When It’s Real by Erin Watt
4 I Want Real CROWNS
Erin Watt has nailed another mature YA romance! It has the heart and the angst that goes with teen love, but still has that maturity in an authentic way.
Oakley longs for real. In a world riddled with people looking to get something from him, he feels alone and isolated. Only when he pays for a girlfriend, does he find something real, and in this real relationship, readers get to see the real Oak shine through! They see the boy who has grown up in the spotlight and longs to be loved, to be valued for more than what he can do for another person and to be seen for who he is behind the public persona. The reason for the evolution of his character is the introduction of Vaughn. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders, which has resulted in her life being stagnant. Oak, however, gets her thinking and moving forward, asking her to consider what she wants, what are her passions, and what would make her happy. Through their relationship, she becomes braver and lives life harder and fuller.
Because this is a YA novel, it is low on the physical intimacy aspect, but Erin Watt delivers the emotional connection. The banter and “hate” when they meet develops their chemistry, and as the two begin to make themselves emotionally vulnerable to each other, the chemistry only begins to smolder. This is a physical pay-off, but it is low-steam and happens latter in the book, but yet again it is YA, and it completely fits the tone of the novel and the character development of Oak and Vaughn.
The plot of When It’s Real is well paced. Readers will not feel rushed or like the story is dragging. The story flows naturally in a way that allows readers to like the characters, fall in love them as they fall in love with each other, and root for them to get that HEA. Readers will also like the conflict. It wasn’t what I expected, but I liked it. And while I enjoyed the final chapter, hello swoon-factor, I wish the epilogue would have been a little bit more. I like the updates and the information readers are given, but it wasn’t enough for me (I guess that is a sign of loving the characters).
I’ve been in love with Erin Watt since the Royals, and I don’t see my love affair ending. Not a general lover of YA, these two write Young Adult novels that captivate me. Their characters hold the attributes of teens, but are written in a way that makes them relatable, and their stories, while angsty, ring true for the teen world. I absolutely love it, and will surely read anything the publish.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.
Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.
Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?
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About the Author:
Erin Watt is the brainchild of two bestselling authors linked together through their love of great books and an addiction to writing. They share one creative imagination. Their greatest love (after their families and pets, of course)? Coming up with fun–and sometimes crazy–ideas. Their greatest fear? Breaking up.
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