Published by Tor Teen on July 13, 2021
Genres: contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Finished Hardcover from Publisher
My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Some Kind of Wonderful meets Kara McDowell's Just for Clicks with diverse characters, perfect for readers looking for feel-good YA romance and those who like "clean teen" reads
Dakota McDonald swore after "The Great Homecoming Disaster" that she'd never allow her romantic life to be a plot line in her parents' HGTV show again. But when the restaurant run by the family of her best friend (and secret crush), Leo, is on the line, Dakota might end up eating her own words.
Leo Matsuda dreams of escaping his small town Arizona life and the suffocating demands of working in his family's restaurant, but the closer he gets to his goal--thanks to the help of his best friend (and secret crush) Dakota--the more reasons there are for him to stay.
Faking Reality is a young adult contemporary by Sara Fujimura. I really enjoyed Sara’s last book, Every Reason we Shouldn’t, so when I saw she had a new book coming out and that it was about a reality tv show family, I was soooo in! Faking Reality is a a super cute and fun read. I loved this book! Our main character Dakota is no stranger to the small spotlight. Her parents have had a home refurbishment show for longer than she has been alive. In fact, her birth and childhood became a major story plot of the show, so everyone feels like they know her, whether or not they have met in real life. I find that aspect of reality tv fascinating, and I was so interested to see it explored in Faking Reality.
The main focus of Faking Reality is Dakota’s (or Koty) relationship with her best friend, Leo and Koty’s 16th birthday. Because the TV has decided that they want to go all out and throw a major birthday bash, a la “My Super Sweet 16”- Style! Though this book was a ton of fun, there are some pretty heavy topics discussed. I loved delving into Japanese culture through food, history and traditions, but some of Japanese culture is tough to read about because some pretty horrible things happened, like with the Japanese Internment Camps in WWII. So be aware that some pretty heavy topics are brought up, but I so appreciated the way that Sara Fujimura incorporated them into the story.
The romance is also adorable and I loved getting to know all the characters. I think this book is a super fun read for fans of reality tv, because I love seeing some behind the scenes, prodding and nudging from producers, I love to see the juxtaposition of how people are portrayed on a show vs. how they are in real life. I loved seeing that play out in the story. That being said, I do wish we got to see a little more of the actual renovation aspect of the show (but that just might be the reality TV junkie in me. I just can’t pass up a reality tv show!) However, I did really appreciate watching Koty try to date and see her come out of her shell a little bit. If you are a fan of interesting characters, modern coming of age stories, and plenty of Japanese culture and food (yumm!), then Faking Reality is a great book for you to check out!
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