By: Heather Demetrios
Published Year: 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt BYR
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): There’s nothing real about reality TV.
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 and the scandal surrounding it, 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 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.
The bright yellow cover is definitely an eye catcher and the title intrigued me. The summary definitely sounded interesting, especially as I am from a reality TV generation. I definitely watched John and Kate Plus 8, so this sounded like an interesting insight into what it could be like to live in this world.
What I thought
This story follows Chloe/Bonnie Baker through her senior year of high school. Bonnie was born on camera and is one of the eldest of 13 children. Her entire life has been filmed up until she was 13 and had a breakdown. For the past 4 years, she has been enjoying living life as Chloe instead of Bonnie with no cameras around. That is, until her mom and stepdad decide to put the family back on camera during Bonnie’s senior year.
The interesting part of the story is seeing how the cameras have affected the three eldest children differently. I wish that there had been a little bit more involving the family to see how it was affecting everyone. However, one of my issues with the story was that it was a bit long so I don’t know if there would’ve been a good way to accomplish that. For the most part, I liked Chloe/Bonnie. I felt like she kept doing the same things over and over again, so I did start to get irritated with her. I think if the story had been a little shorter, that wouldn’t have happened. I really loved Benton and thought he was the best character hands down. I would have loved to read this book from his perspective.
I think my biggest issue with this book (and it tends to be an issue for me whenever this occurs) is that both Benton and Chloe find the love of their lives in high school. Like, to the point where marriages are discussed. I get that the author wanted to show that Benton and Chloe had found love, but it just all seemed to perfect. Chloe just happens to find an 18 year old boy who is 100% ok with being thrown in the tabloids and is super mature about it. I just couldn’t really believe Patrick as a character because he was too wonderful.
The main conflict was that Chloe did not want the show to start up again, but it seemed like that conflict would be forgotten for periods of time while other conflicts came up. It just felt like the author had a little too much that she wanted to get into, therefore nothing was as meaty as I would want it to be. The concept was cute, but I think it could’ve been executed a little better.
By: Heather Demetrios