Book Review : Reality Ends Here by Alison Gaylin

July 15, 2013 Book review 0 ★★★★

Reality Ends Here was as sweet as chocolate. Unless you have been living under a rock, I don’t think it will be any shock to see how fake reality shows are but I enjoyed the behind the scenes glimpses at how one is manufactured.

Book Review : Reality Ends Here by Alison GaylinReality Ends Here by Alison Gaylin
Published by Pocket Books on 10 June 2012
Pages: 250
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

With a major crush on an adorable pop star, annoying younger siblings, and a mom and stepdad who are too strict, Estella Blanchard is a typical teenage girl-except that her daily struggles are plotlines on the reality show
Seven Is Heaven, which relentlessly documents her life as the older half-sister of sextuplets. Estella's an Oscar-worthy actress at hiding her true feelings from the camera.

However, she can't outrun the spotlight when she receives a Christmas present from her biological father...who died ten years ago under mysterious circumstances. Blamed for this "sick prank," Estella is placed in an unorthodox support group for troubled child stars-including a twenty-three-year-old has-been, a backstabbing drama queen, and a super-cute (but very off-limits) boy bander. And, as weird as the group is, when a creepy paparazzo starts stalking her, claiming that her dad is actually alive, Estella's going to need their help to uncover the truth and stay alive.

My Recap:
Estella is a teenage girl, who along with her sextuplet siblings star in a popular reality shows ‘Seven is Heaven’. On Christmas day, she seemingly gets a message from her long dead father.  An emotional and confused Estella begins to wonder what secrets have been kept from her and decides it time to do a bit of digging around.

My Thoughts:
Reality Ends Here was a bit of an addictive read for me. It won’t change your life or make you think deep or profound thoughts but it scores high on the cute, fluffy, entertainment scoreboard. I loved the snippets of life that we saw between Estella and her siblings, both the real moments and the staged ones. We got a glimpse of the personalities of all her siblings and enough though it was just a glimpse; it was enough for me to form a picture of all of them. To be honest, I would have liked more of these scenes in the book as they were my favourite part.

The reality show aspects blow the lid on how totally unreal these shows are and to what extent everything is planned and scripted. Like I said earlier I don’t think anyone will be wide eyed with surprise about this though. The details show how invasive these shows are on normal family life and makes you appreciate the privacy that we take for granted. I have always felt uneasy about children in reality shows and I feel even more so now as you see how exploited they really are.

Estella is forced into a group therapy session for troubled child stars – including a twenty-three-year-old has-been, a backstabbing drama queen, and a super-cute boy bander. I found these sessions bittersweet as you know that there is an element of truth to the feelings/problems that these famous teenagers have. Tough enough being a teenager without also being stalked by paparazzi waiting for you to mess up.

There is a bit of a love story for Estella in this book but it is very innocent and just a bit of fun. I did think it was annoying that it was an insta-love but on the other hand when you fall for your first crush; it can seem like love so I’ll allow that one! And her first boyfriend is a famous popstar so maybe I would have had some insta-love too. Actually scratch the maybe, I know I would!

The mystery story about her father built up momentum throughout the book and the conclusion when it came was a little bit of an anti-climax. However I wasn’t expecting much from the mystery side of the book and it was the reality show element that attracted me to the book so it didn’t bother me too much.

Who should read Reality Ends Here?

Overall this is a well written, highly engaging book. If you like reality tv shows and contemporary YA books, this is a nice mash up and I have no problem recommending it to you.

Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books  for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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