Title: In Real Life
Author: Jessica Love
Expected Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pre-order: Amazon | Indigo | Barnes & Noble
Summary: Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another. There’s just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met. Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him. Hannah’s romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick’s girlfriend, whom he failed to mention. And it turns out his relationship status isn’t the only thing he’s been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.
A huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy for reviewing.
What drew me to this book was without a doubt the cover; I’m a sucker for good music-themed cover art. But as the old saying goes: never judge a book by its cover. Which is why I went into this book a blank canvas and tried not to expect certain things like I usually do (a habit I really have to break). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this book. It’s seriously very, very cute, guys; cliché, but in the best way.
My only quip would have to be the two main characters. I would have given it a higher rating if I didn’t feel such a disconnect with both main characters. I feel like a lot (a lot) of problems could have been avoided if they just talked through it. There’s one point in the book where Hannah’s best friend Lo lay a much-needed smack-down on Hannah (with her words; always use your words, folks) and I actually found myself physically nodding in agreement at this book like I was crazy. But then again, these kids are young, I certainly had a similar mindset at their age.
That aside, though, it was an enjoyable read. The overall pace of the story was realistic — everything took place in a matter of days — and didn’t drag one bit. The ending was a bit too cliché for my liking, but that didn’t take away my enjoyment of the whole thing. This is definitely a book for the millennials, with the aspect of online relationships and communication driving the plot; something I’m sure a lot of people can relate to in this day and age. Definitely pick this up if you’re looking for something light-hearted and youthful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Love is a high school English teacher who lives in Southern California with her husband and their two tiny dogs. She’s working on her Master’s Degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Spalding University, and her big love is contemporary YA romance. Jessica spends all of her free money on concerts, constantly tries to prove that blondes have more fun, and is pretty much always on the internet. (via Goodreads)