Hello everyone! I recently finished reading an amazing YA adventure story involving a reality TV show, hidden treasure, and a unique group of teenagers. Reality Gold by Tiffany Brooks is a fast-paced, action-packed story that follows a group of teens as they navigate their roles on a reality TV show taking place on a supposedly haunted island. The characters are all unique and handle the show, and each other, in different ways. Anyone who loves action and adventure should be sure to check out Reality Gold!
Reality Gold by Tiffany Brooks
Publisher: Dunemere Books
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Genre: YA Action/Adventure, Mystery
High school senior Riley Ozaki is desperate to change her reality after an avalanche of Internet shaming ruined her life. With her reputation and self-esteem at rock bottom thanks to cyberbullying, Riley needs to do something drastic to repair her social standing—which is why she decided to try out for a reality TV show. Suddenly, she’s dropping onto a deserted tropical island with nineteen other teens for a Survivor-style competition that she hopes will be her redemption.
With a cast of vivid characters who will stop at nothing to win the show, a cursed island setting, and a priceless treasure waiting to be discovered, Reality Gold pitches readers right into scheming web of lies, love, and betrayal. This novel is a fast-paced journey where allies may not be who they say they are, and legends abound. Riley must embrace all of life’s realities, including loss and deceit, in order to discover who she truly is.
Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours, the author, and Dunemere Books for providing a review copy!!
First off, I really liked the cast of characters in Reality Gold. There is a wide variety of personalities, which I found to add more depth and realism to the story. I enjoyed having Riley as a main character and narrator, as she was not quite like most young, female protagonists. She comes from a wealthy family, so most would assume that she would be a kind of entitled and snobby character, but there was none of that. Riley did not follow the “wealthy teen girl” stereotype much at all, which I found quite refreshing. Just because she had money didn’t mean she couldn’t be smart or creative or sweet. She had an intelligent voice and was always very perceptive. I genuinely enjoyed reading from her perspective!
As far as the other characters go, they all had their own little quirks and individual styles. Now, some of them were a little on the stereotypical side, including the goth girl, the jock, the nerd, and the southern guy. But, I still enjoyed reading about them! I liked how each person had their own voice, so I always knew who was talking, allowing the dialogue to flow smoothly. The wide range of characters allowed for a more diverse group, which made the story more interesting than it would have been if all the characters had been of similar personalities.
Towards the beginning of the story, it was a bit difficult to keep each character straight, as they are a part of a reality show and there’s twenty of them. However, we do get to know a few of them on a more personal level as the story goes on and people are voted off the show. I particularly liked reading about Maren and AJ. These two kind of become Riley’s friends during the show (as well as some of the other players, but I liked these two the best!), and we get to know them a bit better. Yet, I really could have used more development from them. I would have loved to learn more about Maren and AJ’s pasts and families and lives outside of the show. We receive little hints and tidbits, but more information would have really added a lot of depth to these characters!
Plot & Writing
I really liked the writing style in this book, as it was very modern and reflected the thoughts and actions of today’s teenagers fairly well. It was very straightforward and not excessively descriptive, yet we can get a great sense of the setting and the characters. I also really enjoyed how the treasure hunting didn’t completely take over the story and we still get scenes from camp and the TV show games. Sometimes side things like that tend to take over the story and the main, initial setting or motivation is overlooked, but that did not happen at all in Reality Gold.
I don’t usually read books like this one, but I really enjoyed the idea of a reality show! It was totally different from my typical reads, and I quite liked the aspects of action, adventure, and mystery. The story is not heavy and super dark, but there are some mysterious, unexpected elements that add a little darkness without forcing the story to lose its lightness. Personally, I really liked that little twist of mystery among the fun, lighthearted parts of the story, as it added something more realistic that reflected the dangers of the island and treasure hunting while not being too scary or intense. (I’m not always a fan of being scared, so that’s a plus for me!)
Reality Gold is fast-paced, so there is constantly something new happening. I felt that this played well into the TV show and treasure hunting aspects, because it made these things seem more dire and much more exciting! The story is full of action as Riley and her friends travel around the island looking for treasure, as there is always something new they experience. Each time they go out, something different happens, which makes for a much more interesting story! There are constantly twists and surprises around every page, some larger than others, but the story keeps you interested and makes you want to read more, more more!
I really enjoyed this reality TV, treasure hunting adventure! I loved the characters and their wide range of personalities and strengths and weaknesses. Riley made for a wonderful narrator and protagonist, and I enjoyed following her journey throughout the story. Reality Gold is written for readers who love a great fast-paced, adventurous story about teens just trying to figure things out on an island where everything is not quite as it seems. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good adventure!
Have you read Reality Gold? Do you enjoy action and adventure books? Do you like to read books outside of your usual genres?