Title: The Real Real
Author: Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Reading Level: Young Adult
Reading Timeline: About 2-3 days.
"There is a difference between The Real,
the Reel, and the Real Real"
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.
Carrying the legacy onto YA, Emma and Nicola have done it again.
Jesse O'Rourke is your avaerage student. She hangs out with her best friend Caitlyn, goes to school, works, and tries to survive. That is until XTV crahses into her life taking all her freedom and her best friend away from her in exchange for a 40,000 dollar scholarchip for college. They casted 6 students, Nico the popular perfect girl, Trisha, the shadow of the popular girl, Melanie, the popular girl's real best friend, Rick, the guy that I don't really know because he doesn't leave an impression on your mind, Jase, the asshole, and Drew, which at times I wanted to hit with my fist because he kept sending this totaly mixed signals to our MC. In order to get the 40,000 the six kids must participate in a "documentary" about the real lifes of high school teenagers. But as the creaters start taking things the wrong turn Jesse will have to ask herself if 40,000 is really the price for her soul.
With comedy that is sharp as a dagger this novel brings us to the other side of reality T.V. A side you wouldn't have really expected. The things that happen behind the lensses will leave you with your mouth opened, and at certain times, if not all the time, you will want to hit the director where the sun don't shine.
The Real Real is a very funny and engaging novel. I read it non stop and still wanted more by the end. Though not really intense, the novel has it's moments. It's fun, it's light, but at the base of the novel it holds a truth that will change your perspective when you are watching reality T.V.
Not only that, but Emma and Nicola really know how to take the masks off of issues and put them right on the open. First Nanny Diaries, a novel about how rich people often ignore and don't raise their children, now The Real Real, a novel where nothing is what it seems and where sometimes in order to survive you have to sacrifice what is most dear to you.
When I started reading this book I had in my mind an image of Mean Girls, because of the tree popular girls and then the one who crashes from the outside. The characters may seem a little steriotypical at first, and some stay that way until the end, but some of the characters come out of their shelfs and shine by the end. Jesse is your typical normal teenage girl, and though not my favorite character of all times, I still liked her and rooted for her the entire book.
The romance of the novel had me going AHHH! Because nothing was what it seemed and you could think something was going to happen but suddenly the cards changed and you were left felling like you were in the middle of New York City with no map.
Which leads me to my final point. The novel has twists and turns I didn't expect. Including the ending. But this was what kept me reading, the twists, because by now Ive read so many YA's somethings are expected, but again this novel took me by surprise.
Emma and Nicola should write another YA! Or maybe even make a numero dos book for this one...