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Reality Chick by Lauren Barnholdt
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Reality Chick

by Lauren Barnholdt

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Reviewed by Julie T. for TeensReadToo.com

Being a college freshman is hard enough. There's homework to worry about, the dreaded freshman fifteen, guys, parties, and a lot of other things. When Ally Cavanaugh starts college she has one other thing to worry about, that most don't have to: cameras.

Ally's every move during her first semester at college is taped for the popular reality show, In the House. At first, it seems like a dream come true. Ally's show is being broadcast nationwide; she's practically a celebrity! She gets to live in an awesome house with her roommates, who don't seem too bad.

But soon, things start to turn around. Ally's faraway boyfriend is acting really distant, and she thinks that she may be developing feelings for her hunky roommate. Her escapades at a fraternity party are recorded for the entire world to see, including her parents!

In the House is Ally's reality check; how tough life can be sometimes, but to take it in strides. You never know what great things are in store for you around the corner!

REALITY CHICK by Lauren Barnholdt was a fantastic read. It was fun, fresh, and fabulous, with a great concept and flawless reality. REALITY CHICK is a must read for those looking to lighten up the new school year! ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
Reality Chick – Lauren Barnholdt, Simon Pulse, New York, 2006.

Ally Cavanaugh decides she wants to be on a reality TV show. In her freshmen year of college. That begins the unrealistic part of the book. The setting, the television show, could have been changed without changing the book. The book could have been changed and you wouldn’t know you were reading something different. It really had that “haven’t I read that before” quality and not in a good way.
It could have been better though. If Barnholdt would have explored the photography angle and the growing relationship between Drew and Ally, the book would have been much better. A little less name-dropping would help too – it will really date the book. Barnholdt also portrays Ally’s parents as idiots and her best friend as the stereotypical gay guy obsessed with his looks. So campy. Those parts could have been left out and would have improved the story.

Barnholdt’s Two-Way Street is a much better book. Reality Chick reads like it is – a freshman effort.
( )
  brainlair | Oct 11, 2008 |
The “normal” college freshman Ally Cavanaugh auditions for a spot on the reality show that’s being filmed on her college campus. Miraculously she’s chosen and gets to live in a grand, luxurious house with her four housemates: the slutty Jasmine, shy Simone, ghetto-pimp James, and Abercrombie-hot Drew.

Everyone on the reality show seems to have a role, even her. Ally is, according to Drew, whom she thinks is full of himself, the “hot girl with the long-distance boyfriend.” Indeed, she and her boyfriend, Corey, have been together for two years. College is the first time they’ve been separated for more than a weekend.

Ally knows that Corey is the most important person in her life and that they will end up getting married one day. First, however, she must battle changing priorities, the difficulties that come with having everything she does exposed on cable TV, and most of all her growing feelings for Drew, who turns out to be not as bad a guy as she had once thought he was.

Nothing really seems to go on in REALITY CHICK—or at least in the “reality” part of it. The “reality show” spin on the novel seems to be just a phrase thrown in there; we didn’t see much of what it was like to be watched by the nation. It just seemed like a roundabout way to get Ally and Drew together and make Ally fight with Corey. Still, REALITY CHICK is a quick read, and you can sure pick it up for an afternoon of relaxation after, say, taking the SATs. ( )
  stephxsu | Jun 18, 2008 |
Ally is a freshman at Syracuse University. She is also going to be filmed every single day. Why? She signed up to be part of a reality show filmed at the college this year, In the House, along with four other people. College is hard enough with out camera men following her around all the time. The worst part? Everyone she knows is able to watch her on television every week, even her long distance boyfriend, Corey. Anyone else smell a problem? I sure hope she can handle it....

I really liked this book. I thought that it was very well written. I enjoyed hearing the now point of view every few chapters (when she was looking back at everything that happened). I would definitely recommend this book as well as any book written by this author. I can't wait for her next one!

Lauren Barnholdt is also the author of Two Way Street (which is also a really amazing book...this author rocks!) so if you liked Reality Chick, read Two Way Street, and if you liked Two Way Street, read Reality Chick. ( )
1 vote 11HilKr | Apr 23, 2008 |
Everything is changing for Ally. She's going away to college and so is her steady boyfriend of two years. Except he's going to college thousands of miles away. To distract her from missing her boyfriend Ally decides to try out for a reality television show being shot on campus at her new college and is surprised when she is immediately brought on. However, knowing that your every move is going to be broadcast to the entire country and having it actually happen are two different things and Ally quickly finds out that having her rapidly changing life broadcast for everyone to see isn't really as wonderful as she thought it would be.

Personally I'm not a really big fan of reality television, chick lit or contemporary fiction. But, I'm a sucker for a nice author sending me myspace friend requests, so I picked up Reality Chick months ago during the summer. I put off reading the story because it's not my usual cup of tea and imagine my surprise when I not only really enjoyed the story but I also read the entire book in one sitting. Reality Chick was a cute story of how three and a half months completely change one girl's life, in front of an almost live audience. If you're looking for some light reading I'd definately recommend this one. ( )
  Jenson_AKA_DL | Feb 20, 2007 |
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Ally Cavanaugh, a freshman at Syracuse, gets picked to spend her freshman year as part of a reality television show and soon learns that people aren't always the faces they put forward and love may not overcome everything. Original.

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