“Opinions on Something Real by Heather Demetrios”
by Vanditha Krishnan
They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ and as much as we hate to admit it, most of us teens pick up a juicy book and begin reading just because of that gorgeous sunset on the cover. It’s something real (excuse the pun) and I’m pretty sure that everyone has done that at least once in their lives… am I right? Anyway, Something Real is a YA contemporary novel by the fantastic author Heather Demetrios. It’s my first time reading one of her works, and my impressions on this novel were, to say the least, interesting.
Plot: Bonnie™ Baker seems like your average 17-year-old. Living with her twelve other siblings, -- that’s right, twelve -- Bonnie™ is the main star of her family’s hit reality show, Baker’s Dozen. Her life seems to revolve around being in the spotlight, something her siblings love but she detests. Lucky for Bonnie™, the show is suddenly canceled and the Baker family finally gets to live life normally. That is, until Baker’s Dozen is coming back on air, this time with a bang! With such a large family to support, Bonnie™’s stepfather Kurt has no other option but to allow his growing household to be in the spotlight. And Bonnie™’s mom is definitely not letting her daughter quit. The normal life at school Bonnie™ has worked so hard to build is disappearing quickly, and she must find a way to protect it.
Characters: Bonnie™ was a sweet, intelligent character, but sometimes she was annoying. Part of the story involved her fussing over everything and arguing with everyone. Yet, you would expect this coming from someone with such a terrible home life. Her pain was extremely relatable, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for everything she had to go through. Patrick was a loyal friend, and he definitely helped her in many ways throughout the novel, but he seemed too perfect if you know what I mean. Most characters are flawed in one way or aspect, but Patrick had it all. I mean, compared to Bonnie™, he had great, supportive parents who loved him no matter what. His character made the book so much better, though. Benny™ and Lex™, Bonnie™’s twin cousins, really looked for her; Demetrios built a strong family bond that changed a lot throughout the novel. You can’t forget about Beth, the thirteen children’s callous, narcissistic mother. I felt like screaming at her multiple times; what parent forces their child to be exploited on national television against their will? And who would ever trademark their children’s names? I was constantly appalled by Beth’s selfish behavior, perfect on television but aloof off air.
Thoughts: Not a bad book, but it was predictable -- another one of those stories (a girl from a rich family has a harpy for a mother and must find a way to overcome her struggles). However, Beth’s unmotherly character made the story much more intriguing than it usually should be. She added tremendous depth and broke the tight bond of love and friendship that was going on throughout the novel. So if you’re a fan of sappy contemporaries, or looking for a quick read like me, this is the way to go.
My Rating: 7/10