Saturday 18 February 2023

This Time It’s Real

This Time It’s Real by Ann Liang (Penguin) PB RRP $19.99 ISBN 9781761049804

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Seventeen-year-old Eliza Lin is now attending the Beijing International School after moving countries again. Considering it is her final year, she doesn’t see the point of making new friends. Her lowkey existence soon flips on its head when her personal essay about her love life goes viral. Eliza has always dreamed of becoming a professional writer but the positive attention she gains for this piece is unwelcome. She lied. The personal essay is about her non-existent boyfriend, who everyone now wants to know. Instead of admitting that she lied, she doubles down and convinces Caz Strong, a famous actor in her class, to act as her boyfriend.

This Time It’s Real
is a fun young adult novel suitable for teenagers who enjoy romantic comedies. Its themes include first love, long-distance friendships, celebrity crushes, integrity, and fitting in.

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