Monday, December 8, 2014

Lori's Review of FOR REAL by Alison Cherry

Title: For Real
Author: Alison Cherry
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: 12/9/2014
Source: ARC provided by the publisher through Netgalley

No parents. No limits. No clue what they're in for.

Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister's shadow. While Miranda's life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality TV.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just before her college graduation, it's Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They'll outshine Miranda's fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.

But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may or may not be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life... or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what's for real?

Alison grew up in Evanston, IL. She is a professional photographer and spent many years working as a lighting designer for theater, opera, and dance. Now she lives in Brooklyn and writes young adult novels full time. She is represented by the lovely and amazing Holly Root of Waxman Leavell.

I've been reading a lot of paranormal and heavy themed books lately, so FOR REAL came at exactly the right time for me.  I needed something fun and light to cleanse my pallet, so to speak. This book had it all; family, friendship, romance, and personal growth.

Claire's older sister Miranda catches her boyfriend in the act of cheating on her.  To get back at the fame-loving cheater, Claire comes up with the idea to go on a "race-around-the-world" reality TV show that he has been chosen for.  Miranda is completely on board, as she imagines Samir's face when Claire and Miranda win and get him kicked off the show.  The TV execs have something completely different in mind.

When they all arrive at the welcome ceremony, the players all discover that they have joined a reality dating show.  Yes, they will still have to race around the world, but it won't be with the teammate they came with.  They will have to "date" different players in order to move ahead in the race.

Claire is immediately enamored with the playfully cute Will Divine.  If she has to be separated from her sister, Will is definitely going to make it all okay.  The problem is that Claire forgets that their whole purpose in doing the show is so that 'Team Revenge' can get Samir out.  Claire also discovers that some people play nice, others play dirty, but in the end, are they all just playing the game?

I enjoyed this book a lot.  The game challenges were very believable and completely fit in with the theme of the book.  There were many sweet and swoony romantic parts that I wasn't really expecting, but appreciated.  I guess the most surprising part for me was how much this book made me think.  Although it was light, Claire's actions and choices as well as those of the other players made me examine myself a little bit and take a look at how quickly I sometimes judge people by how they appear.

The only thing that was questionable to me was the lack of parental appearance.  However, both Claire and Miranda were technically adults, so the parents really weren't necessary.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Simple Plan - Thank You

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