Author: Alison Gaylin
Published: June 10, 2013
Format Read/Pages: ebook/250
How/When I Acquired It: NetGalley/May, 2013
Date Finished: June 20, 2013
However, she can't outrun the spotlight when she receives a Christmas present from her biological father...who died ten years ago under mysterious circumstances. Blamed for this "sick prank," Estella is placed in an unorthodox support group for troubled child stars-including a twenty-three-year-old has-been, a backstabbing drama queen, and a super-cute (but very off-limits) boy bander. And, as weird as the group is, when a creepy paparazzo starts stalking her, claiming that her dad is actually alive, Estella's going to need their help to uncover the truth and stay alive.
With a major crush on an adorable pop star, annoying younger siblings, and a mom and stepdad who are too strict, Estella Blanchard is a typical teenage girl-except that her daily struggles are plotlines on the reality show Seven Is Heaven, which relentlessly documents her life as the older half-sister of sextuplets. Estella's an Oscar-worthy actress at hiding her true feelings from the camera.
When I read the blurb for this I thought that it had a lot of promise and it did, but Alison Gaylin took it so far out of reality that it became very unbelievable at a fast pace.
Now, I know a lot of reality television is in fact, fiction, but if I was to see this ridiculousness on my screen or read about it in the papers, I would have officially lost all faith in humanity. We have a family with a number of children that are dealing with problems and parents that are always making light of the situation, seemingly because they are the ones that cause most of the problems in the first place. I mean, if I was given a leotard that was a few sizes too small as a Christmas gift and expected to smile about it, while my mother informed the world that I will be going on a diet (because she cannot have a slightly overweight child on camera), all at six years old, I would have bawled my eyes out. Actually, no. I would have no idea what was really going on, or what a diet was, and would have moved on the the next present and never looked at the leotard again. Gayling portrayed the sextuplets in a way that made them all seem a lot older than their supposed six years, with Estella often stepping in to be the mother figure that they clearly needed.
If the plot had centered around Estella's emotional journey to find out more about her father and coping with her reluctant fame as a reality TV start, I think the story would have been a lot more believable. The whole mystery aspect would have been in there, but in a way that did not make it seem as far fetched. As it stands, the second half of the story is laughable in the unbelievably of it all. A young heartthrob getting shot and no one caring? I highly doubt it.
It all culminates in a rushed explanation of actions and a HEA that we all knew was going to happen. There are so many thing that I think could have made this story better, more interactions between the kids in the therapy group, for one.I really would have liked to see how the participants dealt with their everyday lives and how things would have played out if it were a real therapy group and not something that someone was profiting off of. The list is endless, but as it is Reality Ends Here was just a really unsatisfactory adventure into the lives of people we would watch and not really care about.