Customer Reviews for

Reality Check

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Friends under the microscope

Charlie works at a coffee shop where her three best friends come hang out with her during her working hours. A scout spies them there one day and asks if they're interested in having their own reality show centered around Charlie.

Charlie's not sure she wants to do t...
Charlie works at a coffee shop where her three best friends come hang out with her during her working hours. A scout spies them there one day and asks if they're interested in having their own reality show centered around Charlie.

Charlie's not sure she wants to do the show. What if it changes their amazing friendship? Her BFFs Keiran, Brooke, and Hallie really want to do the show. So she caves.

At first, it's weird in front of the cameras, but soon the girls don't notice the intrusion. They're spilling secrets, dating boys, and fighting with each other. When the first show airs, they're astonished to see how different it appears than their real life together.

Charlie notices a BIG change in her life. Her would be boyfriend doesn't want to be on T.V. - thus they can't go on dates together. She's fighting more with her friends - especially Brooke. Brooke isn't happy that the show centers on Charlie and begins to create her own star power. Keiran always has to baby-sit her siblings, making her life a tad on the boring side. Hallie wants to find true love, but in the reality world, that's really hard.

Will the girls survive the show with their friendship intact or will the cameras pull them apart as they swore they wouldn't?

My Thoughts: I really LOVE this author. This book sucked me in and devoured it. I couldn't stop reading it. I loved the angle of this book in the midst of all the reality T.V. shows (which I can't understand). I loved the friendships between the girls, the drama from the show, and their relationships with boys.

posted by mrdarcy3 on August 31, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

hate it ugly for every one

this is terible

posted by Anonymous on February 26, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2011

    So good

    I read this in two days and loved it. So i read it again (i am such a dork). But i think Brooke is a snob and charlie is my fav. I reccomend for people who enjoy friendship ans drama.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2012

    I liked it, but they should've gave it a different ending.

    I liked it, but they should've gave it a different ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Not as good as I expected

    I am a HUGE fan of Jen and when I saw this I couldnt wait to read it. But i wasnt as impressed as some of her other books. I hope her next will be better.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    So Cute! Loved it so much!

    you have to read this book if your into girly books

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2011

    The usual.

    Overall the book is good read to pass the time. The only bad thing about this book was that it was a predictable plot. It was basically something that when you read the summary,you instantly get a picture of what the plot was going to be. The xharacters in this book was someone you could really picture,and you can relate to the way the main character,Charlie, reacts to certain situation. Jen Calonita's insight in the entertainment business gives us a realistic potryal of the world of reality tv. If there was a sequel, I would read it. But, it wouldn't be in the top of my priority list kind of thing....

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  • Posted August 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by John Jacobson, aka "R.J. Jacobs" for TeensReadToo.com

    Take four sixteen-year-old girls: Charlie, Keiran, Brooke, and Hallie, each different and a unique personality. Charlie is the group leader, entertaining and peppy. Keiran, her long-time best friend, is quiet and always stuck babysitting her annoying siblings. Hallie is the flirt, both extremely pretty and constantly modest about what her boy skills do. Brooke is the one who wants fame and glory, and to get out of Cliffside and her life as the daughter of two farmers. The offer to do a reality show for Fire and Ice, the new MTV, is just too good to pass up for these girls. Before they know it, they're rocketing towards fame and fortune, and they can't get enough of it.

    Of course, once the cameras start rolling, things don't go as planned. 'Scripted reality' just isn't cutting it. Either they have to redo scenes, or they fight because of one thing or another. And when the previews for the show start to come in...they realize that what they say on screen is entirely different from off. Then Brooke starts getting buddy-buddy with one of her old-time rivals, and a smattering of envy at Charlie's position as the show's star. Cliffside is seeing enough drama with this new reality series - but with the constant problems of this once-close group of friends, they may be getting too much.

    With a reality show style book, characterization is hard to work. Pretty much every book, this one included, has each girl as a personality archetype that fits the reality television standard. While it gets annoying after a while, I felt like Calonita really pulled off a good balance between the archetype and a fresh character. Charlie was an excellent protagonist to use; I love that she is the rock of the group instead of the one being changed by the spotlight. Her solid personality and ultimate goal of friendship was wonderful - heck, even her motivation for doing the show was great. Instead of thinking about fame, she thinks about paying for college, which is a lot more levelheaded than most heroines of books like this. Kieran and Hallie were also favorites of mine: Kieran being a great example of a quiet friend that, while maybe not the most outgoing personality, holds a special type of friendship with Charlie, and Hallie being well-rounded in that she flirts and is outright beautiful, but is searching for long-term relationships and not reveling in her popularity with the male sex. Brooke was an interesting turn from heroine to villainess throughout the book, and the way fame changed her was very saddening to me, as a reader, because of the strong portrayal of the group of friends before the fame got to her.

    As for the events....it really turned out like L.A. CANDY. It wasn't bad by any means - I liked the ending of the book a lot - but in the beginning, it's the same set-up of getting pulled into reality television for what it really is, and being duped by a producer that aims at getting ratings more than a good group of friends out of the deal. My main quip with it was that, until the last third of the novel, it didn't move as quickly as I would have liked. The drama wasn't as dramatic because of all of the characterization going on. While I liked said characterization, a faster plot would have been great. The romantic side bit with Charlie and her crush, however, was a great highlight...

    Read the full review at www.teensreadtoo.com

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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good but not Great

    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!

    Grade: B-

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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