White high school senior Bentley Royce’s reality TV world and her family are falling apart. There’s no promise of another season for Rolling with the Royces, but can Bent make this one a record-setter and keep her family together?
Bent has been a TV star since the age of 12. On the show, she is “Bad Bentley,” an unruly teen, but that’s not how she sees herself. The other Royces struggle with their identities as well, unable to differentiate between reality TV and real life. With the help of Mexican corporate head Diego Sanchez and her brown-skinned friend, Venice, she comes up with a plan to create the perfect season. In helping her family, Bent learns who she wants to be. In this sendup of the modern media world, Stohl evolves Bent from a damsel in distress to a leader, even if things don’t go as planned. Stohl realistically represents Los Angeles as a diverse community with a large Latino population, though most of the main characters are wealthy and white. Within that primary-cast limitation, this funny, fast-paced read also explores identity, tragedy, and rallying around the people you love. Hilarious, emoji-bedecked footnotes from vapid RWTR–developer “the Dirk” add fizz to the breezy third-person narration: “Reminder: pls destroy this footage. It can never surface. Ever. Anywhere. ?”
A smart, satirical edge separates this Hollywood chick-lit from many others. (Fiction. 12-18)