Blurb from Goodreads
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.
First of all, The Real Thing feels real to me. Everything in this book is what happens nowadays in my daily life. I see it, read it, feel it, listen to it. Mia is a girl who addicted to social media. She literally puts her face in front of the screen. It’s either her phone, her laptop or her eReader. Like most people around the world, I also have my own social media accounts. I feel close with my Goodreads friends, though I never meet them, I often change my status updates, I stalk and sometimes communicate with my favorite authors. But I know that I’m not like Mia. I can put aside all of those things. I know that a lot of people are like her. I don’t judge them but to be honest, I don’t quite get it either. I don’t understand why they can be so addicted and sometimes obsessed with it. Mia helps me to understand it. Her feelings and thoughts about her addiction are so clear to me. Now I think I can say that I understand why people so addicted by it.
The story is like any other NA books out there. It’s about two characters who have baggage trying to make their relationship work. One of them is more broken than other and needs each other to overcome their weakness. Again, surprisingly I enjoyed reading it. Mia’s love interest, Eric, once had an abusive relationship and it haunts him every time he tries to have a relationship. I just really like the way Cassie Mae describes his anxiety. His episodes and panic attacks feel real. I can easily connect to him and feel him. I feel sorry for him and frustrated with him when Mia doesn’t get what he wants.
And one thing I love the most in The Real Thing is the main characters. Although it’s kinda hard to love Mia at the beginning, Eric isn’t easy to love either. They have flaws. And make mistakes. I like the fact that both of them have a hand destroying their relationship in the first place. I can’t point out my finger and blame one of them. It makes none of them are better than the other.
The Real Thing is a good example where there is nothing new and has similarities with other stories BUT I think it also feels different at the same time. I’m glad I get the chance to read it in the first place as this is my first experience with Cassie Mae’s stories.