Heather Demetrios Something Real

ISBN 13: 9780805097948

Something Real

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9780805097948: Something Real

Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV―she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker's Dozen. Since the show's cancellation, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it's about to fall apart . . . because Baker's Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™'s mom and the show's producers won't let her quit and soon the life that she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own―even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

Heather Demetrios' Something Real is the winner of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

When she's not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the east coast home. Heather is part of the Summer 2014 Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA class at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award for Something Real. She's never been on reality TV, but her grandmother keeps begging her to do The Amazing Race.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

SEASON 17, EPISODE 1
 

(The One with the Cameras)
It took me four years, seven shrinks, three different hair colors, one Zen meditation retreat, and over six hundred mochas to get to this moment.
I step up to the blue velvet backdrop and face the camera. When the photographer isn’t paying attention, I wipe the back of my hand over my damp forehead, then clutch my fingers behind my back, like I’m a two-year-old with a secret. I shouldn’t have worn the sweater-shirt. The wool is itchy, and I’m about two seconds away from breaking out in hives. God, why won’t he just take the damn picture? It’s not like this is Seventeen. The last time they shot me, we’d spent four hours on my hair and makeup and another three in front of the camera. This is nothing compared to that, but it feels so much worse.
I want to bolt so bad, and this guy’s taking forever, longer than he took for anyone who was in line ahead of me. But I have to stick it out. I’ve been psyching myself up for this all summer. A senior photo is an important pastime for a normal girl. And I’m a normal girl.
Finally.
I can do this. Breathe. It’s not even a camera camera … it’s just a photo. One photo. That’s it. And the name that will be underneath it in the yearbook? Totally unremarkable. Nothing Us Weekly would care about. Chloe Baker’s a nobody.
The scruffy photographer crouches down behind the camera, like a sniper looking through a scope. The panic that had started out as a slight queasiness in my stomach is pushing past my ribs, pressing against my lungs.
The sweater itching. Sweat on my forehead. Nails digging into my skin. Keep it together. Just a few more seconds.
I’m a freaking basket case.
“All right, Chloe,” he says. “On three. One, two—”
I smile as the flash goes off, and the photographer gives me a thumbs-up, then turns to the kid behind him. “Next!”
My first voluntary picture in four years.
I grab my backpack off the floor and throw it over one shoulder as I walk out of the makeshift photo studio. Giddiness wells up in me, like I mainlined a Pepsi Freeze and got a little too high on caffeine and sugar. I want to do something to commemorate the day—bake a cake or put a sticker on my calendar. Light a candle.
Behind me, a long line of seniors wait their turn for the yearbook photos, but since my last name is at the beginning of the alphabet, I’m among the first to go home on this rare half day. Thank God for long faculty meetings.
“Proud of you, sis.”
My brother, Benton™, also a senior, gives me a hug. I knew he’d been waiting for me after he took his photo, which, because he’s a well-adjusted person, is no biggie for him.
“Is that relief I see in your eyes?” I ask him.
He shrugs. “Maybe a little.”
“Someday, you’ll be proud of me for doing something that’s scarier than a yearbook picture.”
He gives my ponytail an affectionate tug. “Baby steps.” We walk away from the line together and then he jerks his thumb toward the locker room. “I’m meeting Matt, so you can take the car, ’kay?”
“Have fun.”
He gives me a wicked little grin. “We get his house to ourselves until he has practice at three.”
I feign shock. “Scandalous!”
He laughs and then jogs off to meet his boyfriend, while I go the opposite way, toward the parking lot.
Maybe not freaking out is proof that I’m no longer a paranoid schizo. I mean, if my classmates haven’t figured it out by now, they never will. Right? Right. It doesn’t matter if they look at me all day long or have ten yearbook pictures of me. It doesn’t. They’ll only see Chloe Baker.
Still. A tiny part of me wants to turn around and demand that the photographer delete my photo. It isn’t too late. But I keep walking, one foot in front of the other, out of the gym, through the parking lot, and to the car Benny and I share—a used silver Hyundai with dark-tinted windows, as unremarkable as I want to be.
It’s one of those rare perfect fall days that we only get, like, three of in central California. The sun is shining, but the breeze bites, and even though the trees don’t really change here, not like back home in New Hampshire, a few across the parking lot have turned golden or rust-colored. I smile at them, like we’re old friends. Then I slide into the driver’s seat, and when I turn the key, the radio starts blaring Lily Allen’s “Smile,” and really, how freakin’ perfect is that?
