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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Something Real Blog Tour | guest post from author Heather Demetrios!

I think 2014 is going to be the year of debuts for me, 'cause I have a lot of debut authors in my stack and on my wishlist, and what I've read so far I've not only liked, but loved. This includes Heather Demetrios' contemporary debt, Something Real, which skewers our reality TV obsession and fixation with celebrity (something that, frankly, has always kinda freaked me out). I loved it, so of course I'm super happy to be kicking off the blog tour! I'll be sharing my thoughts on this funny and affecting book tomorrow, but until then, Heather has stopped by to teach us how to survive if, like her main character, you find yourself one among many.

Top Ten Tips For Living With A Baker’s Dozen

Think your family’s bad? In my debut novel, Something Real, Bonnie™, my main character, is one of thirteen kids in her family. As if that isn’t miserable enough, they’re also the stars of Baker’s Dozen, a Jon and Kate Plus Eight kind of reality show that Bonnie™ was literally born on. After seventeen years of having her sisters steal her clothes and her brothers break her stuff, Bonnie™ has learned a thing or two about how to deal.

1. Make sure your bedroom door locks…from the inside

The only way to get any peace of mind is to rig your room to keep the barbarians out. These days, this probably includes your mom. Having your own space to take a few deep breaths and go to your happy place is absolutely necessary when cameras are recording everything from what you eat for breakfast to how many minutes you’ve spent in the bathroom. It’s also kinda nice for secret trysts with your boyfriend or bitch sessions with your best friend slash older brother.

2. Label Everything

Beth Baker-Miller, a.k.a Mom, is nothing if not meticulously organized. You’d do well to take a tip from her and put your name on everything you own (and I mean everything). Try and prove that your arch-nemesis of a sister didn’t steal that tube of lipstick you just bought or that you’d called dibs on that last carton of yogurt in the fridge. Sticky labels and Sharpies are your friends.   

3. If the bathroom’s free, take a shower

I’m sure you can imagine just how hard it is to get a hot shower when a million other people are living in your house and there are only two bathrooms. My recommendation? Become an early bird. I guarantee you that no one is going to be taking a shower at five in the morning. Then you get to stay in as long as you want. Bonus: you’ll also be the first to the coffeepot.

4. Keep a stash of snacks in a super-secret hidden location

Think you’re gonna have a full stomach after fifteen people have eaten dinner? Dream on. The key is to eat as fast as you can so there are seconds (which there won’t be) and then finish up with a bag of chips or a Snickers bar hidden under your bed. Which leads us to…

5. Hide Things

Have a diary you want to keep secret, a note from your boyfriend, or a naughty Harlequin romance you stole from your mother’s bookshelf? Invest in a safe or a find a really good hiding place. Otherwise, you can look forward to embarrassing revelations (which will be aired on national TV, of course).

6. Bite Your Tongue

If you have a sister who’s really good at pushing your buttons—and, chances are, if you have twelve siblings there will be at least one who knows how to piss you off—do your best not to give into the temptation to snark back at her. Not only will she totally make it look like you are the irrational one, she’ll be certain a camera’s around when she does.

7. Thank God you’re not one of the younger kids

There are a few perks to being one of the oldest and this includes not having to wear hand-me-downs. Remember that shirt you spilled a cherry Icee on in fifth grade or the ugly snow boots your mom made you wear until you outgrew them? Of course you do—you see your younger sisters wearing them all the time. It’s the little things.

8. Be the first to sign up for weekly chores

Because, for real, how much would it suck to clean the bathroom? Or do the dishes? With fifteen people living under one roof, the last thing you want to do is clean up after them more than you already do.

9. Accept bribes, engage in blackmail

Being a part of a family like the Bakers is akin to attending a UN summit every day of the week. Each person is a country with its own agenda and, in some cases, its own army. The only way to survive World War III is to make use of bribes and blackmail. That means you have to keep your ear to the ground—having the dirt on your siblings is better than cold hard cash.

10. Accept that babysitting is your new job

You can try to fight it, but the truth is, you’re going to be babysitting—a lot. There are only three things that will get you through this: caffeine, caffeine, and caffeine.
Follow these tips and repeat after me: there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home. Then grab your keys and get outta there.

Something Real by Heather Demetrios
Get It | Add It
416 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Henry Holt BYR
Winner of the 2012 PEN New England Discovery Award!

There’s nothing real about reality TV.

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 and the scandal surrounding it, 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 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, originally from Los Angeles, now lives in Brooklyn and various imaginary locales. She is the recipient of a PEN New England Discovery Award for her debut YA novel about reality TV stardom, SOMETHING REAL (Macmillan/Henry Holt), and is the author of the upcoming EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, a smoldering fantasy about jinn in Los Angeles (#1 in the DARK CARAVAN fantasy trilogy from HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray), both out in 2014. She is currently working on her second novel for Macmillan, a love story about a young combat veteran and a girl trapped in their small town, both struggling to escape the war at home. When she’s not hanging out with her characters, Heather is working on her MFA in writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.


  1. This list is terrifyingly accurate! I'm one of seven children, so I can relate (though not to the cameras!) I'm surprised I hadn't heard of this book before now, but it's certainly on my must read list now! Thanks for such a fun guest post!

  2. Haha, I love this list! And like Debz said, it's very accurate. I'm one of five, and that's bad enough. I would not want any more siblings to wrestle with for the first shower. Being the oldest does have its perks, though. I'm so excited for this book, it's been getting so many great reviews!

  3. Ha, great guest post! I was an only child until age 8, and I think that involves a survival list of its own. :)

    I've heard so many good things about this book, and I can't wait to read it! -Franny

  4. SO TRUE! Ha ha! I was the 2nd child in a family of 6 kids, and the only girl. I did not envy my younger brothers that only got hand-me-downs. I was an expert at locking my bedroom door, hogging the bathroom, and hiding things I wanted to keep private.

  5. I just heard about this book the other day & had already added it to my to-buy shelf...this just makes me want to move it to the top! :)

  6. Great list. (And honestly, everyone needs a door that locks from the inside.)

  7. Completely accurate. I live with 6 and only 1 bathroom so yes totally agree with all especially #3. Sometimes hard to do #6. I love being the oldest. Blackmail is def necessary and yes, as the oldest I hated being the babysitter. Great post! :D

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