Little Willow (slayground) wrote,
Little Willow

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The Actual Real Reality of Jennifer James by Gillian Shields

When new British reality TV series begins filming at London Road Comprehensive, Jennifer unwillingly becomes a contestant alongside her peers, her teachers, and eccentric celebrities. The show is called Down the Bog, which isn't a very flattering title. In the United Kingdom, "bog" is slang for "toilet" and "bog-standard" means "average." (Claire, Jennifer, I'm sure you'll expand on this.) In other words, the title is putting down her school.

Two kids per grade (except for the highest year) are selected to participate, with the student prize being a scholarship to an elite school. As stated earlier, Jennifer doesn't want to be on the show, but she has been selected to represent her grade. So has Tallulah, who is as cruel as she is pretty - and she knows it.

This book is also written in diary format. Nearly four hundred pages in length, it is unlike many other stories about reality TV shows because Jennifer doesn't watch herself on TV. She can't. Her mother doesn't permit televisions in the house. (Jennifer's mother is a hip New Age Womyn, not unlike Alice's mother.) This allows the book to be more about Jennifer and less about television. She is a reluctant participant in this crazy game, and readers will root for her.

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