Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Review: Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Publication Date: February 4th, 2014
Pages: 406
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
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Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show's cancellation, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it's about to fall apart . . . because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™'s mom and the show's producers won't let her quit and soon the life that she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

Heather Demetrios' Something Real is the winner of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award.

Done. Solidified. Heather Demetrios has now moved herself into my favourite authors category. And that's only after two books. But when you're the boss like her it was pretty much a no brainer after I read I'll Meet You There. Something Real is absolutely everything I want in a YA contemporary. Not just the story and characters and the messages about not being afraid to be yourself as well as never being afraid to speak up. Which is really prevalent with Chloe's life in the spotlight. A life she never asked for, but grew up in. Something Real was interesting in it's look at how scary it's gotten with our obsession with celebrities and reality T.V. Demetrios does this is such, well, a real way.

 Chloe(nee Bonnie) Baker has spent her life in the spotlight. She was literally born on T.V. than spent thirteen years living her life through the world's T.V. screen with the rest of her family on Baker's Dozen. Now after four years off air, Chloe has been trying to keep Bonnie in the past. Her and her family moved across the country. Her and her brother, Benny are able to attend a high school where no one knows who they are. Chloe has real friends and a hope that she might be able to leave the past in the past. That is until one day Chloe and Benny arrive home from school to be ambushed by their mother and a T.V. crew. Looks like Baker's Dozen is coming back. Chloe is not alright with that. The new life she's built is about to be blown wide open. And her past is suddenly going to finally catch up to her.

Something Real touches on so many topics. In just four hundred pages I got so much out of my reading experience. Chloe was the perfect voice to deliver this story. Chloe has worked so hard break out of her reality T.V. star persona and that night where everything almost came to an end. There is nothing Chloe wants more than being normal and freedom. Chloe struggles so much with discovering herself in Something Real. I really appreciated that side to her because it's relatable. She's seeing her friends(Tessa and Mer), Patrick and even Benny have college to move on to. Where she knows she wants out but she doesn't know where that leads. Chloe is stronger than she thinks. When she finally starts to get the courage and motivation to take a stand for her life and rights, I was like a proud mama bear. Chloe's home life is so undesirable and just not right and that really could have brought her down. But she choose to fight to keep her privacy and I couldn't not love her for that.

It's terrible to see Chloe(and really her siblings too) with such a lack of parental figures. There might be a few moments when you feel a little bad for her mom but 95% of the time she's a deplorable parent. She has raised her children in the spotlight and not once does it seem like she's bothered to care how that affects them. Benny has problems with alcohol. Lexie seems to be using her sexuality in not the most positive way. And Chloe overdosed on pills. The amount of times Chloe tries to discuss how she feels about being back on the air and the past with her mom and her mom just tells her to get over herself is frustrating and honestly a little shocking. She's your mom, she should be protecting you not using you. When Chloe speaks out, instead of speaking to her daughter she tells her she's ruining the family. Her dad found the dark side of stardom and is living it up in Miami. Her step dad might come over as a good guy but that's quickly dis proven. The icing on the cake is the shows producer, Chuck. What a sleezy, slimy guy. He talks to the kids like their his family but he threatens Chloe and is a complete asshole. Even with shitty parents Chloe has her friends and Benny to have her back and support her. Even when she thinks she's alone, she's really far from it.

Patrick is absolutely the perfect boyfriend. He's been crushing on Chloe for over a year before he finally makes his move. He's so super cute. The relationship he has with his parents is even cuter. I just want to squish his face. I love his nerdy tendencies and style. And I love his support and genuine feelings towards Chloe even more. Patrick absolutely always knows all the right things to say in the most caring and thoughtful way. Patrick backs Chloe 100% and even though I'm not totally on board with a 18 year old telling his girlfriend that all he cares about is what she wants, it's sweet none the less. God, he's so sweet and adorable. Everyone needs a Patrick in their life. Every time him and Chloe are together it warms my OTP feelings.

Benny and Chloe are extremely close. They have a brother sister relationship that I envy(love you bro). Being that they're only a few months apart, the experience they had growing up was pretty much the same. Compared to their younger siblings and Lexie, their feelings over growing up in the spotlight has only deepened their bond. The return of Baker's Dozen brings Benny a whole bunch of his own going on's to the forefront. It's no secret at home that Benny's gay. At school is a different story. It's not that he's in the closest, it's that the relationship he's in is in the closet. And I understand why Matt(Benny's boyfriend) is struggling on what he should do. Even so Benny's and Matt's relationship in another strong one to highlight from Something Real. Like Patrick and Chloe, support and honesty is important. When the eventual outing goes down, all the feels go out to Benny and Matt. But what's to follow with the t-shirt and dance(I know vague, but read the book!) is definitely the most heart warming and happy moment of Something Real.

I'm so happy that Lexie is getting her own book. She was such an intriguing and complex character. Chloe and Lexie's relationship grew so much throughout Something Real. They didn't really get along. Which was more that they didn't really understand each other. But as Chloe started to speak up more, Lexie started to respect her more. Something positive to come out of a terrible situation.

Something Real is many things. Like a true coming of age story that shows just how real life gets. Demetrios writing is gripping without being over dramatized. And the banter is on point. We all know how I need my banter fulfillment. Something Real sure delivers. I've re-read my favourite parts a few times now. I've marked the hell out of all the Patrick moments(there is a lot). *sigh* I have no doubt that Something Real will get a full re-read before the year is out. Possibly more than once.

Happy reading!



  1. This sounds like an interesting read and I'm intrigued that Demetrios has already made it on your favorite authors list. I can't imagine much worse than being a teenager on television. Great review!

  2. I just could not get into this one. I felt like it was so middle of the road the whole time. I loved Meet You There so much I was almost surprised that it was written bu the same author
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings