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.
This was a really good book.
Freshman year at college is hard. Trying to adjust to the new freedom and responsibilities of managing oneself while living on your own for the first time in your life is a big deal. Making a long distance relationship with your boyfriend of two years work now that he's in college down in Florida carries a lot of stress. Apparently, our protagonist, Ally Cavanaugh, laughs in the face of stress and auditions for and is chosen to appear on a reality TV show with four other freshmen.
Though the logic of this character's decision to do this seems vividly absent, I found it impossible to look away. As with most sordid and uncensored reality shows on the air these days, I find it difficult to stop watching. Why are we drawn to scenarios where a group of strangers are thrown together in a small, confined space and are manipulated so that their behavior and reactions are then recorded for the rest of us to view, comment and speculate on?
It's hard to not like Ally. I felt a lot of empathy for her as she struggles to adjust to college, picking a major, missing her boyfriend and developing friendships with her housemates all the while a cameraman follows her all over the house and campus recording every facial expression, emotion, conversation and act, some of which Ally would rather forget. Personally, being recorded in the bathroom is pushing it, but again, reality TV fans want it realistic and if you knew your words and actions were being recorded, how realistic would it be?
Reality Chick was a fast, enjoyable read that I recommend if you like living vicariously through others. This book was given a makeover and republished in 2010 under the new title, Watch Me. I personally like the new cover better.
An fun, quick read about a girl who agrees to be on a "Real World"-esque show during her freshman year of college.
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!