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Review: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

This book has potential to be loved. It’s a sweet YA love story featuring an average girl, Vaughn, and a famous rock star, Oakley. And it has fake dating; everyone loves the fake dating trope. Vaughn is recruited to help Oakley’s image, and somewhere down the line they begin to fall in love.

The story is unoriginal, but never seems to feel old. It was always entertaining. I especially loved how the author incorporated the fandom life. Throughout the novel, tweets from fans of Oakley were showed in the narrative. Sometimes they were quite funny.

I must say that the PR campaign was a little weak and unrealistic. How did no one speculate that the relationship was fake at first?

Although, I didn’t love it; I could see how others would enjoy it. It is mostly angst free and is definitely a no commitment, quick summer read. The characters are somewhat likeable. They definitely are not perfect and most of the time act with their emotions instead of their head.

The book does a great job diving into the insane lifestyle of a celebrity, and how the fear of being irrelevant and forgotten impacts them.

There is sort of a love triangle. Vaughn is in a relationship when tasked with the job. I felt like the story could have done without it. As for the romance between Vaughn and Oakley? The chemistry was not there entirely.

The sparks were missing. And I think I felt that way because of Oakley’s behavior towards Vaughn most of the book. Oakley was a brat most of the book, and at times was rude for no reason. Vaughn and Oakley do share a couple of cute moments but they aren’t defining or memorable.

Final Analysis

When It’s Real is a quick summer read that is definitely aimed at a younger target market. The characters tend to be somewhat likable and the story is the dream life of some. Who wouldn’t want to date their favorite celebrity?  

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