I could never express how much I enjoyed The Real Score. At first, I forced myself to read it because I wasn’t in the mood to read contemporaries but I have to because of the Filipiniana Sunday Feature. I am so glad that I did because it turned out to be a favourite.
I admit that The Real Score’s story is not really new. We’ve got this two different individuals who got fated to meet each other, became friends and eventually became more than the latter. Caitlin Tan is your ordinary Manila girl who works from 9 am to ever after. Compared to Marcus’ world, she is a commoner. Meanwhile, Marcus is almost an iconic god being a member of Gezellig, a very famous boy band that rendered the female populace in a swooning frenzy. But the curious part is, they share a very unusual friendship which kept the world guessing about what’s the real score between them.
The Real Score’s story is somewhat typical but what made me love it is how Kesh executed the whole thing. It was conceivable, had the right amount of heartbreaking moments, witty dialogues and toe curling scenes. I was actually fanning myself every time I turned a page. I couldn’t believe that I’m sixteen again when just yesterday; I was pretty much convinced that I’ve already outgrown boy bands. But this book had me doubting myself. I even want to start putting Gezellig posters on my wall and pray to the gods to give them life.
Everything about this book is perfect. First, The Real Score has a lot of amazing characters to root for. But to make this review short, I’ll just breeze through them, alright? Caitlin’s one of the best heroines I’ve encountered so far. She’s capable and certainly does not have the attitude of co-dependency shared by a lot of heroines that littered the romance genre today. And yes, she spends most of her time doing her own thing instead of daydreaming about Prince Charming. However, she’s kind of paranoid and wants to do things in a systematic manner which made her life kind of boring. But then, her very controlled life was suddenly turned upside down when she took a risk by being friends with someone who is almost a total stranger in the person of Marcus Wayans. Marcus is British and a music god but he chose to befriend someone like Caitlin. Despite his and his band’s popularity, Marcus remained rooted to the ground and cares for Caitlin very much. He’s not your typical young man who makes it a point to satisfy his raging hormones every time an opportunity surfaces. Almost throughout their friendship, Marcus never stepped out of bounds and was contented with his relationship with Caitlin. Attaboy!
Even the other characters were brought to life by Kesh. For such a short read, that’s kind of an outstanding feat. The Real Score’s set of characters is certainly the type of crowd I want to have lazy convos with in our living room.
Another plus for this book is the plot itself which was hugely relationship driven. The friendship between Marcus and Caitlin was almost tangible that by the time they decided to cross the line between lovers and friends, the romance felt so da-n right. Kesh really brought me into the development process so it was so easy for me to fall in love with our lead’s romance. I think The Real Score has one of the best friendship stories I’ve read so far. It’s not your usual romance book wherein the guy immediately drops innuendos after innuendos after he befriended the girl. As a matter of fact, this book kind of reminded me of Aria and Roar’s relationship in Under the Never Sky Series, only that in the end, Cait and Marcus finally treaded the romantic territory.
Furthermore, the boyband thing didn’t cheapen the overall story. It actually placed more challenge to the whole thing. Instead of just shouting the “take the risk and fight” message, The Real Score also relayed that no matter how different you are, things will work out if you want it to work. Despite the distance that separated them… despite the glaring differences, Cait and Marcus managed to keep their friendship burning.
This is another book that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend even to the haters of boy bands. Give this book a chance. Beneath the boy band façade is a real gem that would certainly tug at your heart.