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Review: The Real Thing (Mae)

AUTHOR: Cassie Mae
SERIES: none
PUBLICATION DATE: August 19, 2014
ISBN: 9780553392531
PAGES: 235
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: new adult, romance
GIVE IT TO: adults, possibly upper-HS

SUMMARY: Mia and Eric have been best friends for five years. After a year-long separation during their first year of college, Mia and Eric share a beachfront apartment in Florida for the summer.

IF THIS BOOK WERE FOOD, IT WOULD BE: chocolate cake with ooey-gooey icing–sweet and scrumptious!

REVIEW: Oh, what a fabulously cute book! Two best friends privately battle with romantic feelings for one another, fearing what could happen if the other doesn’t reciprocate. I loved both Mia and Eric. Their friendship feels real. They are cute together. They have fun together. Neither one is perfect, but they do try.

I loved Eric’s honesty and the fact that he is just a good guy. Unlike the typical “bad boy” in so many new adult books, Eric works in a nursing home, struggles with self-confidence, and feels socially awkward. I loved Eric–he’s a refreshing change from the cocky, brooding male leads I normally see in NA books.

The only other book I’ve read by Cassie Mae is How To Date A Nerd. I liked that one, but I remember thinking that though I was engrossed in the story, the writing felt amateurish. That is not the case with The Real Thing. Sure, it’s predictable (the romance genre often is), but I really felt the connection between Eric and Mia. I believed in their relationship and that they could last long enough to marry and stay together into old age. The intimate scenes are deliciously slow and beautifully-written. Readers do not feel connected to the characters and their story without good writing, and Cassie Mae asserts her talent as a fresh, fun new adult writer. She is an author that I definitely plan to read again.

As far as teen appeal, I think it’s fine for more mature teen readers nearing the end of high school. There are some steamy scenes, but they are more of the heavy kissing and petting variety than is typical for NA (which usually contains more than one intercourse scene).

THE BOTTOM LINE: A fun and engrossing romance about friends who want to be more. I loved this book!

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We don’t have it–it’s more adult than teen.

READALIKES: How To Date A Nerd (Mae), Good in Bed (Weiner), Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, No 1) series (Kinsella)


  • Overall: 5/5
  • Creativity: 4/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Engrossing: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5 (mature readers only)
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5


  • Language: medium–lots of sh**
  • Sexuality: very high–lots of kissing, petting (with and without clothes), talk/thoughts of intercourse and arousal, intercourse
  • Violence: none
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild–Eric takes prescription medication for anxiety

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