Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★★
Reading Time: 4 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of America's Next Reality Star from Laura Heffernan in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author and/or publisher's generosity. You can't fake these stars, baby!
SEEKING THE SMART ONE...
Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.
Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .
First Line: "DO YOU WANT TO WIN $250,000? ARE YOU OUTGOING, VIVACIOUS, AND ENGAGING?"
DO YOU WANT TO WIN $250,000? ARE YOU OUTGOING, VIVACIOUS, AND ENGAGING?"
UmmYEA! I'm also smart, courageous, and have goo-goo eyes for tall handsome MEN! #SIGNMEUP (lolz I'm kidding... Or am I?)
America's Next Reality Star is saucy, and purely addicting. There is no need to ever watch Reality TV with this book in your hands, my friends! We have the charmers, we have the jocks, the scum, the conniving beauty queens... and then there's Justin. Oh, my heart!
But let's back up a little before we introduce Mr. DreamFest. Our story first begins with Jennifer. She's an ordinary girl with a good job, and a wonderful boyfriend, but she's completely drowning in debt after being in an accident with no insurance coverage. She makes ends meets, but she needs something; something drastic. While at work, she gets an email from her old theatre professor in college; a casting call for a gameshow... for smart people. This could work.
Jennifer places this TV show in the back of her mind until her life starts to crumble. She soon looses her job, she isn't sure how she's going to pay rent, and this silly gameshow starts to become the one thing she prays will happen for her.
I hadn't realized how much I wanted this until it sounded like it might happen. I could go on television. I might win a quarter of a million dollars...
We follow Jennifer through the audition process, and the plethora of friends enemies she meets along the way. During the early stages of the casting procedure, she meets Justin. Justin, too, is an ordinary person looking to change his life. WhooEEE and this man is DANGEROUS! Justin will catch your heart and drag you across the shores of I-will-do-anything-to-win.
Did y'all catch that? Justin. will. do. anything. to. win.
Of course JenJen and Justin make it onto the show along with a slew of malicious characters. But Justin is sweet and kind... right? Is our sweet Justin capable of manipulating Jennifer into breaking up with her perfect boyfriend back home, date him on this TV show in front of millions of viewers, and then ditch her at the last minute to win the $250,000? #NoWay ... 😏
That would be just too embarrassing! Justin is off limits... for now.
Now, there are many downsides to entering Reality TV... Especially a TV gameshow where the audience has a say in the competitions. Think: Survivor, with Fear Factor, and a LOT of Hunger Games (no death, of course... this is a 100% feel-good read, friends). But what if the host of the show doesn't like you? They can easily tell the producers to hire a look-alike to prance around naked and you wouldn't even know. Worst of all, what if the audience doesn't like you?
I'm sorry, Jennifer, but the viewers voted for you again. You will also be up for elimination this week.
Yes, you guessed it. The audience hates Jennifer.
How is Jennifer supposed to win when the audience wants her gone? Why do they hate her anyways?? Who is this Justin fella really?
Jennifer and Justin are faced with the question: what's real, and what's fake? There's an undeniable mutual attraction, but are their intensions pure? Both are tempted by the $250,000 and these two need to make a decision about what's important. Keeping their secrets, medical bills, a hot fling on national TV, financial security...
Let's not even get into the drama Jennifer has to face when it comes to her boyfriend back home! Good thing he has secrets, too.
Friends, this book is tantalizing, romantic, and tear-jerkingly sweet. Jennifer and Justin's connection absolutely sets these pages on fire. They doubt, succumbing to their emotions, and learn to trust. Well, they shouldn't trust anyone... but they do. Laura Heffernan does not hold back in this completely perfect portrayal of Reality TV! But in all competition: there is only one winner. When it boils down to becoming America's Next Reality Star, who will betray the other first?
Ummm #IVolunteerAsTribute! 🙋🏼
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