For Real by Alison Cherry
ebook, 304 pages (according to Goodreads)
Published by Delacorte Press
Synopsis: 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?
This book was a pleasant surprise, I really wasn't expecting to like it since it doesn't fall under the type of books I normally read, but I was really happy that I read it. Alison Cherry's writing style is sophisticated and relatable. It was a great change of pace from the typical YA novels out there. It's not about about a weak heroine finding true love, it's about two sisters trying to rebuild their relationship while taking revenge on the douchebags in their lives.
1) I really liked the way the story was written. There were many words that were higher diction than I'm used to seeing in YA adult books, and I loved it. I think it's often perceived that teenagers can't be intelligent and books with simple language really feeds into that. The way Alison Cherry writes is in such a way that even though the writing is more refined it's not overdone. It doesn't come off pretentious or arrogant, it's still accessible.
2) I love the two leading ladies, Miranda and Claire. I think they are such strong female role-models. I especially loved Claire. I found her hilarious and spunky.
3) All of the characters are more than what meets the eye. Cherry addresses how people present themselves in certain ways but in reality they could be nothing like the person they show themselves as. It's really brilliant.
4) I love the limerick game!
1) The book for me was a pretty quick read, I wanted more adventure. I wanted "Around the World in Eighty Dates" (the reality TV show our characters participated in) to be much longer.
2) SPOILER ALERT:
I wanted Will to redeem himself. I think that it's great and more realistic that he didn't but the romantic in me still wanted him too.
1) "I wish I were watching this on a real television. I fear I'm missing nuances of his six-pack."
2) "It's always nice to see someone who has the shoes you want, or the house you want, or the boyfriend you want, or whatever, but who still objectively sucks as a human being, so you can be like, 'Sure, she's prettier and richer than I am, but I'm still superior."
3) "The girl in the kitchen was telling the truth--there's a large CXLVI inked onto his right bicep. I have no idea if an IQ of 146 really makes you a genius, but even if it does, tattooing it on your body definitely bumps you back down a notch."
4) "She probably has impeccable table manners, speaks twenty languages, and uses some sort of billion-dollar yak's blood zit cream that makes her skin look like rose petals. How could I ever compete with someone like that, boring or not? I don't even know what a prawn fork is. She probably has her own monogrammed set."
5) "Um, if you could choose a superpower, what would you pick?"
He doesn't hesitate even for a second. "The ability to transform things into cheese."
I laugh. "What? Cheese? Wouldn't you rather be invisible or something?"
"No, think about it. I could turn toxic waste into cheese and solve the pollution problem and hunger problem at the same time. And I could turn trash into cheese and sell it, so I'd be filthy rich. Plus, I'd always have a snack."