Monday, February 23, 2015

Races and Sisters: Review of For Real

Title: For Real
Author: Alison Cherry
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: December 9th, 2014!
*eARC kindly provided by Random House Children's via NetGalley*

From Goodreads...
No parents. No limits. No clue what they're in for.

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?

My Review!
Who doesn't love a good story about revenge and making an ex pay? I know I do! I love the idea of exacting justice on someone who doesn't deserve kindness or respect or to be let off with no consequences. For Real starts off with a ridiculous ploy between two sisters who want to ruin an ex-boyfriend's life and turns into a story about the bonds of siblings and growing into your own person.

I'm a sucker for books with great sibling relationships, and I was so happy with the way the author developed Miranda's and Claire's. They fight; they tease each other mercilessly. But they got each other's backs through anything, even when they're mad. They went into this race thinking they'd be together the whole time and that they'd have no problem sabotaging Miranda's ex. But with the twist on the show, they're separated and have to compete against each other. And that is where the relationship becomes a lot of ups and downs.

Claire is awkward, quiet, and a shadow. Miranda is confident, graceful, and the center of attention. Polar opposites and separated by many years, these two have a lot of differences that they want the other to see. Claire wants Miranda to look at her as more than a little kid, someone who can take care of herself and who doesn't need her big sister to save her. Miranda feels so alone and is dealing with a lot of hurt and just wants Claire to be there for her no matter what. And she is, though she also wants Miranda to see her and to recognize that she doesn't need her to fight the battles for her. They were both dealing with different things, and that made them clash in such a tension-filled race.

I'm a little sad this was only told in Claire's voice, though I understand why it was. And honestly I identified with her so much more than her sister. Claire is shy and used to hide behind Miranda all the time. It's why her sister doesn't think she can take of herself. Claire learned that she can, but that she also needed her sister. There was no one else she would have gone on a reality show with, and no one else who knows her better. Not even the guy she starts to develop a crush on.

This book, while appearing to be a romance, does not go in the direction one would expect. And I found that I loved that! It was all about the girls and their relationship with each other and about Claire finding her voice and her confidence while navigating a race filled with fights, secrets, and tension. For Real was just so much fun! 

4 Paw Prints!


  1. Wow, you make this book sound so good! I'd originally automatically put it into a "not for me" category because I don't tend to like reality show aspects to books, but now I kind of want to check this one out. Claire sounds like my kind of character, and I'm the same way about sibling relationships in books, I love them!

    Great review! =)

  2. I've been meaning to read this book ever since it was released but I thought I'd put it aside until summer, though I'm not sure I could finish all the books I put away for summer in a year haha. Anyhow, I love a great sibling relationship, I think that's partly because I don't have any brothers or sisters. I don't think I've ever read a reality show book so I hope this won't disappoint.
    Amazing review, Holly! :)

  3. Great review! I loved this one as well -- especially the twist in the romance aspect that you mentioned :D

  4. Oh, this sounds great! I'm not sure what I love more, the reality show aspect or the awesome sister relationship. Aw, I wish it were dual perspective, but that's no big deal. I love that you think their relationship is done really well. I love sibling relationships in fiction. I'm glad the romance doesn't go in the way one would expect. :) Great review.

  5. I actually underestimated this book. I believed it to be nothing much more than the usual contemporary novel or chick flick so I wasn't really intent on picking it up. But seeing how focused it is on the sisters relationship makes me want to try it a lot because I just LOVE siblings in novels! Shame it wasn't told from both though -- I understand what you mean.


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