In Real Life by Jessica Love | Review

     Title: In Real Life

     Author: Jessica Love

     Release Date: March 1st, 2016

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.

Description from Goodreads:

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 do, 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 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.

This book broke my two month reading slump, and for that I am so so thankful. I uhmed and ahhed over my rating for In Real Life, and since writing this review I've demoted it to 3 Stars!

In Real Life is a classic contemporary YA, there's a shy female protagonist who sticks to the rules and finds new situations stressful. She has a male best friend who she shares everything with, and of course they both have secret feelings for each other. Sounds pretty generic so far, but the element that takes In Real Life away from the standard YA contemporary is the simple fact that Hannah and Nick have never met, they've communicated for years texting, messaging and calling each other. I definitely felt that this added more interest to the book, and saved it from being just another YA contemporary.

Pretty early on in the novel Hannah decides to take a trip to Las Vegas, surprise Nick and confess her more-than-friend-feelings for him. The synopsis tells us that this isn't going to go to plan, and you know I kind of wanted it to, because how sweet would that have been? Alas, it did not. I can't say the surprise was overly surprising, but then actually there were two main surprises, one was kind of expected, and the other, not so much.

I enjoyed seeing how the virtual friendship transferred to real life interactions, because isn't everyone different behind a screen as opposed to face to face? Hannah's friend and sister totally sucked, they abandoned Hannah, and I understand that they wanted to enjoy their holiday too, but I felt that they didn't need to be as harsh on Hannah as they were.

In Real Life struck me as quite a standard YA contemporary, it was enjoyable and it broke my slump, but it wasn't anything extraordinarily special.

Have you read In Real Life? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

'In Real Life' by Jessica Love
3 Stars

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