Ally, the main character, decides to try out for a reality tv show before heading off to college. The show itself is a mix between Big Brother and something like Jersey Shore. There is no prize money and no one is locked in the house but they do all live together and are filmed at all times. Now, there are so many reality TV shows around and I wondered how this would translate into a contemporary book. The Hunger Games also has a similar reality TV theme but set in a dystopian world so nothing like what Barnholdt has created.
Ally's situation, as well as her as a character, were really interesting. I'm not sure if I would have ever entered to go on a show like she did when starting college and moving away from home. Surely it would have been too much pressure to handle in one go but I have to say, I was impressed with the way she handled things to begin with. Not only does she have classes to go to but she also has to learn how to live with a bunch of people she has never met and people who have completely different personalities. The book is told through different views according to time; then and now. The start of the book states just how messed up Ally is after being on the show so right from the beginning, you know nothing is going to go smoothly and I liked this. I liked knowing that Ally was going to have to struggle and that she was going to have a hard time being in that situation.
My only real problem with this book is the fact that you know the love triangle is coming and I would have liked for it to have been a little bit more of a shock. Drew was a lovely character though even if I didn't get to know as much about him as I wanted to. As there is so much going on for Ally, he doesn't make a real appearance until part way through the book and isn't in it nearly enough. Drew had a lot going for him that would have made him amazing had the time been spent on his characterisation. He definitely would have been a guy I would have gone for myself due to his depth and compassion. Then there is Corey, Ally's long distance, high school sweetheart boyfriend. I cant say that I liked him very much really though. Being in a long distance relationship, I thought that he would have made more of an effort with Ally but he just came across as full of himself and like he didn't care either way most of the time. Because of this, I don't really get what Ally saw in him.
The secondary characters, mainly the other housemates, were fantastic. With such a range of personalities, forced together for a certain reason, there was a lot of humour. I loved the other girls who lived in the house and the fun they brought to Ally's life. Jasmine is a Hooters Girl/ stripper tryout and is so outgoing and loud. Her presence cant really be missed and she comes to life on each page. Simone is the quieter of the three girls and stays to herself to begin with but it is clear that she is a good friend and only wants what is best for everyone. This book would have been quite boring without them I think. James, the other guy housemate, was terrible but I loved him. I like characters who mix things up a bit and cause chaos so here, James did his job really well.
What I love most about Barnholdt's work is the language she uses. The teenagers are real. They do things teenagers actually do like go to parties and get drunk and sleep around at times. They swear frequently and say exactly what is on their minds. Now, while I know this sort of thing is not to everyone's tastes and that I can see parents of younger teens complaining about it, I think it is great! I hate to see teenagers, especially 18 year olds in books, shown to be something that they're not. I understand that it doesn't set the best standard but I don't see the point in shying away from the real world and that is exactly what Barnholdt portrays in her books and I have to applaud her for taking risks and showing what life is really like.
Watch Me will not be a book for everyone but I loved it and already want more from this amazing author!
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Watch Me Kindle Edition
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Audio CD, CD, Unabridged
About the Author
Lauren Barnholdt was born and raised in Syracuse, New York, and currently resides in Massachusetts. When she's not writing, she watches a lot of reality TV. --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
"I could not put this book down -- it was hilarious! Barnholdt is a fresh new voice in teen fiction." --Sarah Mlynowski, author of Milkrun and As Seen on TV --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B004LLICWW
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (17 May 2011)
- Language : English
- File size : 1800 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 306 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,980,742 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
4.3 out of 5
7 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries
Watch out for this author!Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 October 2011
リアリティーＴＶReviewed in Japan on 14 September 2010
Good, quick readReviewed in the United States on 30 March 2012
When I first got this book I had no idea it was a reality TV type thing,& to be honest I probably would not have gotten it. But after giving it a few chapters I realized I was hooked, and as with all of Lauren Barnholdt's books, it was a really quick read. I really liked it, and would definitely reccomend it!
slow at first but..Reviewed in the United States on 12 September 2014
It was really slow at the beginning but it picks up just at the right time. It's jumps back and forth which confusing but you get used to it.