Title: When It’s Real
Author: Erin Watt
Rating: 4/5 stars
Release date: June 1st 2017
Publisher: HQ YA Australia
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?
this is one of those books you would hate to love. much like her previous series, this book exploits all sorts of drama and cliches, but i’d be lying if i said i did not enjoy it one bit. as a matter of fact i loved it. even more than their previous series, too. goodness gracious, i’m still swooning over this book. erin watt cooks up such light, fluffy reads that you can’t help but fall for the characters and the story. i also love how the authors develop the love/hate relationship trope. i am sucker for them. i was already rooting for oakley and vaughn ever since they were brought up together. one thing that i found weirdly enjoyable was the lack of superstar essence. erin watt portrays oakley just as they would with any the characters from their previous series. the boys in their books are handsome, rich, a bit snobbish, but funny and kind. the whole time i was reading the book i often forget that oakley is a superstar, because in my eyes, he’s just another teenage boy. but you know what? i’m completely fine with it. that little detail in the story didn’t really matter much to me, and it probably would not have changed the story much if oakley was just another one of those ‘perfect but a little bit broken’ characters you read about in books instead of being labelled as a superstar. frankly, both titles fit the puzzle for me. however, some celebrity qualities that were captured in the book made me appreciate oakley as a character even more. vaugh on the other hand was a great character. the polar opposite to oakley, yet the perfect complement. she’s soft but tough, determined but careful, and kind but sharp. the only problem i have with the book was how everything escalated really quickly at the beginning. i have a feeling this was intended by the authors, but i will not go into anymore details. it passes on quickly, and you get the goods after four to five chapters in. everything else aside, the book itself was very well written and i love the song references. i am very much aware of the genius that is elle kennedy, who is my favorite NA author to date. her writing is simply amazing. not too poetic, but heartfelt and addictive. i’m not too sure about her partner, but together the duo is unstoppable. both are quickly becoming favorites of mine. i hope there will be more to come from these brilliant ladies! i highly recommend picking up this book if you’re in the mood for something sweet and light!
much thanks to Harlequin Teen for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! ❤