Saturday, October 26, 2013



Released earlier this week, REALITY BOY is being marketed as a contemporary YA/Adult crossover. Contemporary Young Adult means no magic, futuristic technology, or running for your life. Typically these novels move at a slower pace and center around buzz topics such as abuse, suicide, disability, sexual orientation, or terminal illness. (Usually with a side of romance/sexual coming-of-age.)

The term "crossover" means they're expecting the adults to enjoy this as much as teens, but in this case, it seems they're also using it as a license to fill this children's book with adult content. Although I only made it through the first third of the book, the stats I collected so far should give you an idea of whether you want to buy it for your teen.

Reality Boy is about a boy's struggle to overcome the emotional damage he received as a child TV reality star. For those that don't mind the coarse content (or lack of external plot), you'll probably fall in love with the characters. A.S. King writes well and with compassion. It's an important book as far as addressing mental disability and the necessary role of parents. I just wish she could have done it with a few less F-words.

Reality Boy gets an (R) rating (bordering on NC-17) for content.  

Two stars. 

(A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for a review.)


  1. Thanks for this review Ryan. I was going to read this book, but now I'll pass. It's such a shame that YA novels are so often filled with smut! I would love to see a bit more specific rating system though, because PG -13 and R, etc can be soooo broad. I look forward to reading more of your posts ;)

  2. Thanks for your comment! Yeah, the movie ratings are pretty broad. Books are really hard to rate as far as content. What some find offensive, others don't. That's why we're also incorporating the SEX/LANGUAGE/VIOLENCE/ADULT THEMES categories. (As well as specific examples of content.) It's not fullproof, but by the end, you should have a pretty good idea whether it's a book you want your kids to read.


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