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***This book was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***
~ BOOK BLURB ~
In this electrifying novel from New Adult sensation Cassie Mae, two close friends surprise themselves by shifting from platonic love to sexual attraction.
Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world.
When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had.
~ BOOK REVIEW ~
The Real Thing is a friends to lovers story about a couple who have been harboring their romantic feelings for each other for years.
Having read and loved Switched by the same author, I was excited for this book, but something about it felt flat to me.
I thought Eric was a great hero. He was generous and kind, and his insecurities fit well with his past experiences. I also liked that he knew his past was beginning to shape his entire life in unhealthy ways, so he sought help.
Emmy, unfortunately, was a character I just couldn’t warm up to. I thought she was incredibly self-centered, and she pressured Eric even after he’d told her he wanted to slow things down between them.
I will say that Emmy’s addiction to social media was quite eye-opening. It’s so commonplace nowadays that until you see it in print like that, you almost think nothing of it. But where Eric was rarely on social media, it almost felt like a huge slap in the face that she was on it so much when she was with him. It was clear it bothered him, as well it should. Em knew that what she was doing while she was on social media was wrong, and it’s too bad that she wouldn’t put Eric first until it got way out of control.
This book could have been stronger, in my opinion, if it had been broken up into two parts: their time spent together in high school and their time starting from when they finally met up again. Too much of this story was spent telling the reader what Eric and Emmy used to do, showing them doing it now, and then depending on those moments to be special and cute. It established their past connection, but I felt like their current connection fell flat. Though there were a lot of cute scenes, I didn’t feel like any of them really moved the plot forward.
Overall, this book was a case of the parts being better than the whole.