Saturday, June 10, 2017

Review! When It's Real by Erin Watt

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?

My Thoughts

I love Erin Watt, it was love at first page when I began Paper Princess, and this new story couldn’t be anything but amazing. It isn’t something unheard of, but Erin brings a lot of fun to the story and you can’t stop crying when Oak and Vaughn are sad or laughing when they are being smart ass with each other. I had a creepy day and this book made me smile again, which is something amazing.

“The good ones put your character to the f lame and burn away all the rest of the shit until you come out a better you. She’s one of the good ones.”

Oakley Ford is the ex-teenage star - it reminded me a lot of Justin Bieber - he’s the son of two amazing actors, had more fans that can count, a lot of money, girls at every turn and so on. What more could a young boy want? Well, Oak, what he wants to be called by friends - and after spending four hours with our nose in his life we can call ourselves hisfriends - is an ass. He believes that he is the greatest thing that ever happened to the humanity and we should all fall to his feet. He’s nineteen so we can almost forgive him for that. But he’s stuck, he cannot write anymore, the girls stopped being an inspiration some time ago and he doesn’t know what to do with his life. His manager, Jim, comes with a proposition: get a nice girl, pay her and take the media off your back. 

“You know, if I was stranded in the middle of the desert about to take my dying breath, and a bunch of fans came up and found me? I honestly don’t think they’d save me. They’d just be scrambling to get scraps of my clothing, locks of my hair, something to show their friends later—look, I got Oakley Ford’s shirt right before he died!”

Here comes Vaughn. Her parents are dead and she and her sister need money to pay her parents’ debts and take care of their little twin brothers. A little bit cliché until now. But it gets good, I promise. Vaughn is really good at pretending and clinging to what’s safe and not what makes her happy. She’s the nice girl next door with sassy comments and baggage and Oak will bring only trouble in her already planned life, or maybe he’ll bring life into her world.

“I think I’m scared of life. I’m good at pretending, but not so great at living.”

Oak is really a nice guy but everything around him is fake. His friends and his relationship with his parents are awful. But what I really loved about Oakley is that he loved Backstreet Boys and Iron Man. So when my favorite band and my favorite superhero go in the mix the book that comes out is normally a success.

“But look at me being all serious. Let me tell you about the time I caught Oakley singing Backstreet Boys in front of the mirror when he was seven!”

“What pictures?”

Vaughn smiles. “Nothing too embarrassing. Unless you consider dressing up as Iron Man for Halloween embarrassing.”

And it gets even better: Vaughn has a boyfriend. How she can have a fake boyfriend and a real one at the same time is a really sad story, because her real boyfriend is a real jackass. The problem is when feelings begin to stir and she no longer knows what is real and what is not.

“You already have a complex. It’s called egomania.”

As I said in the beginning, this isn’t a new plot. I have read this kind of books before, but this one is a must read. It has everything. What I thinks makes a good story become great are the characters. There are some bad books out there that are famous only because of a memorable character. Oak and Vaughn are real life people when you read their story, they aren’t just names on a page, but humans that have a life and feel just like everybody else.

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