The Real Thing: Flirt New Adult Romance - Cassie Mae

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.


This book bugged me, it really did. I kept expecting myself to enjoy it as the idea of two best friends falling in love is usually one of my favourite things, but there were few merits to this book.


I appreciated that Eric was Samoan, that he had anxiety, and that he dealt with self-confidence issues. I thought that this could make the book quite intriguing and give it a little depth. Alas...


Every chapter starts off with a social media post, and Em is literally addicted to her phone. I'm not sure why she doesn't put it on silent when she's around people, but she did need a wake up call to make her realise what she was missing out on. She literally had no friends in real life and seemed to be closer to people when she was further away from them. It made me uncomfortable to see how much she used her phone, especially while driving.


The way their relationship formed didn't quite make sense to me. Maybe I've read too many other good romance books or thought about the topic too much but it just seemed too...put together. It didn't feel real.


The Ali thing needed deepening. I wanted to see how this had influenced Eric and how he grew from it but it wasn't quite fleshed out enough for me to relate to it, and I felt like Em had more knowledge than we did.


The Scott subplot was also weird. If someone I dated said I couldn't be friends with a guy online, well, I wouldn't be dating them for very long. At first I thought the whole subplot was sweet but it turned strange and just unnecessary, and made me squirm.


This ultimately felt very over-dramatic and really most of the plot wasn't necessary.