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For Real by Alison Cherry
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For Real

by Alison Cherry

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After discovering Miranda's ex cheating on her, TV-obsessed Claire convinces her popular sister, Miranda, to go on an race around the world TV show as revenge. Ready to compete together and win the million dollar prize, the girls quickly discover the show is not what they thought and they must date their competitors on the road.

Well, this was cute but predictable...
I have to say, reading this book was fun. It was a light, beachy kind of read. For Real was cliche at some parts, but it had a nice message about sisterhood and the lies of the media.

The characters were one-dimensional (view spoiler). Some characters were there but weren't characterized at all. Literally, Isis and some of the competitors served no purpose. It would've been interesting to hear their stories.

I liked that the book focused (sometimes) on Claire and Miranda's relationship. Claire and Miranda's relationship seemed forced at times - why did Claire idolize Miranda so much? Claire was really obsessed with Miranda. However, I liked that they fought and learned from each other.

I wish this book had not included a half-hearted attempt at romance. Claire was really stupid and was basically in love with Will from day one. I really hated Will the whole time. She was too naive to see how much he lied and was all over other girls and assumed she was special. No, Claire, you're in a competition, please remember that.

The plot moved a little too quickly - there wasn't any build or tension, mainly because the show was bad. Most of the challenges were pretty uninteresting. Around the World in 80 Dates was basically a bad combination of Amazing Race and Bachelor in Paradise.

Still, if you're in the mood to read a fun but predictable romance, For Real is a good book for you. ( )
  abrooke | Aug 14, 2016 |
For Real by Alison Cherry is a fluffy, afternoon read.

Claire always feels that her older sister takes care of her by talking for her and assuming that she needs help. Now that older sister Miranda dumps her boyfriend and needs a friend, Claire feels that she can help. Claire comes up with revenge--if she and Miranda can get on the same reality show, they can win and keep the ex-boyfriend from winning! Miranda agrees to go on the audition and they are accepted!

Once they arrive in LA, they learn that the reality show isn't as advertised. They thought it was a travel competition, like Amazing Race, dashing around the world doing challenges and advancing as long as they don't come in last. When they arrive, they learn it's a travel race in 80 dates. They have to change partners and do dating things with other males who also signed up. Miranda is furious because her ex-boyfriend is there and she doesn't want to be his partner or any other male's partner. Claire is nervous because she's never had a boyfriend and doesn't want to be on national television dating.

If you need some down-time and don't want to think for a couple of hours, here's an escape. Otherwise, the plot suddenly ends, the surprises are not surprises, and the plot is cliched. ( )
  acargile | Feb 21, 2015 |
This was an absolute joy to read. Not having any sisters, reading about Miranda and Claire's relationship was a blast. The adventures around the world was what made this book so unique and made the setting feel like it was another character. It impossible to put down. This story makes me want to go on The Amazing Race! ( )
  MirandaR18 | Feb 6, 2015 |
I was really excited to be able to review this book because I have a twelve year old and this book is aimed toward that age group. I am very much one of those parents who tends to censor what her child reads. You may or may not disagree with that, and that's okay, but I feel like my child sees enough bad stuff in the world every day; she doesn't need to read about it in her free time. And it's not that I want to "protect" her from the world but I think that a kid should be a kid for as long as they can and in my opinion there is no place for adult material in children/pre-teen books like the trend seems to be these days. That being said, if you're anything like I am about what your children read, I highly recommend this book!

I was a little apprehensive about the way the book starts out because I wasn't sure how graphic the scene with Miranda catching Samir cheating was going to be but Alison Cherry managed to write in a way that she didn't need to be graphic for you to get the point. From that point the book to a really interesting turn when they decided to go on the reality show. I'm a reality TV nut so I personally enjoyed the fact that Claire watched MacGyver Survivor, Speed Breed, and Obstacle Kitchen. I also loved that she was willing to step out of her comfort zone just to support her sister.

Without spoiling the book, the reality show race was humorous and entertaining all the way to the very end. I was really impressed that Claire manages to learn several lessons along the way about herself and others and manages to bloom into a confident, capable young woman. The bond that she shares with her sister, Miranda, definitely gets tested throughout the show but Claire proves to the the shows producers and everyone else that she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to her sister. The sacrifices they make for each other shows how much they care for and truly love each other and this story quickly goes from being a story about revenge to being a story about the bond between sisters.

