Title: Reality Boy
Author: A.S. King
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Source: Netgalley- Received in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
"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" struggling to break free of his anger. Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality TV crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he is 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. No one cares that Gerald has tried to learn to control himself; they're all just waiting for him to snap. And he's starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that...until he chooses to create possibilities for himself that he never knew he deserved."
It was so hard to hold back tears while reading Reality Boy. It wasn’t exactly sad, but it was heartbreaking at times. Gerald has had a tough life, an awful childhood that really screwed him up, and no one seems to care or take notice.
Gerald is an extremely angry character. He’s violent. He’s famous for it. Or rather, as he puts it, infamous. His childhood, psycho-sister and cold mother and all, was watched by millions. He was the victim of a reality TV show, Network Nanny, and the whole world saw everything but the truth.
Reality Boy has nothing to look forward to except getting away from his sister and his mother. The way he sees it, jail is the most likely place he’ll end up. College or a real job doesn’t seem like a possibility, at least, not until he meets Register Girl #1, aka Hannah, and he starts to demand things again. He starts to want what he thought he could never have. And it’s finally becoming clear that it’s not impossible for him to get these things.
Overall: I related so much to this book, and I’m not even sure why. It was so honest, so touching. I felt really close to Gerald, especially as he starts to realize that he’s right, and that there’s nothing wrong with him, but rather his family is the real problem. I felt like a proud aunt when he finally got what he deserved, when he finally starts to let himself be happy. I recommend this book to everyone. I think there’s a part of this book that everyone can relate to, whether it’s Gerald’s family issues, his anger management, or his and Hannah’s relationship. This book was so real.
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