Wednesday, December 3, 2014

For Real - Alison Cherry

For Real Alison Cherry book cover
For Real by Alison Cherry
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: December 9, 2014
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thanks!) || e-galley
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister's shadow. While Miranda's life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality TV.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just before her college graduation, it's Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They'll outshine Miranda's fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.

But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may or may not be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life... or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what's for real? (from Goodreads)

For Real is a pretty fun read! It is the perfect book to take on vacation (which I did), and to indulge in when you have an hour or two to spare. Even though it could have done with a little more of everything – character development and race details, mostly – it was still quite enjoyable.

There are two reasons I felt compelled to check out For Real:
  • It’s about sisters! Miranda and Claire are opposites in nearly every way, but they team up to join Around the World to get back at Miranda’s ex-boyfriend. I have two sisters of my own, so it’s always a bonus draw for me personally if a book is about sisters.
  • It features Around the World, a reality show similar to the Amazing Race! I really enjoy The Amazing Race, and my sister and I often talk about how we should join up. It’s just fun to see these teams travelling all over the world and engaging in fun tasks.

While both are definitely featured in For Real, it still felt a little lacking. Readers do see Miranda and Claire have a few sisterly moments, which felt really authentic. But they’re actually not together for long periods at a time! It wasn’t quite what I had been expecting, and while it wasn’t a bad thing, it was a little disappointing to not get more time to explore the dynamic between these two.

The race is a little bit better in execution, as it does take place in various settings and employ various tasks to be completed. It was pretty fun to see how everyone scrambled to get things done! However, I do wish that there had been a teensy bit more detail in the descriptions, especially since most of these places sounded like they were worth a visit.

It was difficult, also, to get attached to any of these characters. (Claire is developed a teensy bit better than everyone.) It’s not that they weren’t great (except for that jerk Samir), but they remained pretty superficial. It felt like we barely scratched the surface in getting to know any of them. I would have loved to see past all the stereotypical personalities that popped up along the way. This also hindered my ability to really root for anyone at all!

Even though I do have reservations, For Real is still a book I’d recommend to readers looking for a new vacation read! It’s cute (save for that romance that I was not in favor of), and it’s got that touch of adventure because of the race. While not necessarily perfect, For Real is a pretty diverting read.

4 comments:

  1. This book sounds so awesome! I love the Amazing Race too, and I myself have 2 sisters so I can see how this book was so relatable! I'll have to check this one ASAP, hopefully over winter break so it's nice and light! Thanks for the fantastic review, Alexa!

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  2. I've been wanting to read this book when I first saw it on Goodreads. I can't wait for this book to be release! Great review, Alexa.

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  3. Totally agree with you. I was expecting more sisterly time, for sure. I rarely read a book in one or two sittings but this one definitely fit in that category for me. How pretty is this cover??

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  4. I just wrote my review for this the other day and said the exact same things! I felt pretty disconnected even though I loved Will! Great review!

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