This Time It's Real (Hardcover)
March/April 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“A believable, awkward teen romance starts out as fake love that transforms into the real thing. The reader explores Beijing thru Eliza’s eyes as she gets to know Caz and starts to trust in herself and her feelings. A delightful rom-com!”
— Connie L. Eaton, Three Sisters Books & Gifts, Shelbyville, IN
When seventeen-year-old Eliza Lin’s essay about meeting the love of her life unexpectedly goes viral, her entire life changes overnight. Now she has the approval of her classmates at her new international school in Beijing, a career-launching internship opportunity at her favorite magazine…and a massive secret to keep.
Eliza made her essay up. She’s never been in a relationship before, let alone in love. All good writing is lying, right?
Desperate to hide the truth, Eliza strikes a deal with the famous actor in her class, the charming but aloof Caz Song. She’ll help him write his college applications if he poses as her boyfriend. Caz is a dream boyfriend -- he passes handwritten notes to her in class, makes her little sister laugh, and takes her out on motorcycle rides to the best snack stalls around the city.
But when her relationship with Caz starts feeling a little too convincing, all of Eliza’s carefully laid plans are threatened. Can she still follow her dreams if it means breaking her own heart?
Praise for This Time It's Real:
* "Eliza is an enchanting, hilarious, and vulnerable heroine . . . an irresistible tale by Liang." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "A sweet and emotional love story." -- Booklist, starred review
"An angst-y, heartstring-tugging romance between two sympathetic leads . . . Irresistible fun with unexpected sincereity." -- Kirkus Reviews
“A total delight. Laugh out loud funny, sweet, and romantic, this is a sparkling gem of a book." -- Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries series and No Words
"Ann Liang's This Time it's Real has it all -- a messy but lovable heroine, fake-dating, Beijing! In short, a fun rom-com with loads of heart that is easy to fall for." -- Emiko Jean, New York Times bestselling author of Tokyo Ever After
"Poignant, charming, and threaded with undeniable tenderness. The fake dating delivers both epic swoons and profoundly heart-melting moments, and Eliza's journey from self-contained to self-assured is beautifully empowering. I can’t wait to read more from Ann Liang." -- Rachel Lynn Solomon, New York Times bestselling author of Today Tonight Tomorrow and See You Yesterday
"An ordinary girl and a C-drama actor having to fake date, what's not to love? Funny, heartfelt, with the absolute best setting of an international school in Beijing, Ann Liang delivers a swoon-worthy story about taking chances and falling in love. A sparkling romcom from a talented new voice." -- Axie Oh, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea and XOXO
"A poignant coming-of-age story and a sweet exploration of what it means to find a place (or a person) that feels like 'home.' Fun and fresh!" -- Kat Cho, New York Times bestselling author of Once Upon a K-Prom
“Ann Liang pens a rich cultural world in this sparkling coming of age story with beautiful takes on identity and authenticity, and so much heart I thought mine was going to burst. Caz and Eliza are absolutely delightful!” -- Laura Taylor Namey, New York Times bestselling author of A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
“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, award-winning author of The Henna Wars and Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating
“In This Time It's Real, Liang's writing shines, weaving in cultural elements seamlessly while taking us through Beijing. A fun fake-dating romance to lose yourself in, filled with squeal-worthy moments.” -- Gloria Chao, author of Rent a Boyfriend and When You Wish Upon a Lantern
"A pitch-perfect romance! This Time It's Real is a ridiculously fun and adorable fake-dating, slow-burn story full of humor and charm. Perfect for fans of Gloria Chao, Sandhya Menon and Jenny Han.” -- Suzanne Park, author of Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous and The Christmas Clash
"Liang hits every mark in this wildly fun fake-dating adventure straight out of my romcom dream journal. I loved every minute of it!" -- Dahlia Adler, author of Cool for the Summer