Tulip Taylor is a hit on YouTube with her vlog about makeup and lifestyle. It is her way of feeling in control of her life, given that she has a very untypical home, including a mother who is trying to make a living by exploiting social media. When Harvey, the son of a TV personality and survival expert, comes to her school there is an immediate tension and he seems to be very critical of her life style. However when the opportunity to take part in a reality television show occurs, Tulip finds herself agreeing to take part; unfortunately Harvey is also part of the group. How will Tulip cope with the outward bound life and what about her relationship with Harvey?
This is a truly delightful story, with a heroine that really grows on you. At the beginning there is a perception that she is somewhat shallow, but as we see the circumstances of her life we realise that Tulip is coping with a huge number of pressures and is still able to be positive and be a good friend to those around her. Her mother is fixated on making a living through her blog and is willing to promote almost anything to do so; while her younger brother and sister have some issues about being a unicorn and a Disney princess among others. Harvey also has problems, with a famous father and a somewhat aggressive brother. The author shows clearly the kind of stresses that young people feel they have in their lives and also the impact that social media and television can have on the way that they are perceived. The idea of ‘celebrity’ has been with us for quite a long time but with the introduction of media such as YouTube, Instagram and SnapChat it has become increasingly easy for young people to achieve this status. The problem comes in how they are able to deal with the pressures of this fame, because in the modern world celebrity has become a two-way street, where the audience can comment on what they see and those comments are not always positive. Despite the very serious topics that are covered in this story it is still light and full of hope and a good deal of humour; I definitely think it is a brilliant summer read even for adults, as it gives a superb insight into the modern world of teens.