This Time It's Real
By Author / Illustrator
Romance & Relationships
Paperback / softback
Get Ready to fall in LOVE in this hilarious rom-com! When 16-year-old Eliza Lin's personal essay about meeting the love of her life goes viral, she gets everything she's ever wanted: the approval of her new classmates, a rare internship opportunity at her favourite publisher, and a devoted online following who think her relationship is #couplegoals. The only problem? Eliza made the whole essay up. In fact, Eliza's never even been in a relationship before, let alone in love. All good writing is lying, right?
Desperate to cover up the truth, Eliza makes a deal with her classmate Caz: she'll help him write his college applications if he poses as her boyfriend. But Caz plays the role of boyfriend a bit too well... But Eliza's carefully crafted image begins to unravel as the relationship with Caz becomes more and more real. Can she still follow her dreams if it means breaking her own heart?
Perfect for BookTok, and fans of Jenny Han and Crazy Rich Asians. Laugh-out-loud funny, and full of heart from a brand-new star in YA rom-coms. "A total delight. Laugh out loud funny, sweet, and romantic, this is a sparkling gem of a book." Meg Cabot. "At once laugh-out-loud funny and taut with romantic tension, This Time It's Real is all the best parts of a fake dating romcom." Adiba Jaigirdar
When 17 year old Eliza's personal essay about meeting the love of her life goes viral, her life changes overnight. However, will this make her life better? For in the back of her mind, she can't help believing this is going to go wrong. This is because her essay is all lies, she's never had a boyfriend, never been in love! Desperate to cover up the truth, Eliza makes a deal with her classmate, Caz; she'll help him write his college applications if he poses as her boyfriend. Unexpectedly, he agrees, and this is where things start to develop and not always go to plan, often with hilarious consequences. Can Caz stop overthinking her friendships and relationships in order to move on with her life and let herself be happy?
I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to read this funny, romantic comedy. It's pages are full of the rollercoaster emotions that only 17-year-old teenagers feel. The author immerses you into her culture through her words, making this book suitable for bookclubs and some intervention groups as there are many opportunities for further reading and discussions.
This Time It’s Real is an easy recommendation for 2023 for those aged 13+; once you get yourself involved with Eliza and Caz's 'fake relationship', you will be rooting for them to have a happy ending!
352 pages / Reviewed by Linda, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 14+