Making the Grade / Something Real


Making the GradeRemember how I mentioned that some new features would be introduced here on Ciao Bella? Clearly, I waste no time in getting started :) And so, I am super excited to announce one I am personally looking forward to writing a lot; it’s called “Making the Grade.” Basically, I review books in the style of a report card, with comments on everything from character development to the lasting impression :) I think it will be quite fun, and to kick things off, I have chosen one of my favorite reads of the past month – Something Real by Heather Demetrios!

Making the Grade / Something RealSummary: 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. {Goodreads}

Main Character Development {A+}: So far this year, I can’t think of a more developed character than Bonnie™, or Chloe as she likes to be called {she changes her name early in the story, and I mean, who wouldn’t with the conditions of reality TV?!}. She shows so much growth and depth, eventually demonstrating a lot more love to herself and others by the end of the story. Demetrios did a terrific job connecting Chloe with the reader; she really felt like a natural teenager. A big “yay!” in this category!

Supporting Character Development {A}: This category was tough for me because while I loved several of the secondary characters, a good amount of Chloe’s many siblings were just a name and nothing more. Those characters aside, the ones I fell in love with were Benton™, Chloe’s amazing brother, and Patrick, Chloe’s just as amazing love interest. They made the story for me, and this is one novel that I can say I found the main character and supporting characters equally interesting to read about. On the flip side, I couldn’t stand Chloe’s gosh-awful parents, but they too showed a level of development.

Engaging and Well-Paced Plot {A+}: I read this during a busy school week, and this was one thing I looked forward to doing each day! The pacing was spot-on, and for a YA novel, this story should easily hold a reader’s interest. It doesn’t hurt that this is a more “unusual” topic {i.e. there aren’t a lot of books delving into reality TV in this genre}, so many people may find it refreshing to read about.

Interesting and Consistent Voice {A+}: Chloe narrates the story wonderfully! I must mention though that the emotional roller coaster this book brings you on is INSANE. I was smiling one minute and extremely upset the next – not about Chloe, of course, just about her circumstances.

Vivid Writing and Language {A}: I can’t wait for another book from Heather Demetrios! Her writing is stunning, and I hope everyone will agree when I say that she is a welcome addition to the large young adult family. Personally, I’ve put her on my favorite contemporary authors list :)

Memorability/Lasting Impact {A+}: Overall, this was an outstanding read. I highly recommend it, and even a few weeks after reading it, I can easily tell you just how much I enjoyed it. Definitely worth checking out!

Final Grade: A+ with a well-deserved gold star!

Have a terrific night!


16 thoughts on “Making the Grade / Something Real

  1. […] [5] Something Real by Heather Demetrios • I’ve lost count at how many times I’ve praised Heather Demetrios’ debut, Something Real. I suppose there’s only so many times I can say read it for its superb characterization, compelling story, and wonderful writing! I rarely come across a novel that takes priority over my homework, so do take note: Something Real should be on your TBR list {as well as Demetrios’ other novels, since I’m convinced she can do no wrong as an author}. […]


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