Rockwood Hills Junior High is known for the close-knit cliques that rule the school. When arty new girl Dina gets the opportunity to do a video project with queen bee Chelsea, she thinks this is her ticket to a great new social life. But Chelsea has bigger problems than Dina can imagine: her father has lost his job, and her family is teetering on the brink. Without knowing it, Dina might just get caught in Chelsea’s free fall.
Lisa Greenwald's Reel Life Starring Us is one of those books that everybody can relate to. The characters go through ups and downs in life that are realistic, and I related to the characters so easily.
This book is marketed as middle grade, but I enjoyed it and I'm a young adult, the characters seem more mature than thirteen years old, but not too old that their ages are unbelievable (I'm not making much sense am I?), I especially loved Dina, somebody that i really related to in the way that she wanted to be popular, but also in the way that she was laughed at for being an individual and Greenwald wrote this so well.
The other character, Chelsea, was pretty well written, though not quite as well written as Dina. Chelsea is a popular girl who wants to stay on top, and thinks Dina will bring her reputation down, but also doesn't want to get close to anybody due to issues at home that she keeps secret from even her best friends.
The story was fantastically written and whilst some of the scenarios were quite out there and unrealistic but the rest of the book dealt with some issues such as friendship, bullying, money issues, family problems as well as the little bit of romance. There was always something exciting or personal happening, and this meant the pacing was pretty good. The story is written from two points of view - Dina and Chelsea, their voices didn't seem very different and I occasionally find myself forgetting who's perspective I was reading from.
I did have one issue with this book, and that was that the backing characters were pretty one-dimensional - Chelsea's friends (I can't even remember their names) were just the typical mean girls, always trying to stay on top no matter what it meant for everybody else, where was their background and their moral development?
Overall, Reel Life Starring Us was a nice book, with some good characters and some bad ones. The book deals with some issues in a sensitive way. While the book was well aced I never found myself gripped by the book.
Overall Rating: B
Stand Alone/Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: 1st September 2011
Book received as an ARC from the publisher