Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “When It's Real” as Want to Read:
When It's Real
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

When It's Real

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  15,278 ratings  ·  2,148 reviews
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 resu ...more
Hardcover, 413 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Harlequin Teen
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about When It's Real, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rosebud It is a NA because it hasn't come out yet.
Kathy Miller Compared to many of the YA books available, When it's Real is pretty tame. There are references to sex, but no actual encounters. Books like A Court…moreCompared to many of the YA books available, When it's Real is pretty tame. There are references to sex, but no actual encounters. Books like A Court of Wings and Ruin are truly NA because of so much erotica, which I feel demeans the book and is unnecessary. I do think books, like movies, should be rated so the reader knows what they are in for and parents can judge whether or not to allow their teen to have access to this kind of writing.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,278 ratings  ·  2,148 reviews

Sort order
Chelsea Humphrey
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
I consistently struggle with writing reviews for contemporaries, whether they are adult or young adult. Over the years they have grown predictable and there isn’t much to talk about regarding the plot as they tend to be more character focused. Needless to say, I’m wary in picking up contemporaries anymore because they just seem to fall into the realm of “nice but not memorable”. When I first saw the cover and description of When It's Real, I’ll admit I was skeptical but gave it a second glance a ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars!!!

 photo 18622255_10103828442642128_5287227017451596669_n_zpsyrthqqu6.jpg

When I first read the writing duo known as Erin Watt, I was so impressed I knew I'd pick up whatever they decided to write. When I heard they were writing YA and saw the gorgeous cover for When It's Real, it went straight to the top of my TBR. This book had a little bit for all readers. Love a good YA? Rock star read? Enemies to friends to lovers? Fake girlfriend/boyfriend? How about the famous leading man/average heroine? This book had all that and more. 

Oakley 'Oak' Ford is your ave
When I picked up 'When It's Real', I wanted something that was sweet and heartwarming. I loved 'Paper Princess' by Erin Watt, so when I started seeing this book pop up on friends' pages, I knew that I'd want to read it. I was not disappointed.

This book was everything that I had wanted. It was the kind of light and fluffy read that puts a smile on your face and leaves you feeling contented. Although it was predictable and not particularly original, it was still a highly entertaining read. After a
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Guilty pleasure (n.):
Something pleasurable that induces a usually minor feeling of guilt (probably because you should be doing some serious real-life stuff instead of getting lost in said pleasures).

There are two types of guilty pleasures.
The first ones refer to characters so royally twisted and messed up that the sensible part of yours keeps bothering you with nagging thoughts like "how could you love them?", while the other part enjoys this delightful addiction. And then there is the second ki
V. PARENTAL GUIDANCE:  A Court of Wings and Ruin is NEW ADULT/EROTICA but Goodreads editors won't tell you
Adding an update at the end of my non-review, non-rating rant :P


****I repeat this ISN'T A YOUNG ADULT BOOK. It contains sexual content*****
This is one more time another example of a new adult book that contains erotic elements and is marketed as young adult. I haven't read it yet, but I know the authors
Patty Belongs To Kellan~Jesse~Lautner~Miller~Jack~Racer~Rafe~Liam~Prince Nicholas~Hayes~Simon~Gianluca & Archer
*****4.5 STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Authors}

I don’t know when that happened, but somewhere along the line Vaughn went from the girl I was forced to have on my arm to the girl I want to have in my life.

 photo WIR_Teaser4_zpspl38ic0c.jpg

Erin Watt fans prepare to fall head over heels in love with their latest collaborative masterpiece! These two authors have struck gold again with WHEN IT’S REAL. I am not particularly a huge fan of YA but when it’s done right even I can’t deny how enjoyable these romances can be. This e
Aestas Book Blog
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites

A pop star.
A regular girl.
The world's watching.

WOW! This book was addictive, heart-warming, and so well-written!! I read it in one non-stop sitting because I just did not want to put it down! If you're looking for a new rock star romance to fall in love with, check this out!

"Under ordinary circumstances, Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett would never even cross paths..."

The story begins when Vaughn, a completely down-to-earth, no-bullshit, no-nonsense girl who h
J o d i  B i b l i o p h i l e ♥

 photo 066B81CB-5DA1-47E6-B753-0D2819491A01_zpswryayxke.jpg


Erin Watt is writing a new fucking book!!!

I would sell my fucking womb for a camel for this fucking book!

For reals I would read these fuckers shopping list!!!!!
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This was a pleasant surprise.

First of all, long time no see everyone! I've been so busy, I haven't been able to keep up with reviews lately (or reading as much as I used to). However, I did digest this one an audio while sick last week, so I thought I'd jot a few thoughts down.

Honestly, I was nervous because I had some big BIG issues with Erin's other series (Paper Princess). Especially in the consent department. However, this book seemed to make consent the focus in the relationship, which I s
Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog
4 stars!

