Review – This Time It’s Real

Posted February 8, 2023 by Carole in Reviews / 5 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – This Time It’s RealThis Time It's Real by Ann Liang
Published by Scholastic Press on February 7, 2023
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Get ready to fall in love in this hilarious romcom about a girl who begins a fake relationship with the famous actor in her class, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han.

When seventeen-year-old Eliza Lin’s essay about meeting the love of her life unexpectedly goes viral, her entire life changes overnight. Now she has the approval of her classmates at her new international school in Beijing, a career-launching internship opportunity at her favorite magazine…and a massive secret to keep.

Eliza made her essay up. She’s never been in a relationship before, let alone in love. All good writing is lying, right?

Desperate to hide the truth, Eliza strikes a deal with the famous actor in her class, the charming but aloof Caz Song. She’ll help him write his college applications if he poses as her boyfriend. Caz is a dream boyfriend -- he passes handwritten notes to her in class, makes her little sister laugh, and takes her out on motorcycle rides to the best snack stalls around the city.

But when her relationship with Caz starts feeling a little too convincing, all of Eliza’s carefully laid plans are threatened. Can she still follow her dreams if it means breaking her own heart?

I really enjoyed this romance! I liked Eliza from the start and I felt for her when her paper went viral. I remember making up a few things in some of my personal essays when I was in school as Eliza did. Thank goodness none of my papers ever got the attention that Eliza’s did. Eliza comes up with the perfect plan which involves the most famous boy at her school, Caz.

Eliza and Caz were both great characters and I loved how they were with each other. Caz is a well-known actor and Eliza is the awkward new girl at school but they still seem to connect with each other really well. Eliza’s family moves all the time so she is tired of trying to fit in and make new friends. Caz is so well known and is always needing to keep up an appearance so he rarely lets his guard down to show his true shelf.

I love the fact that the story deals with more than just romance. Eliza is worried about maintaining her friendship with her best friend who she has not seen in years. Both Eliza and Caz are very talented and work very hard and I liked seeing them excel. I really appreciated the fact that the book was set in Beijing and wanted to try all of the different foods mentioned in the story.

I would not hesitate to recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very well-done story filled with great characters, romance, and just the right amount of humor. I will be hoping to read more of this author’s work very soon.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from Scholastic Press.

5 responses to “Review – This Time It’s Real

  1. This one sounds fun, too! I don’t read a lot of YA any more, but I might have to make an exception.