My cell rings, and I put it on speaker as I back out of my spot.
“Chlo. You still coming over?” It’s Tessa, one of my two best friends.
“Yeah,” I say. “Just going home to change. This sweater makes me want to rip my skin off.”
“Yikes.” I can hear the heavy buzz of students all around her—her last name’s Lee, so she’ll be in line for a while. “Well, don’t hurry. After this, I have to make sure the paper’s good to go. There are about five articles that I know right now, without the benefit of psychic powers, are going to suck.”
Tessa is the editor of the school paper, and it pretty much takes up her whole life. It sort of works out that my friends are super-busy overachievers—it gives them less time to ask questions I can’t answer.
“Don’t you have underclassmen minions to do your bidding?” I say. “Make someone else proofread for a change. It’s a half day!”
I pull out of the parking lot and head north, toward the highway that leads to the new housing developments out in the boonies.
“Can’t. The paper’s my baby. Leaving it in their hands is like child endangerment,” Tessa says. “Call you when I’m done?”
“Sounds good.”
I hang up and sing along with Lily Allen, reveling in the noon sun. Now that the photo’s over, I can’t wipe the smile off my face. I’m tempted to call my therapist from last year and be like, I’m cured!! but I wouldn’t want to give her the satisfaction. She always used the phrase “that’s understandable” whenever I told her about the stuff that happened to me, and I was like, No, actually, none of it’s understandable. That’s sort of the whole point of why I’m here. But like everything else, that’s in the past.
Twenty minutes later, I slow down in front of the big metal gate that leads into our driveway. It’s exactly like the one we had in New Hampshire four years ago—built so that paparazzi can’t see in. I press the control attached to my sun visor, and the gate creaks open. As soon as I pull into the drive, my good mood is gone, like someone came over and kicked it out of me. I hit the brakes and stare.
The telltale signs of my childhood are everywhere: vans with satellite dishes on top, the Mercedes with the familiar BRN4REEL license plate, and ropes of thick black cables that crawl around the house like prehistoric predators, squeezing everyone inside until they suffocate.
The living room curtains are closed. Hot lights seem to burn up everything on the other side of them, the fluorescent quality of the inside mixing with the sunlight outside.
As if the two could coexist.
This is the moment where I’m supposed to visualize something positive. Go to my happy place. Meditate. Instead, I just sit there, numb, with the car running, and try to remember how to breathe. This can’t be possible—not when I’m finally in school and have friends and can go to the mall without Vultures hiding in planters, stalking me. Mom promised. She fucking promised.
But a voice inside whispers, Yeah, Bonnie, but parents break their promises—you know that better than anyone else.
I close my eyes and beg the universe to pleasepleaseplease let this be a really extreme flashback. It’s not real. Not real. Not.
I open my eyes—this is really happening.
The car feels suddenly small, like the metal sides are warping and shrinking. My sweater-shirt is full of millions of little teeth eating away at me, and I struggle with my seat belt as beads of sweat pile up under my bra, against the tight waistline of my jeans, and trickle down my forehead. Dammit, this seat belt won’t freaking open, it won’t—
Two guys on the roof stare down at me as I stumble out of the car, and I know they’re surveying the neighborhood, seeing if there are any good shots they can get from up there. A crew is already working on making our fence even higher, and security details are mapping out the perimeter of our property. Five hours ago, they weren’t here. They were probably driving up from LA just as I was leaving for school. Funny how your whole world can go to hell within three hundred minutes.
“Excuse me,” someone calls, “didn’t you see the sign? This is private property.”
I turn around and shade my eyes against the sun as an unfamiliar figure walks up to me.
“Yeah, I know,” I say. The woman has a cell phone in one hand and a Starbucks cup in the other. I’ve never seen her before. “My stepdad put up that sign. Who are you?”
As she gets closer, she gasps. “OMG! Bonnie™?” A look of recognition passes over her face. “It is you. Wow! You look like a totally different person! I love, love, love your long hair—so different from that cute little bob you always had, and the color—awesome. Oh my gosh, you were, like, my little sister’s idol. For reals, she is going to FLIP when she sees how grown up you are. This is so freakin’ out of control!”
She! Loves! Exclamation! Points!
“Who are you?”
“Oops!” She flips her hair back like she’s in a shampoo commercial. “Sorry. I’m Lacey—the head production assistant for Baker’s Dozen: Fresh Batch.
I already hate Lacey Production Assistant Who Talks to Me Like She Knows Me.
Fresh Batch?”