Review at Of Pens and Pages.

Light, sweet, and angst-free, When It’s Real is a great summer read! It’s a fluff fest that will leave butterflies inside your belly and a perma-smile on your face long after finishing the book.

At nineteen years old, world-renowned pop star Oakley Ford has reached Bieber-level notoriety in partying and philandering, and his label is getting sick of it. He hasn’t released anything since his successful album “Ford”, and everyone—including Oakley—is worried he’s
Megan✦❋Steamy Reads Blog❋✦

“This is as real and as awful and as wonderful as it gets. I’d hold her forever if she’d let me.”

After reading and devouring The Royals series by Erin Watt (aka the dynamic duo Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick), I just couldn’t wait to read their next story. I was wondering what sort of world they would create for us this time and I tell you what, I was not disappointed (not that I could say I was surprised). I know this book has received mixed reviews, especially with respect to lack of origin
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celebrity, music
Common mortal Vaughn is hired to pose as celebrity singer Oakley Ford’s girlfriend for a year. Sweet. Adorable. Dramatic. Learned a lot about the world of celebrities. Too long. Some scenes should have been cut. It’s all about strong-willed Oakley and not enough about likeable, lost Vaughn who needs to figure out her life and future. Predictable, but in a good way. Definitely addictive.
Jessica-❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥
When It's Real is the latest novel by the sensational author duo, Erin Watt. I'm a huge fan of their Royals series, so there was no question as to whether or not I would be reading this. I can't even imagine them writing a bad book at this point, and for that reason, I went into this with the expectation that I was going to enjoy the hell out of it. I wasn't wrong.

Vaughn Bennett recently graduated high school, but with no clear idea of what she wants to do with her life, she decides to take a y
Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Arranged marriages and fake relationships are my FAVORITE romance trope. I don't know what this says about my relationship goals - probably bad things - but whatever, I like what I like, and nothing screams "auto-buy!" like a book that has one of these tropes in its blurb. When I found out that WHEN IT'S REAL was about a fake relationship between a normal girl and a pop star as a publicity stunt to boost his image, I was like HELLS YEAH! Al
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ridiculously entertaining. So good.

Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Erin Watt Fans, Teen Romance
4 YA Love Stars
* * * *
I have a confession...I'm really not a YA reader...So what are you doing reading it, Wendy...
Well, it was done by Erin Watt...
And since I loved The Royals...
I had to give When It's Real a go...

I'm guessing, this had all of the markings of what a YA Teen Romance should have. There was the overall romance of a "Justin Bieber Level Rock Star" needing a "Normal" to romance so he could clean up his reputation.

Oakley started singing early on and his parents were famous movie st
Rachel Reads Ravenously
2.5 stars

When It’s Real is the story of a girl named Vaughn who is hand picked to be the new girlfriend of Oakley Ford, a famous pop star. Oakley needs to polish up his public image, showing he can be a devoted boyfriend and not just the playboy partier everyone thinks he is. Vaughn agrees to do this because her family needs the money, her parents passed away leaving her and her sister in charge of their siblings.

At first, Vaughn and Oakley cannot stand each other. She thinks he’s rude and he
Hulya Kara Yuksel
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“This is as real and as awful and as wonderful as it gets. I’d hold her forever if she’d let me.”

✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰




Oakley has been born famous - his parents are huge Hollywood stars.
And when he was 14 he started being famous on his own. He became a pop star.


And after living the life for the last five years, it's finally catching up to him. He's constantly in the tabloids for stupid stuff, he's losing social media followers, he's not feeling the music anymore.
He needs this next album to be a huge success. And he needs this famous producer - King - to produce it!
But King will only do it if Oak cleans up his ac
Amy | Foxy Blogs
When It’s Real is teen drama amped up. Teen heartthrob & rockstar, Oakley, needs a new image and his PR team has decided dating an ordinary girl will do the trick. When Vaughan is offered the position she only agrees for the year long fake relationship because of her family's dire financial situation.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book because it made me think if I was a teen girl in Vaughan’s situation would I agree to this sham?! I think for the majority of teen girls they would take
3.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: This was a cute YA/NA read. I have always enjoyed the fake relationship to more theme, so I got what I was expecting. Predictable? Yes. But still enjoyable. The characters were likable, and while the H started out as a douchey celebrity I came to like him as well. It left me with unanswered questions, and I just could've done with a little more! More steam, more depth in the characters and storyline, and more closure...more! *greedy grabby hands*

Brief Summary of the Sto
Patricia Bejarano
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 en realidad ❤
He disfrutado muchísimo este libro...
Lo primero que debo decir es que es muy adictivo. No pensaba que fuera de otra forma, ya que las autoras me tenían acostumbrada a eso. Pero ¡OMG! No podía parar de leer ni mientras comía ni nada, solo quería leer y no hacer nada más.
Hay algo que me ha encantado de este libro y es como va surgiendo la historia entre Oak y Vaughn. Ambos empiezan teniendo una relación puramente profesional y no muy buena, pero cuando se van conociendo, vemos c
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
3.5 stars!

