by Cassie Mae
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Published by: Random House Publishing August 19, 2014
Genres: Romance, NA
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4 Stars
NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Eric Matua has one friend—his childhood best friend, 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 was a very reality-based book in my opinion. I know a lot of people who are unable to step away from their computer/phone/facebook/email . . . they're always getting beep reminders on their phones letting them know they have a new message. They find themselves sitting down at their computer at 8pm and before they know it, it's 11pm. Where did the time go?
Mia, the leading lady of the book, is such a person. It brings a realness to her. And although I was annoyed by how much time she spent plugged in, I realize that this is a very real picture of today's modern teen/young adult.
Eric is just the opposite. While he spent a considerable amount of time online chatting with Mia in the years he was away in Samoa, once he has the real thing in front of him, he's able to unplug and just wants to be with her. He can't understand why she isn't able to do that too . . . or perhaps why she doesn't want to do that too.
The other, more sensitive and likable aspect of the story is that Eric suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder. The author does a nice job of realistically showing how this disorder presents and what can trigger it. In Eric's case, mean words said to him by an ex in an intimate setting has made him afraid to be intimate with another woman. Although he wants to be intimate with Mia, his body and mind need to move at a slower pace. It was quite a refreshing change to read about a male who wanted to take things slow. Most other books show the woman wanting to take it slow.
Because I was thoroughly annoyed with Mia through much of the book (through no fault of the author), I only gave this 4 stars, but it's definitely worth a look.
The Real Thing