Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review: "Reality Chick" by Lauren Barnholdt

So, this is a little awkward.  I read Reality Chick and when I was looking into the GoodReads page for the book - I see that it was republished in 2010 under the title Watch Me.  So there's that little nugget to start this post off with a bang!

No matter which title/cover you prefer, this is the story of Ally Cavanaugh - a freshman at Syracuse College - who was chosen to live out her freshman year on reality TV.  She lives in a separate house with four other roommates/cast members.   She's the only one in a relationship, but her longtime boyfriend Corey is far far away at the University of Miami on a basketball scholarship.  Ally is fine with that as she is determined not to let the show break them up.  It does get a little awkward though, having those cameras and microphones following her around constantly.... especially as she starts to develop some feelings for her roommate Drew.

This is a cute little story...  It was originally published in 2006, though and definitely feels a bit dated.  I was looking for a light, fun book to read today as I am still recovering from a great weekend at the beach with family - and that's what I got.  I breezed through this in a matter of hours and feel thoroughly entertained.  There are a couple of issues that I had - mostly the way that Ally completely dismissed Drew and labels him unfairly and without any evidence or cause the moment she meets him.  Really, she did that with all of her roommates, but dropped those "labels" about all of them very quickly - except for Drew.  It just felt like it was an overly forced point to create unneeded drama.

I should mention the reason I picked up this book was because it is set in my hometown, and I even when to Syracuse University.  So there were a couple of scenes that reminded me of home.  Much is made of Syracuse being the snowiest city on record (which is absolutely true) and part of the reason I no longer live there!  I did like Barnholdt's writing though, and I'd like to see where she went with it so I'll likely check out something a bit more recent from her.

Reality Chick
by Lauren Barnholdt
Simon Pulse, 2006
270 pages
Source:  Library


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