Monday, May 29, 2017

Book Review: When It's Real by Erin Watt

When It's Real 
By Erin Watt
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Source: Publisher
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?

I absolutely love the Paper Princess series by Erin Watt, so I was excited when I heard about When It's Real. While I have been reading more NA and Adult romances lately, I couldn't wait to see how Erin Watt took on the world of YA. 

Oakley Ford has it all, but what he doesn't have is inspiration to make an album that feels real and not the same teen pop he's already come out with. Oakley also finds himself in need of an image makeover if he has any chance of working with one of the best producers in the industry. Seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett has put off college for a year to help support her family after their parents died when she was fifteen. When Vaughn is offered the job to pose as Oakley Ford's wholesome girlfriend, she wants no part of it. But the money could help put her little brothers through college, so Vaughn says yes. Even though she knows Oakley is a self-centered, teenage popstar, Vaughn will always put her family first. 

From the beginning of this book, it definitely felt much more YA than Paper Princess was. It was a little hard to get into because of how cliche Oakley's character was, but as we got further into the story and Vaughn was able to see more beneath Oakley's facade, I really started liking the characters. I do wish we got even more of Vaughn and her family since they were so important to her, but I did enjoy watching Vaughn and Oakley learn more about each other and rethink their preconceptions of one another. 

As this story went on, I started liking it more and more. I loved the whole cast of characters and how Vaughn was so real and relatable. She was hired because she was so normal and she was. I liked the social media aspect that was used and how Vaughn was affected by what others were saying about her online. I also enjoyed how realistic the romance was between Vaughn and Oakley and how Oakley's character really did start to change because of Vaughn. 

In the end, When It's Real surprised me. It was a fun romance that makes the cliched girlfriend-for-hire story unique. I enjoyed the main characters and appreciated how relatable our main character was. While it wasn't as angsty and addicting as Paper Princess, it was definitely a fun read!

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