Real As It Gets- Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Real As It Gets
Reshonda Tate Billingsley
Kensington K-Teen, Dec 31 2013. $9.95
ISBN: 9780758289551

In the slums of Brooklyn ailing Bev worried about her at risk son Travis so she sends him to live with his wealthy uncle in Miami. At the same time Travis’ cousin Maya, the leader of the Miami “It Clique” and TV star of celebrity gossip Rumor Central, sees an image of former Miss Teen Miami Savannah Vanderpool stoned and looking like hell at the S.I. cover reception. Stunned as getting high seems out of character for Savannah, Maya learns the model used K2, a synthetic more powerful than Kush or meth.

At Miami HS which both cousins now attend, Maya objects when Travis begins seeing her BFF Sheridan and warns her ex Bryce to keep his distance. However, Travis worries about his mom’s health as she refuses charity from her brother. To pay her enormous medical bills, Travis begins dealing while Maya tries to get him to stop for his sake and because students like the smart Lin Vo have become brain damaged by K2 usage.

Though I have doubts with what happens to Travis after his poor choices, the third Rumor Central teen drama (see You Don’t Know Me Like That) is a strong entry that looks deeply into the high school drug problem. In many ways Travis steals the show from his superstar courageous cousin as this exciting tale makes the downside of the drug scene as Real As It Gets.

Harriet Klausner

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