Title: Reality Boy
Author: A.S. King
Series: stand alone
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: October 22, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.
Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.
In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.
This book definitely had its fair share of flaws, but despite all of these, I gave the book 4 stars because I enjoyed it.
The great thing about A.S. King is that she isn’t afraid to write something different.
Reality Boy gives us an insight on what happens to reality show stars behind the scenes. Our main character, Gerald, was a star of Network Nanny, where the Faust family was shown to be a family in need of guidance.
Gerald was known to be a problem child–his sister Tasha even accused him of being retarded. The odd thing was, his mother would agree to anything just to make Tasha happy. Even with the support of his other sister, it was clear that Tasha wanted to make his life miserable.
Halfway through the book, it was clear that it was his mother and sister who had mental problems, not Gerald. Although A.S. King did not dwell on this, I felt sympathy and irritation towards both character, deeply wishing that they would get better and treat Gerald like he was an actual human being, not some dog they can kick around.
Throughout the story, we learn more and more about what Gerald does to cope with things–he used to shit in the oddest places; he punched walls… This kid had a tough life.
Eventually, though, Gerald met Hannah. Obviously, romance ensues. Hannah was a very entertaining character to read about. She had her own story that played well with Gerald’s, and she was overall a nice person. Their romance was too fast-paced, though, to the point that it seemed like insta-love. They fought and made up much too often for a regular couple, but they completed each other, and it was very sweet to read about.
Reality Boy would’ve been better with a more realistic romance and if the side characters played bigger parts in the story.
Overall, it was a very addicting yet odd read. It may be your next favorite book, but it could possibly be the next book you’ll rant about. This novel will bring so much mixed thoughts and new insights to things you’ve never considered doing.