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.
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this story from NetGalley for an honest review.
Refreshing real and touchingly sweet, The Real Thing is a grounded love story that that I enjoyed immensely.
Emilia Johnson and Eric Matua have been each other's rock for as long as either can remember. Distance, timing, and poor self esteem have made each accept BFF status over something more. But when Em gets the chance to be Eric's roomie for an entire summer, secrets come to light that will either push the two apart or finally make them accept the feelings they can no longer deny.
What I Loved: I wanted to reach in my Kindle and hug The Real Thing. Author Cassie Mae crafted an original and touching romance of two slightly flawed young souls finding a love that they both deserve. There is real love and passion in this story and I could feel the depth of Em and Eric's feelings.
What I Didn't Love: To be honest I struggled a bit with the first two to three chapters of The Real Thing. Social media plays a big part of the story so each chapter starts with a status update and then jumps into Em or Eric's POV. It got a little confusing. Please hang in there. Right around chapter three I found my rhythm with author Cassie Mae's writing style and started to more clearly hear Em and Eric's individual voices.
"I breathe him in, and he rocks me, I don't mind going slow anymore. It really does feel okay. Right. At least for us. I wonder if this is how real life couples fall in love. You know, if love is the direction I'm heading."
"Sometimes when people need space, you have to give it to them when you don't want to. Because when you rush forward, and things aren't all the way healed, it ends up throwing you backward and it takes that much longer to make things better."
In romance there are a lot of fantastic/extreme relationships with billionaire's, rock stars, athletes, etc. Even in a lot of NA books I've seen many tales of unbelievably gorgeous people getting to go to unbelievably exotic locations and do unbelievably awesome things. Those stories can be a fun escape but sometimes I need something solid, something real and The Real Thing has it in spades. The love between Em and Eric jumps off of the page. I never doubted it. When each character made a mistake it didn't make me mad at them, it made me want to give them each a hug and then a little shove in the right direction. No spoilers, but fans of HEA's will be pleased.
The Real Thing is a wonderful romance and I hope you check it out.