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Review: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

Posted on 30 May, 2017 by in Erin Watt, Review / 0 comments

Review: When It’s Real by Erin WattWhen It's Real by Erin Watt
on May 30, 2017
Pages: 416
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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?

When It’s Real was a fun read. I LOVED the Royals series and knowing that this was YA, I didn’t really go in expecting anything. I don’t read a ton of YA and sometimes when I do, I find that the books are not YA at all. Thankfully this was not the case for When It’s Real.

When It’s Real was a fun, sweet read that touched upon things that the YA crowd go through—social media, dating, ex’s, crushing on celebrities, heartache and making up.

When It’s Real is the story of 19 year old pop star Oakley Ford. Oakley became a teen star at an early age, rising to the top with his music to then hit a plateau, struggling with his image and his song writing.

To reinvent himself, his publicity recommends that he date a “normal, every day girl” and enter 17 year old Vaughn Bennett. Vaughn has an older sister who works at Oakley’s publicity company and also has two young teen brothers. The Bennett siblings lost their parents a few years past and are struggling to make ends meet and what better way to earn money than to date a pop star and have a fake relationship.

The push and pull between Vaughn and Oak started from the get go. Readers will watch as Oak is brought down a notch or two on his high ladder while seeing how Vaughn will live this life with a hottie pop star she can’t resist (oh and did I mention that she has a real boyfriend waiting in the wings!) OMG!

I loved the bantering between these characters, the character growth as the story progresses and watching things as they get real for Vaughn and Oak. I really liked the supporting secondary characters especially the siblings and the bodyguards.

Things with Oak’s family and social circle made me sad so it made me happy that he could find some sense of normalcy with Vaughn and her friends and siblings.

Like I said this is a cute read but nothing like the super angsty with the OMG moments Royals series. I liked this book but didn’t completely love it. The writing is still spot on but it was missing something for me to completely love it. Maybe if we had a look into Oak’s song lyrics that would have elevated the rating for me… I just wanted that something more if that makes sense.

There is one thing that Vaughn did that I absolutely HATED… I can’t tell you what it is but when you get to it, you will know what I am talking about.

Overall I enjoy this writing duo’s stories and look forward to more from them.


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