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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Reality Boy by A.S. King



Release Date - October 22, 2013

A.S. King
Little, Brown

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

When he was five, Gerald Faust's family became a reality TV stars on a Nanny 911-type show. While Gerald was portrayed as the troublemaker on that show, the truth was his older sister, Tasha, tortured both Gerald and his other sister, Lisi, regularly, and Gerald's reactions were a result of the abuse suffered at the hands of Tasha. Though many years have passed, Gerald still deals with anger and is scorned by his peers for being the boy, "crapper," who regularly pooped in unexpected places. All he every wanted was a normal, happy childhood. Now that Lisi is old enough to have escaped their troubled household, Gerald feels alone and is desperate for change.

Though he is in anger management classes, true change comes with Gerald is befriended by another outcast at his school. Together, Gerald and Hannah concoct a plan that will change their lives forever.

While I know this is a work of fiction, Reality Boy had an awful lot of truth in it. I avoid reality TV as much as possible, but it's hard  to ignore the fact that some of the stars that you know are headed down a scary line as they grow up being ridiculed, laughed at, and scorned in a very public manner. The author catches the "what happens after..." incredibly well.

My heart bled for Gerald. The mother and even father were despicable humans. That the show kept filming and social services didn't step in bothered me. I only hope that teens who read this engaging novel will realize that being the star of the show is not as much fun as it seems!




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