Author: Raziel Reid
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Release Date: June 9, 2020
A naïve teenager is thrown into the high-stakes, back-stabbing world of reality television.
After a disastrous date results in her arrest, sixteen-year-old Lily Rhode is horrified to discover her mugshot is leaked on a gossip website. Lily is the niece of Whitney Paley, a Hollywood housewife and star of reality show Platinum Triangle, a soap-opera-style docu-series in the vein of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Hills, revolving around several glamorous families living in the Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Holmby Hills neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
When Lily’s mom kicks her out of their trailer home in the Valley, Whitney (Lily’s mom’s estranged sister) invites her to live with her, her movie-star husband, Patrick, and their daughter, Hailey. Lily is set up in the pool house and thrust into the company of reality-star offspring — kids who are born with silver spoon emojis on their feed. Lily’s cousin Hailey and the other teens have lived their entire lives on camera and are masters of deception, with Hailey leading the pack.
As Lily learns from the Paleys how to navigate her newfound fame, she finds herself ensnared in the unfolding storylines. What Lily doesn’t know is that she’s just a pawn being used on the show to make the Paleys look sympathetic to viewers while distracting from on-set sexual misconduct rumors surrounding super hero dad Patrick Paley . . .
Is Lily safe under Patrick’s roof? Or will Lily be Patrick’s downfall? If she isn’t destroyed by Hailey first. When Lily catches the eye of Hailey’s designated leading man Joel Strom — it’s war!
After Lily Rhode is arrested for grand theft, her aunt invites her to move out of Lily’s trailer park and into her aunt’s Beverly Hills mansion. The catch is that she will star on the reality show along with her cousin, Hailey, and various other famous families. Lily is just there to recover from her arrest, but her aunt Whitney positions her as the villain to her cousin Hailey. Hailey has a storyline going on the show with a romance between her and Joel, but when Joel sees Lily, he’s drawn to her. Hailey and the other cast members have to plan out their storylines for the season, and try not to be overshadowed by Lily.
Kens by Raziel Reid was one of my favourite books last year, so I was excited to read this one! The show in this book, Platinum Triangle, was like a combination of reality shows: The Kardashians meets The Hills meets The Real Housewives. There were some storylines that were straight from those shows, such as someone faking cancer and having a transgender parent. I loved this connection to real reality shows that I’ve watched.
There were some tough subjects in this book, which need some trigger warnings. There was lots of drug use, faking cancer, dog fighting, eating disorders, and an adult having a relationship with a minor. These things were told fairly early on in the book, so they aren’t spoilers. Even though these could be upsetting subjects, they were so extreme in this story that they turned into a parody of reality shows. One of the most shocking things is that some of these stories are taken right from reality shows, so they are an accurate representation of that world.
I loved this book! The ending was so shocking I had to read it a couple of times to make sure I had read it correctly. If you love reality TV, you’ll love this book.
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Kens by Raziel Reid
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