Published by St. Martin's Press on March 1, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: eARC from Publisher
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 Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.
Hannah's surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has 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.
In Real Life is a young adult contemporary romance by Jessica Love. It tells the story of teens Hannah and Nick who have been best friends for four years. Only hitch to that is they have never met. I think this is a book that is long overdue in todays technological climate. People everywhere have friends that they have only interacted with over the internet, or phone, or on social media. It is just the way the world is today. When I first started reading In Real Life, I thought this was going to be a catfish story. (and trust me, I love a good catfish story. P.S. is anyone else watching the new season?) But In Real Life turned out to be so much more than that. Hannah and Nick have talked on the phone and video chatted multiple times, so they knew who the other person was physically. In Real Life was a delightful story of whether or not they could actually work out as friends (or more than friends) in real life.
I loved watching Hannah and Nick. Nick likes Hannah so much, you could choke on all the adorableness. And Hannah was just so clueless about her feelings that I wanted to shake her so many times. I wanted to give her a good whap on the head every time she pushed Nick away. I just didn’t get it. But they are teenagers, and they each had some growing up to do for sure. Watching them get over their faults and accept their faults was a favorite aspect of In real Life for me. It did seem very much like real life. I think Jessica Love did a great job depicting teenagers today.
Hannah and Nick were a great match. They cracked me up together. I loved how they would go along with whatever the other one was saying. You could tell they were really comfortable with each other. The one thing that I did not get at all, was the way multiple characters described Nick as kind of socially Awkward. I never once saw him this way. I thought he was a pretty smooth talker, and an overall likable guy. I didn’t feel like he would have any trouble fitting in. So that description didn’t gel with the way Nick was portrayed throughout the story. But I loved him even though I didn’t think he was awkward. What he was, was very sweet.
Bottom line: If you like a good long distance love story mixed in with a hint of teenage “the Hangover”, featuring a long nights romp on the Las Vegas strip, this will be a book that you will enjoy. If you are looking for a good depiction of true to life teens with a healthy dose of social media age, you should grab a copy of In Real Life today.
Big Spoiler alert P.S. View Spoiler »I have noticed a good amount of people commenting on “slut-shaming” and being annoyed with the fact that Hannah and Nick kissed while she thought he was still going out with his girlfriend. And I have to say that is the kind of thing that would really irk me. I hate it when someone moves in on someone else when they are in a relationship, But it didn’t bug me at all here, and here is why. I genuinely believe Hannah when she says that she is not the kind of girl to do that. Neither is Nick. Both Hannah and Nick stopped each other from kissing or even hugging multiple times earlier in the story. And are we forgetting the fact that girlfriend picked her blog over Nick? She dumped him because of that before the kiss even happened. (and I believe it wouldn’t have happened if Nick and her girlfriend hadn’t broken up. Nick has shown time and time again that he is the kind of guy to shut that down. Hannah got wrapped up in the moment, and Nick let it happen because he was single. I do not think this was a conscious cheating effort. Ok rant over, I was just a little surprised to see so much hate over their kiss at the end. « Hide Spoiler
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I like the sound of this one, I would also think it’s leading up to a catfish type story. I need to watch more of that show!! 😛
Eva @ All Books Considered
I totally agree that this was spot on for realistic teenage behavior in the social media age and also maturity levels. Great review, I liked this one so much, too!!