If you get the biggest pop star right now, and then times that by one hundred, you'll get Oakley Ford. Oakley has an array of intense fan girls who stalk his every update on Twitter and dream of marrying him. He's also trouble. His management scheme up the perfect plan to save his image and his music — enter Vaughn Bennett.
Though Vaughn used to love Oakley's music, she doesn't idolise him and isn't obsessed about having his babies. She keeps her cool around the pop star, even when the rest of the world can't. Oakley's management recruits her to become his fake girlfriend, hoping this will give him a wholesome edge and a degree of relatability to his fans. What they didn't bargain on was the relationship turning into something very real.
Watt's portrayal of Oakley and Vaughn's relationship was excellent. Though someone like Oakley is unattainable for us common-folk, the relationship between the pair felt authentic. The reader is able to clearly see the different stages they progress through — from being downright frustrated with one another, to their initial attraction, and finally genuine romantic feelings. Their emotional connection was the focus in the portrayal of their relationship and it felt so strong.
Both characters were lovable and well-crafted. At first, I felt weird about Vaughn 'dumping' her boyfriend for a fake relationship, but when W turned into a jerk who only cared about his internet show, I no longer felt that way. The key to Vaughn's likeability is her relatability. I know I felt many parallels to her character and I'm guessing many other readers would have felt this too.
Before commencing When It's Real, I didn't know what to expect, but I was blown away by the book. I felt incredibly sad when I finished it as all I wanted to do was to keep reading.
Release date: May 30th 2017 by Harlequin Teen
I received a copy of this book from Harlequin Australia via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review