Friday 7 June 2013

Book ~ "Reality Ends Here" (2013) Alison Gaylin

From Goodreads ~ 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.

Estella is sixteen and is the half-sister of six-year-old sextuplets. Her family is the subject of a reality show ... she has no privacy because there are cameras throughout their house and their every move is filmed.  Estella hates it but does what she has to do.

A Christmas gift is left for her with a tag saying it's from her real father, who had died when she was a child.  Everyone assumes she left the present because she wants attention so her mother and stepfather make her go to a support group to get therapy.  There she meets Jake, who is in a boy band.  Through mysterious clues from a paparazzi, it appears that her father really wasn't killed in a car accident and Estella, with the help of Jake, starts looking for him.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  As a fan of reality shows, it was interesting to read the behind-the-scenes and how things are manipulated for the viewers.

I liked the writing style ... I thought it flowed and was well-paced.  It is written in first person, in Estella's voice.  It could be read by a young adult but also by adults too.  I didn't find it immature and was caught up in the mystery ... was Estella's dad really alive and why has he been hiding for the last ten years?

I'd recommend this book and look forward to reading others by this author.

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