Hello and welcome to The Book Bag, where we’re reaching all the way to the bottom! Last time, I reported that I found two oddly similar books at the library. Here’s the backstory. I was searching through the section for new teen books and I found a fictional book about a teen who was scarred by being on a reality show as a child. Some time later, I found a different book about a teen who was scarred by being on a reality show as a child. The authors were different, the main characters were different, the plots just happened to be similar. Instantly, I knew that I had to compare these books in a review. It’s time for “Book Vs. Book!” I’m focusing on Reality Boy and Something Real.
Firstly, Reality Boy. This book was incredibly hard to read. I can’t empathize that enough. Our protagonist’s home life is horrible. His parents are neglectful, his sister is a sociopath, and he has anger issues. I am not sure how realistic the portrayal was, never having had anger issues. I can say that he feels angry for most of the book, he has fantasies about killing people who anger him, and certain other things that might spoil the ending.
This book is incredibly hard to read. The fragile state of the main character’s mind, the disturbing family, and the way that the universe’s show was created horrified me. I needed to go to Gersday several times during the reading of this book. You’ll get the reference when you read the book.
Secondly, we have Something Real. Our protagonist, Chloe (formerly Bonnie™) Baker has had four years of relaxation. No cameras in her face, no manufactured drama, and no manipulating directors. She’s going by Chloe to avoid getting recognized and Baker’s Dozen is off the air. Freedom for all? NOPE! She goes home to see that the cameras are back. Baker’s Dozen: A Fresh Batch has come for her. Chloe goes on a mission to either avoid being seen by the cameras for as long as possible or to finally be free of the reality show, all while trying to maintain a normal life. This includes keeping her friends and her new crush.
Both of these novels are outstanding. However, does the fact that Reality Boy is more dramatic than the more comedy-focused Something Real make it a better book? Absolutely not! They are both entertaining, heartfelt, and sad. I highly recommend that you turn off your computer, go to the library, and get these books. If you can’t get them, put them on hold. These books have actually managed to sway my opinions. I never really liked reality television in the first place but now I hate it. I want to see if the tactics mentioned in both books really are used in actual reality tv.
To wrap things up, a small warning guide, just in case. Reality Boy has graphic violence, disturbing thoughts, sexual content (in the case of one character), and, to be frank, abuse. Something Real has suicide references and possible abuse.
I’m Zachary Krishef, and I hope that you have an excellent day.
Reality Boy by A.S. King
Something Real by Heather Demetrios
Reviewed by Zachary Krishef
Ask me questions on TV Tropes, my blog, or here! My troper handle is MiscellaneousSoup.
Next Time: Once again, I’m going over one of my favorite childhood book series. Get some rope, a few cattle, and watch out for Hank The Cowdog!