Reality Check by Jen Calonita | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Reality Check

Reality Check

4.1 62
by Jen Calonita
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Naomi Butler
Friends don't let friends do reality shows—listed on the front cover and almost like a subtitle. How true it is as one reads the book and sees what happens. Sixteen-year-olds Charlie, Keiran, Brooke, and Hallie are friends—but when a television executive signs them up for a reality television show, their friendships and lives are never the same. Susan, the executive at the network, tells them that it will be the "hottest thing on the network." Cameras follow them everywhere and producers start to script their lives and relationships. The reader will watch the events unfold as the drama continues along. Eventually Keiran is written out of the show and the group's friendship changes. Charlie, the leader, realizes what is happening and does a much-needed reality check. The back-and-forth chatting and the fragile relationships seem maybe to be a bit much in this rather long story book. The dolls on the cover representing the characters could be pleasing to some; others may prefer some "real girl" pictures. Reviewer: Naomi Butler
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Isn't being famous every teenage girl's dream? That's what the best-friend foursome of Charlie, Kieran, Brooke, and Hallie thought when they signed up for a reality TV show based on their friendship in a small coastal town on Long Island, NY. What they didn't expect was the lying, the backstabbing, and how scripted "reality" can become. Charlie is the focus of the show, the good-natured girl everyone loves. As filming begins, Brooke is instantly jealous and wants the limelight all to herself. The rift between the friends is heartbreaking for them, but juicy and just what the producers wanted. Soon each girl must decide if the show is worth their friendship or if they can they find a way to get out of the contract. Charlie and Brooke stand out as characters, whereas Hallie and Kieran aren't developed enough to impact the drama. The story starts off slowly, but soon readers can really feel the tension. Teens will love the premise, and even though it might not be realistic, the emotions are. While fans of Calonita's "Secrets of My Hollywood Life" series (Little, Brown) will enjoy this title, the countless pop-culture references will make it dated before it even hits the shelves.—Nichole King, Morgan Hill Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Four best friends are catapulted to fame when they're discovered by a producer and showcased in a reality-TV show in which their relationships are put to the test. Sixteen-year-old Charlie and her friends Hallie, Brooke and Keiran sign on to the show with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Things quickly sour for the group as internal tensions rise, exacerbated by the cruel orchestrations of the show's producer, who pits them against one another in an effort to amp up the drama. Charlie also struggles with a spotlight-avoiding crush who asks her out just as the show begins. The primary characters are predictable, but they are convincingly developed, and the dynamics of the main four's friendship will be enjoyed by readers who favor novels that explore the inner workings of groups of girls. The criticism of "scripted" reality TV will be appreciated by teens who have grown tired of the seemingly endless succession of these shows. However, Charlie's love interest is a bit idealized, and the constant designer-name-dropping may irritate all but the most fashion-obsessed. (Fiction. 12-16)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316045537
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
06/01/2011
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Jen Calonita is a former magazine editor who has interviewed everyone from Justin Timberlake to Reese Witherspoon. She lives in New York with her husband, Mike; sons, Dylan and Tyler; and their Chihuahua, Captain Jack Sparrow. She invites you to visit her online at www.jencalonitaonline.com.

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