My tongue feels thick, and the words come out sounding like I’ve been drugged. My stomach gets that car sickness sort of feeling, and the world begins to tip on its axis, vertigo style.
Just then, Mom and Chuck come out the front door—Chuck of BRN4REEL fame, MetaReel’s head producer. He hasn’t changed a bit. His paunch strains against his shirt, and he walks toward me like a strutting peacock, his weight on his heels, his arms swinging freely at his sides. Lacey scurries away, and two seconds later I realize why; she doesn’t want to get in the shot. My hands fly up to block my face—my kingdom for a pair of dark sunglasses and a ginormous hat.
“Mom! What is this?” I shout. The last word echoes across our huge driveway, this … this … this.
I can feel eyes on me—the camera, the dudes on the roof, the crew peeking out the windows of my house.
“Bonnie™, why aren’t you in school?”
Mom’s out of practice—back in the day, she would have been able to hide the note of panic that’s creeping into her voice. To her credit, she has a super-stricken look on her face, but right now I hate her more than Lacey Production Assistant.
“Who cares? What’s going on?”
Bonnie™,” she says, pursing her lips and inclining her head ever so slightly toward the camera.
As if I could forget it’s there.
Chuck’s small, glittering eyes are on us, but he hangs back, letting the cameras take in all our drama. There’s a movement to my right, and I see three little pigtailed heads peering out at me through the slightly open front door—my youngest sisters, our triplets from China: Daisy™, Violet™, and Jasmine™. I was hoping they wouldn’t have the childhood I did, but I guess they will after all.
“Mom, please—” I stop because my voice is getting that high, constricted I’m-trying-not-to-cry sound, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to give the cameras what they want. Also, I don’t want to freak out my sisters.
Mom looks at me—really looks at me—and her eyes are sad and stressed, and I think how much they look like my brother Benny’s. Then she squeezes the tip of her nose between her thumb and index finger, which is Mom Speak for shitshitshit. She turns to Chuck.
“We can’t film this—we agreed Kirk and I would get to tell all the kids in a controlled environment. I told you it would be difficult with her. I told you, Chuck.”
The camera focuses on me as Chuck whispers in Mom’s ear. She starts shaking her head.
“I don’t care!”
My feet start moving on their own, closer and closer to the camera. I barely register the guy holding it. I reach out my hand and touch the glass lens—nobody’s really paying attention to me anymore except for the camera and the man behind it. You know those tribal people who believed a camera could steal your soul? Turns out they were right.
“I’m sorry, Beth. It’s in the contract—MetaReel has full access to all public spheres of the home. The driveway is a public sphere. What do you want me to do?” Chuck asks. I can see him reflected in the lens, giving his little shrug and faux it’s-out-of-my-hands frown. It’s an expression better suited to a sitcom. He loves playing hapless—he’s anything but.
“Bon-Bon, come over here,” Chuck says, his voice wheedling. “Four years, and I don’t even get a hug?”
I can’t believe I used to like that nickname.
“Bonnie™,” Mom calls. I can hear her heels grinding the gravel underfoot as she comes after me. Hurry, hurry, my blood whispers.
I look right into the camera. My face is practically pressed up against it. America will be able to see my smudged eyeliner and the zit on my chin. They’ll probably show a Cover Girl commercial after this segment—I’ll be a cautionary tale for teen skin care.
I open my mouth to say something— screw you, America!—anything, but I go mute. Typical.
Mom yanks me back, hard. Child Protective Services hard.
“Ouch!” I say it louder than I need to.
The front door opens wider, and Kirk, my stepdad, comes outside. His sandy gray hair is slicked back, and he’s wearing pressed khakis and a button-down. He looks like a totally different person without the paint-splattered Dickies and ratty T-shirts he usually wears.
“Bonnie™, sweetheart. Let your mother explain,” he says.
For a second, I just stand there and stare at him. Bonnie™— et tu, Kirk? I feel like he just walked onto the porch and slapped my face as hard as he could. Up until about three seconds ago, he was one of only two people in my whole family who were willing to call me Chloe. He’d understood why the name Bonnie™ was repulsive to me. He’d said he wouldn’t want to be a brand, either. But now he’s sauntering toward us, relaxed—like he’s having fun. I look from Mom’s perfect hair to his easy grin; this was always going to happen again, wasn’t it? Stupid, stupid me.
“Bonnie™, go inside.” Mom’s still holding my arm, and I can almost feel my skin bruising underneath it, turning me purple. I shake her off, but she doesn’t notice. She and Chuck are having a staring contest.
I give the camera one more glare before I jump back in my car. The keys are still in the ignition, so I peel out of the driveway James Bond style, ignoring my mother’s shouts and the coffee that Lacey Production Assistant has dropped onto the front of her shirt in her haste not to die.
I can’t believe it. Despite all her promises, my mom has finally given in to MetaReel. After four camera-free years, the cast of Baker’s Dozen—my family—is back on the air.

