Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Enchanting Review: The Real Real

Contemporary YA
ISBN# 978-0-06-172040-6
309 Pages
Hardcover—Available Now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Jesse O’Rouke is the typical average girl at her Hamptons high school. She’s not the most glamorous or the most beautiful and she definitely doesn’t hang out with the A-list crowd, but her and her best friend Caitlin really don’t care that much about any of that. Then suddenly XTV shows up at school, auditioning every single student to be one of the stars for their soon-to-be hot new reality hit, and Jesse gets cast as one of the leads, leaving her in the bright glare of the spotlight with her best friend on the outside looking in.

I loved Jesse, finding herself thrown in with the kids who’ve always been more popular then her. While her and Drew are the outsiders in the group, they’re forced to play friends with the others in front of the cameras, following the directions of a crazed cinematographer which results in some truly hilarious scenes. All the while, Jesse’s ‘reality’ is anything but as they shoot a Saturday at the spa in the middle of the night and her friendship with Caitlin starts to fade as the two barely have any time together. Soon, Jesse finds herself trying to wrangle a deal to get her best friend on the show…something that doesn’t turn out how she expected.

Hands down, my favorite scene is when the cast is whisked away to Mexico to film the spring break episode, a week before the actual spring break and are surprised to find themselves almost the lone inhabitants of the hotel. Everything is perfectly choreographed on film, while off camera, things get chaotic, leading to a scene where a drunk Trisha brings the party downstairs up to the penthouse where things get quickly out of control, leaving the entire cast huddled together in the bathroom trying to keep the partiers out.

What didn’t I love about this book? If I could have given more then five enchantments, I would have. THE REAL REAL is the perfect summer read. From the moment I picked it up, I was immediately pulled into Jesse’s world and didn’t stop till I reached the final page, where I seriously hoped there was going to be a teaser of a sequel. Trust me, once you get to the end, you want to know there is more of Jesse and these characters in your future.

Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus are the authors of the New York Times bestsellers The Nanny Diaries, Citizen Girl and Dedication. They live and work in New York city. Please visit their website at

Enchanting Reviews
July 2009

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