Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Should I Stay or Should I Go - Lori's Review of IN REAL LIFE by Jessica Love

Title: In Real Life
Author: Jessica Love
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 3/1/2016
Source: ARC 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.

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. 

This was a fun story that incorporated many of my favorite YA tropes, first love, online friendships, and best of all, ROAD TRIPS.

I'll try not to re-do the summary for you. Instead, I want to give you a reason to want to read and love this book.

Nick and Hannah have and incredibly strong online friendship. They talk and text each other about EVERYTHING except for their true feelings for each other.

In a rash decision with a push from her best friend and her sister, Hannah agrees to take a road trip to meet Nick in person. Upon arrival at Nick's concert, the first thing Hannah sees is Nick, kissing a girl who is obviously his girlfriend.

Despite her hurt feelings and Nick's girlfriend, he convinces Hannah to stay and experience Vegas. The night is magical and fun, filled with longing looks and many ups and downs for Hannah AND her friends.

The characters are strong, and well thought out. Even though the parents are lacking, it makes complete sense in the story. The friendships are flawed and rocky and absolutely just like high school.

Nick and Hannah's friendship is sweet, but is it strong enough to survive the secrets, the strain, and VEGAS? 

4 out of 5 Stars

This song seemed to encompass the back and forth nature of Hannah Cho and the way she makes decisions throughout this book.

The Clash - Should I Stay or Should I Go

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