 
Text copyright © 2014 by Heather Demetrios

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Descripción Henry Holt Company, United States, 2014. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Seventeen-year-old Bonnie(TM) Baker has grown up on TV--she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker s Dozen. Since the show s cancellation, Bonnie(TM) has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it s about to fall apart . . . because Baker s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie(TM) s mom and the show s producers won t let her quit and soon the life that she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie(TM) needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own--even if it means being more exposed than ever before. Heather Demetrios Something Real is the winner of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780805097948

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Descripción Henry Holt Company, United States, 2014. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Seventeen-year-old Bonnie(TM) Baker has grown up on TV--she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker s Dozen. Since the show s cancellation, Bonnie(TM) has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it s about to fall apart . . . because Baker s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie(TM) s mom and the show s producers won t let her quit and soon the life that she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie(TM) needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own--even if it means being more exposed than ever before. Heather Demetrios Something Real is the winner of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780805097948

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Descripción Henry Holt Company, United States, 2014. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Seventeen-year-old Bonnie(TM) Baker has grown up on TV--she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker s Dozen. Since the show s cancellation, Bonnie(TM) has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it s about to fall apart . . . because Baker s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie(TM) s mom and the show s producers won t let her quit and soon the life that she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie(TM) needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own--even if it means being more exposed than ever before. Heather Demetrios Something Real is the winner of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award. Nº de ref. de la librería BZE9780805097948

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Descripción Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 416 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 6.1in. x 1.8in.Seventeen-year-old Bonnie Baker has grown up on TV--she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Bakers Dozen. Since the shows cancellation, Bonnie has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But its about to fall apart . . . because Bakers Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnies mom and the shows producers wont let her quit and soon the life that she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own--even if it means being more exposed than ever before. Heather Demetrios Something Real is the winner of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780805097948

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