I was actually surprised by how much I liked this book. "When Its Real" was rather predictable, and I didnt feel like it built any suspense nor had any surprises, but the story is very well written. The characters are relatable, it doesnt drag out the plot too much, and the changes in POV is well balanced. All in all a good read. Especially if youre recovering from a book hangover or waiting for the next book in a series.
Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth
Review @ Vanilla & Spice Books

This is as real and as awful and as wonderful as it gets. I’d hold her forever if she’d let me.

Oakley Ford used to be a teenage superstar. At 19 his stardom has taken a nosedive and to jump-start his career his manager suggests dating a normal girl instead of a co-star. Oak agrees after some hesitation. When a girl has been found that fulfills the requirements a strategy of "attack" is being planned and carried out.

When Vaughn's parents died in a car crash t
Beatrice ~ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic
I received an ARC from the authors / publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Full review posted at Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic

Nineteen year old heartthrob singer Oakley Ford is on a two year hiatus in the music industry. He’s a successful, talented musician and worked hard to reach it aside from being the son of famous movie stars. Having a strained relationship with his parents makes him rebellious giving him a bad reputation. His lack of inspiration becomes a hindrance creating a new
Candace Robinson
So, I was worried that I wouldn't like this book since it was going to be a lot different than Paper Princess. I'm normally pretty picky about light and fluffy books. I loved Oakley and Vaughn! Things did get a little corny like the last 15%, but a very cute read! Can't wait to read more from Erin Watt! Full review on my blog
Jacqueline's Reads
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.25 I love Erin Watt Stars

When It’s Real is a New Adult Standalone. I’m a mega fan of The Royals, although at times I wanted to pull my hair out because of all the angst, but that is what made that series so great right? When It’s Real is a more sweet read, there’s still angst, but it’s not at the same level at The Royals and that was okay for me.

I really enjoyed When It’s Real. I found it an easy read and I read it in one sitting. I enjoyed the storyline, the characters and the overall feel o
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ich mag ja solche Superstar-Geschichten total gerne und auch diese hier war sehr unterhaltsam. Klar, die Story ist super vorhersehbar und klischeehaft, aber der Schreibstil ist toll und es macht einfach Spass, dieses Buch zu lesen. Auch die Charaktere waren sehr sympathisch und mit hat es total gut gefallen, dass Vaughn eine bezahlte Fake-Freundin spielen soll, denn dadurch hat sich das Buch nochmal von anderen mit der gleichen Thematik abgehoben. Wer die Paper Reihe der beiden Autorinnen mochte ...more
KAT ♕ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books ♕
Image and video hosting by TinyPic  photo Untitled_zpssh5nscze.jpg

 photo goodreads border_zpsy5xc8i94.jpg Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I struggled with this one, I reached 30% and I just can't make myself go any further, I didn't connect with the story or the characters, I had real high hopes for this one, add in whom the author is, what she's written previously and I was jumping up and down for this to arrive. Might just leave it for a few days and then try and come back to it.

 photo bottom banner in goodreads_zps4bz3guu3.jpg
Jul 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, books-i-own
3 stars

Oh man, it really hurt me to say that. I had such hing hopes, but this book... it just wasn't everything i ever dreamed it would be. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad or anything, it was pretty good. And there was no cliffhanger, let's all thank the gods for that.

The book is a cute, fluffy, fast standalone, with good characters. It was also very light on the angst too, which for me, in this case, is a negative. There's really nothing wrong with the book, per se, I just didn't fall in lov
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Get Me (The Keatyn Chronicles, #6)
  • American Girl on Saturn (Saturn, #1)
  • Breaking Giants
  • Ninja Girl
  • Long May She Reign (The President's Daughter, #4)
  • Win Some, Lose Some
  • Running Barefoot
  • The Hard Count
  • Don't Kiss the Messenger (Edgelake High School, #1)
  • Bad Romeo Outtakes (Starcrossed, #1.1)
  • Beach Wedding (Butler Cove, #4)
  • Burn Before Reading
  • The Other Fish in the Sea (Grab Your Pole, #2)
  • Crushed
  • All I Ever Wanted (Of Love and Madness, #3)
  • The Bad Boy Bargain (Suttonville Sentinels, #1)
  • Long Way Home (Thunder Road, #3)
  • Best of Luck (Chance of a Lifetime, #3)
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“The good ones put your character to the flame and burn away all the rest of the shit until you come out a better you. She’s one of the good ones.” 14 likes
“There aren’t any cameras here. This isn’t for show.
This is as real and as awful and as wonderful as it gets. I’d hold her forever if she’d let me.”
More quotes…