted to it and wanted me to experience it too. Spoiler alert: I still don’t even know what to say about that mess. Anyway, all of this being said I’m not exactly sure what made me want to request For Real by Alison Cherry on Netgalley given that I’m not a reality TV person but, I can say that I’m glad that did.
Compared to me, the main character of For Real Claire is a reality TV junkie. She watches all the reality TV programs, records all the episodes, learns all the secrets, and always gets excited when a new show is coming out. Her older sister Miranda is more like me in terms that she does not understand reality TV at all nor does she understand her sister’s obsession with it. Yet when Claire concocts the perfect scheme for Miranda to get back at her cheating ex-boyfriend by auditioning for the reality show Around the World, she is quick to take her up on the offer.
Miranda sees the opportunity of Around the World as a way to get back at her ex-boyfriend. Claire sees it as an opportunity to bond with her sister while helping her get her revenge. Although they have been close, they have never been able to fully get along with each other due to their personality differences. Claire is hoping that being involved in a reality show will help change it. She also hopes that the experience will help Miranda see that she is not a little kid anymore and will stop trying to protect her as much. Of course, there is only so much reality in a “reality TV” and the sisters are quick to learn that everything may not go entirely as expected.
At its heart, For Real is about the relationship between Claire and Miranda, and how far you are willing to go for your family. There are many different experiences on the reality show which cause both the characters to have to think quickly at the particular moment in time dealing with the repercussions later. These experiences also help build character growth for both of the sisters. I mean, the growth is not necessarily substantial but it is there for both of the main characters. There are also some sneaky, slimly characters involved in this story because what would a reality TV show be without some slimier characters? Boring.
I admittedly enjoyed the sneaky, slimly characters and the world which Alison Cherry created within the reality TV world. Some of the names of the newer reality TV shows which she came up with and the plots for all of them made me laugh and at the same time shake my head because I could totally see someone taking her ideas and making them a reality. I also felt that she had done her research in terms of the reality TV shows and how they operated and what actually happens behind the scenes. Having this information made the book more enjoyable for me.
For Real is a cute story that is easy to read. It is not necessarily a deep story which is perfectly fine given that was exactly what I was in the mood for at the time when I was reading it. Trust me, with all of my school work recently, I have enough deep reading for a while. Also, there are some twists in this story which I did not even expect so kudos to Alison Cherry for coming up with them. It’s hard to explain without giving away the full story but it really is one hell of a reality TV journey!