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REVIEW: in real life

I received this book for free from Publisher, St. Martin's Griffin in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: in real life, by jessica loveIn Real Life by Jessica Love
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on March 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Friendship, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 240
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher, St. Martin's Griffin
Amazon // The Book Depository

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.

in real life

this is a book you need if you’re in a slump and love cute-ness + drama.

this book is SO CUTE and i actually reaaaaaaally enjoyed it considered i “only” gave it three stars. my initial thought and conclusion on the novel: this book is like fan fiction. i don’t know how to describe it. there’s a specific ~vibe~ fan fiction stories give and that’s what i got from this novel. they’re usually stories that are super cliché and adorable and entertaining. it’s a short novel so it’s perfect if you’re in a reading slump or just want something fun to read. (it also gave me lots of feeeels and i finished it in one night and it’s so cute.)

the biggest issue i had was how FRUSTRATING the characters were. 90% of the time, they were fantastic; the other 10% made me want to strangle them. it seemed like the author wanted to make them realistically flawed – which is great! – but it got to the point where they were being a little irrational and annoying – specifically our main character, hannah. she can be so oblivious and annoying sometimes i just, i can’t. i don’t think i was really annoyed at her as a person, but more so at her choices. so technically, i like her character but sometimes the choices she makes are irrational and cause UNNECESSARY DRAMA. (it’s book, so it makes it more interesting. BUT STILL.)

however, i found myself truly relating to the characters’ situation because 1/ i have a few internet friends as well, and also dream of meeting them one day (albeit my friendship is not like their friendship), 2/ i live in southern california and often visit las vegas, so i knew EXACTLY what they were talking about in terms of location and food, 3/ i could relate to some of hannah’s internal struggle. this made the book much more enjoyable because i was actually visualizing them as real people with real experience than simply fictional characters. i also like how we had a diverse cast: hannah is korean, her best friend is mexican, etc.

in terms of actual literary devices, plot, and writing… it was mediocre. let me get this straight: i felt like this novel was pure entertainment. there are some books you’ll read to discover some revelation or speak out on some cause or SOMETHING, but this wasn’t it. it was enjoyable and interesting, but… that’s it. i liked it, but i didn’t find it very special in terms of writing or anything else. overall, IN REAL LIFE was relatable, fun, and terribly adorable. although there were times that made it seem overly dramatic, i think it was necessary to make it more entertaining, which is exactly the kind of book it was. it’s the perfect book if you want a short romance to get you out of a reading slump or book hangover.

i’d recommend if you’re looking for…

  • a cliché book with drama
  • a romance to get you out of a reading slump
  • books with internet friends!
Rating Report
Overall: 3.6

Alexandra Ling

alexandra is a twenty-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer or practicing yoga. she currently resides in los angeles, california.