Claire loves reality television. Her older sister Miranda is smart and talented…and has just graduated from college. When Miranda catches her boyfriend Samir cheating on her, she storms home with Claire to re-group. But Claire doesn’t want Miranda to wallow in self-pity. She wants her to be the strong sister she always has been. And Claire also wants to show Miranda that she isn’t the little sister that Miranda had to once babysit. So Claire comes up with a plan for Miranda to get back at Samir. They audition for a race-around-the-world reality television show that Samir is on. With the stress of a reality television show and family and ex-boyfriend drama Claire is hoping she will come across as the strong sister who can help her sister when the going gets rough. Miranda just wants revenge on Samir. Of course when the race is going Claire has to figure out just how real is reality television. And who can she trust? And as the race gets more and more complicated Claire hopes that Miranda will eventually see her as more than just a little sister.
This is a fun story that pokes a bit of fun at the cultural phenomenon that is reality television. Claire and Miranda are great sisters. Since this is told from Claire’s prospective readers will get the sense that she is desperately trying to change the perception of who she thinks her sister thinks she is. Although to be fair Claire sometimes slips into the younger sister role whenever Miranda is around (and deciding to be in charge). The way that both sisters interact will seem all too familiar with many readers. And although there is a bit of romance (and the share of plot twists that go along with boys who complicate family drama) the main focus is Claire and Miranda’s relationship. And of course all those that love the popular reality TV show where couples race around the world will enjoy the background of a beloved television show icon.
Book Discussion Questions:
Why was Claire so frustrated with how Miranda treated/saw her?
Was it fair that Miranda treated Claire the way that she did?
If you were going to race around the world, who would you want to race with? Why?
Do you think reality TV is real? Why or why not?
Why did Claire do what she did at the end of the race? What would you have done in her situation?
Random House, Delacorte Press, 2014
AGES: Young Adult