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


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

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
File size:
726 KB
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

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Reality Check 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
mrdarcy3 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is like my favorite book ever it is a wonderful story!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 12 and i loved every second of this book!!
Laura Landro More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is funny and fast-paced. I highly recommend it.
Allison9516 More than 1 year ago
I liked it, but they should've gave it a different ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was super great i love jen calonita shes a great author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi! I read the sample and i really wanted it good! I am glad i got the sample....if not then i probably would have not gotten it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
His book was the best book ive ever read i love the whole thing and will probly read it again there ws never a dull moment in this book.
Benik Der-Gevorgian More than 1 year ago
Although the beggining was a bit slow, i realy felt like i was watching a movie the whole time. I loved tha it was more appropriate than most books similar to this. The characters were well played out throughout the stor and it was so emjoyable, i finished it in 1 hour!
alicia303 More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this book I wanted it but then I quickly forgot about it because it was other books that I wanted but 2 days ago my mom took me to barnes and noble and I finally bought (heads up its not $8.09 its $8.99 plus tax) it. I am curently still reading it because the chapters are long but I generally am the type of person that l like to read books by new authors and books by the same authors that i already have books by but I also like to read books that have drama in them. But this book suited my needs well because of the drama that unfolds because of and on the show with hallie brooke charlie and kieran. I also love the drama between marleyna garrison and brooke. *I wont spoil anymore* Overall you should read this book because its really good plus kim kardashian read it and gave it a good review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such an addictive read! Do not judge the book by the begining! I thought that it was really stupid at the begining but once you get into it it is SO GOOD!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished the book! And omg....IT WAS AMAAAZING! So many plot twists, and unlike some books I love how it turned out in the end :) And I can't help but add that I freaking hate Brooke and Marleyna hehe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book but i didnt like the ending- i wanted them 2 be friends with brooke again.
Wave411 More than 1 year ago
I thought the ending was rushed and I wanted Brooke and get what they diserved but overall it was a good book
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