Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Reality Check by Jen Calonita

Goodreads Description: "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."

My Review: This book was great! The plot was, yes, cliched and overdone (if you want a book that's somewhat similar to this book, read Watch Me [also known as Reality Chick] by Lauren Barnholdt), but the book was still fun to read anyways. I really loved the main character, Charlie; she wasn't one of those bland, personality-less heroines (*cough* Bella Swan *cough*) and she also wasn't one of those whiny heroines (you know: I'm so ugly, I'm such a loser, No one notices me, blah blah blah). She was fresh and funny and she seemed like a REAL kid, the kind you would want to know. There wasn't exactly much character development, however, especially for Charlie's friends, and I would have loved to see more of Keiran's story. It seemed very realistic and intriguing. Unfortunately, Calonita never really delved into the lives of ANY of the girls. On the other hand, it was VERY amusing seeing Team Brooke & Marleyna versus Team Charlie and Friends. Brooke was one of those characters you love to hate, and Marleyna was just plain annoying. There was never really a slow moment, though sometimes I thought the girls were kind of stupid not to realize who was tricking them earlier; I mean, it was kind of obvious. But anyway... I also liked how the book didn't focus on romance. Too many YA books do that now, and it makes NO SENSE. Romance is not 100% of peoples' lives. Reality Check focused more on friendship and drama, which was cool.

Cover: The cover is adorable! Cute Bratz-like dolls on the cover, each one realistically representing one of the girls (the dolls actually look like the characters). I love the symbolism---dolls = fake, etc---and honestly, the cover is just plain CUTE. Especially with the pink background and the glam-like words and the funny little tagline.

Overall Grade: A-


  1. I love Jen Calonita's Secrets Of My Hollywood Life series. Reality Check is a good book...better than Sleepaway Girls...but still not as good as SOMHL. Charlie is a great character - nice, funny, charismatic, Type-A, confident but not overly so - the type of friend we all want.

    1. Exactly! That's what I loved about her. She was so realistic and normal!