The bestselling authors of The Nanny Diaries introduce a new heroine to root for: Jesse O'Rourke, coffee barista, high school senior, and unwitting reality TV star.
Imagine there was never a Laguna Beach, a Newport Harbor, the shimmering Hills. Imagine that your hometown—your school—is the first place XTV descends to set up cameras.
Now imagine they've trained them on you.
When Jesse O'Rourke gets picked for a "documentary" being filmed at her school in the Hamptons she's tempted to turn down the offer. But there's a tuition check attached to being on the show, and Jesse needs the cash so she can be the first in her family to attend college. All she has to do is trade her best friend for the glam clique she's studiously avoided, her privacy for a 24/7 mike, and her sense of right and wrong for "what sells on camera." . . . At least there's one bright spot in the train wreck that is her suddenly public senior year: Jesse's crush has also made the cast.
As the producers manipulate the lives of their "characters" to heighten the drama, and Us Weekly covers become a regular occurrence for Jesse, she must struggle to remember one thing: the difference between real and the real real.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There are certain cliches one comes to expect after reading YA novel after YA novel: the gay best friend, the designer labels, the outcasts and mean girls. The Real Real takes a topic that is perhaps too ripe for satire (and is now getting play in real life with NYC Prep) and lends it an edge, humor and heart that makes it worth picking up and taking to the beach, Hamptons or not. There are, of course, some things I've seen before (the autistic brother, the housecleaner mother), but there's plenty here that makes The Real Real deliciously dishy.
Jesse is one of six high school seniors cast for XTV's The Real Hamptons Beach. She is not exactly classic reality TV material (she's not part of the It crowd, she has a boring part-time job at a muffin shop, she doesn't wear the latest designer gear), and had never expected to be chosen, but her and Drew are the non-wealthy cast members, lured in by the $40,000 scholarship being dangled before them. She's thrilled to have the...
THE REAL REAL EMMA McLAUGHLIN & NICOLA KRAUS Contemporary YA HarperTeen
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...
Jesse is a senior at a high school in the Hamptons where she sees lots of celebrities and other wealthy people drop in for vacation. Life for most of the locals is anything but glamorous, that is until TV network XTV decides to train its cameras on the students in Jesse's high school. What they want is real teens, doing real things in their real lives. Everyone at the school tries out, but Jesse is sure that she won't be among the chosen ones.
When the line-up is announced, there's no surprise that the school's hottest teens made the list--Nico, Jase, Rick and Melanie--but Jess is surprised to find that she's been picked too. While none of Jesse's friends made the list, she's excited that the guy she has a crush on, Drew, did.
While having the cameras film her every move is kind of a pain, it's also kind of glamorous and at first everything goes well. But when real teens doing real things in real life proves to be really boring, the producers at XTV decide to...
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