I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: In Real Life
Author: Jessica Love
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Summary (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, 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 really had the potential to be a 5 star read. It has a very unique concept and a setting that is described so perfectly that the reader can’t help but wish that they were in the story. However, I found the main character to be ungrateful and rude, which really put me off.
In Real Life has a super creative concept that I’ve never seen mentioned in YA: Internet friends. This book tells the story of Hannah and Nick, two friends who actually met online. They have never met in real life. I found this to be interesting because it is so different from every other book. It’s really refreshing being able to change things up a bit.
I adored the Vegas setting in In Real Life. Jessica Love describes all the attractions and city life so well that I really wanted to visit Vegas while reading. I feel like this is the perfect setting for the book because I sort of associate Vegas with drama, and boy is there drama in In Real Life. Having never been to Vegas before, I’m not sure about the accuracy of details, but I sure enjoyed reading about it!
The one thing that really bothered me in this book was the main character, Hannah. I found her to be really ungrateful and whiny throughout the whole book, which I never like to see in a book. The main event in the story is the characters road tripping to Vegas to meet Hannah’s online friend. I do understand that Hannah is the reason for the trip, but it definitely wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for her sister, and the trip was also supposed to be for the whole group. Hannah feels like the trip is all about her and is actually really rude to her friends for not “supporting her” when they are out having fun. I really didn’t like this trait, and also couldn’t really relate to Hannah, so this book ended up not being as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be.
In Real Life is a unique story about online friends. There is a fun Vegas setting that is also ideal for the book. Despite the originality, I didn’t enjoy the main character’s personality, which affected my experience reading. I would, however, still recommend this book to those who are fine with a lot of drama.