I loved Alison Cherry's writing style and her sense of humor. I was also very impressed that she managed to keep this book truly aimed at pre-teens instead of slipping in adult content. It was refreshing to read a pre-teen novel that wasn't full of foul-mouthed, disrespectful brats. I will definitely be recommending this to moms of pre-teens; as well as anyone else who is interested in a lighthearted, humorous story about what it means to love your sister even when she's acting like a complete jerk. ( )
  EllaDrayton | Dec 16, 2014 |
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t care for Cherry’s debut novel, Red. I’d had high expectations and they crash landed. After that, I wasn’t planning on trying her sophomore effort unless some trusted reviewers enjoyed it. Then one day I got an itchy request finger, but I didn’t expect much to come of it since RH usually doesn’t approve (or deny) my NG requests; they sit there until the title disappears. This time, though, approval. What have I gotten myself into? I wondered. Turns out the answer to that was a whole lot of fun. Cherry’s For Real is funny, fast-paced, and full of joy for anyone who enjoys reality television.

Actually, I don’t like reality television. I know what I just said, and I stand by it, but also it might be worth a shot for certain people who don’t care for it. Personally, it’s mostly not my thing. That said, I do know just how addictive it can be, because the couple times I watched a reality show I ended up watching the full season. I’d turn on the TV, watch part of an episode and get sucked into the all day marathon. Much as I can spout off about the manufactured drama and all of that, they can be very entertaining. What I do unabashedly love are books about reality television. As a teen, there were a smattering of chick lit novels with that premise that I loved and earlier this year Something Real impressed me greatly. For Real centers on a different kind of reality show than those, but it was just as delightfully silly while also being surprisingly meaningful.

My favorite thing about For Real is the humor that comes through sometimes. Cherry has this ability to embrace the silly that I admire. Her invented reality TV shows are complete gold. An example is Obstacle Kitchen, where chefs have to compete to make the best dish while also dodging obstacles.The show that Miranda and Claire go on in search of vengeance is a perfect example as well. The challenges ought to be too strange for me to believe that they would be aired on television, and yet I could totally imagine this airing.

There’s also the Limerick Game that Miranda and Claire play. Cherry’s humor really gets a chance to shine with these. They’re just the right amount of quirky and they made me smile every time they came up. Here’s an example:

“There once was a stripper named Troy,
Who acted quite dumb as a ploy.
He took off his pants,
Did a butt-shaking dance,
And said, ‘Viewers, I hope you enjoy!’

These are so cute and funny and bantery. It’s also such a great bonding device for Claire and Miranda. They’ve done it throughout their childhoods and it comes out when they’re getting along well.

For Real focuses primarily on the relationship between Claire and her sister Miranda. There’s a little bit of romance, but it’s mostly family. If you asked Claire and Miranda at the beginning of the book, as someone does, they would tell you that they have a great relationship. Under the pressure of reality television, it soon becomes clear that they have serious issues with one another. What’s nice is that the drama isn’t entirely manufactured. The show brings up cracks that were hiding under the surface and forces the sisters to recognize them and deal with them.

Let’s rewind a bit and talk about Claire on her own. Claire’s sometimes tough to take. I ought to have loved her immediately, because she’s a pop culture fanatic and can’t handle crowds. However, be warned that Claire can be a bit tough to take. She’s so judgmental that it made me uncomfortable and I’m one of the most judgmental people I know. It’s all made more annoying when Claire’s whole thing is that she wants people (especially Miranda) to look beneath her shy exterior and see how amazing she is, though she herself judges everyone else off their surface level. The thing is, though, that Claire gets better as the novel goes along.

The reality show is ridiculous, but it forces her to do things that she wouldn’t ordinarily do. She has to get outside of her comfort zone. It’s painful at times, but she survives and comes through the experience much stronger than she was before. Perhaps more important, Claire gets stuck talking to people she ordinarily would not give the time of day. I’ve been there myself and had these revelations. There’s nothing like getting to know real people better than from a distance to clear up those initial prejudices. When Troy, a male stripper, called her out for being rude and judgmental, I had the feeling that Claire would actually be learning and changing. She does, and I think her emotional arc is really solid. I also really liked the way her romance was handled.

This is why I like giving authors second chances. Even if Red wasn’t your thing, you might like For Real. I’m definitely planning on checking out whatever Cherry’s third book is. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Dec 16, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375990860, Library Binding)

From Alison Cherry, author of Red, a novel PW declares “sparkles with wit,” comes a terrific new book about two sisters and one big question: how do you know who’s for real?

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 television.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just after 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 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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:03 -0400)

When shy, intelligent, eighteen-year-old Claire convinces her beautiful, popular sister Miranda to team up and compete against Miranda's cheating ex-boyfriend on a reality television show, Claire's the one to capture a fellow contestant's attention.

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