Title: When It’s Real
Author: Erin Watt
Genre: YA Romance
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Heat Rating: 1 star
All The Feels Rating: 5+++ Stars
Release Date: May 30th, 2017
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
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?
You know when the weather is perfect, and you’re driving with the windows down, music blaring, singing along to your favorite song? You get that feeling of utter satisfaction that you want to hold on to forever. Well, that’s how I felt when I was reading When It’s Real. Yep, it’s that good. Though that’s a complete understatement, since it’s hard to put into words just how sweet, fun and swoon worthy this book really is.
Oakley Ford is a famous pop star who can’t seem to keep out of trouble. And unfortunately for Oakley, his less than desirable antics are constantly splattered all over the tabloids. When his popularity with his fans start to dwindle, there is only one thing to do- clean up his image. That’s when Oakley’s manager drops a bombshell: the fastest, and most sure fire way to revamp Oakley Ford is with a sweet, innocent, normal girlfriend. Welp, how bad can that be?
Vaughn Bennett has zero interest to play girlfriend to Oakley Ford. Unfortunately for Vaughn, she has a lot of interest in the amount of money she will earn by being Oakley’s image booster. After all, it’s not just Vaughn that needs the money, but her siblings as well. So what if she has to flirt with him on social media and hold his hand from time to time. It’s not like they have to get along. It’s not like she actually has to like that self centered jerk. It’s not like lines will be crossed. Right?
Eeek, just writing about it makes me want to go back and re-read it!
The relationship between Vaughn and Oakley is PERFECTION. When the two first meet, they don’t really like each other, and there is some amazing banter between the two of them. The friendship they form surprises them, and I have to applaud how authentic it felt. There is this vulnerability between then that gave me chills. They are a lot alike, yet vastly differently, and they compliment each other really well. It is a bit of a slow burn, and the chemistry between them is off the charts.
I really appreciate how well-written and developed Vaughn and Oakley were. Oakley is cocky and kind of an ass at times, but there is SO much more to him than meets the eye. He is thoughtful, genuine and unexpectedly really romantic. Seriously. He made my heart skip a beat a few times. Vaughn is strong and independent. She’s caring, intelligent and put others before herself. She had a true old soul feel to her, yet still had the battles that every teen girl goes through. I also really love her family.
I know some of you are thinking “But I don’t like YA….”
Come on now. This is Erin Watt we are talking about! You are going to love it! The writing is amazing, and even though this plot has been done before, it felt fresh. I promise it’s not all fluff, there are some issue that both Vaughn and Oakley are going through, and they both have a mature feel to them.
Do yourself a favor and read When It’s Real. You won’t regret it!
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