Published by St. Martin's Griffin on March 1st 2016
Genres: Romance, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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.
~ The last couple of years I’ve come to realize that I like contemporary romance, and I like YA contemporary romance. The woman who runs the blog tour site I participate in loved this book and highly recommended it to me, so I was happy to give it a try- and I’m glad I did! In Real Life will fit quite nicely on my shelf along with Kasie West, Claire LaZebnik, and Stephanie Perkin books.
~ The story is told from Hannah Cho’s point of view, a good girl who finds herself taking a chance on a road trip to Las Vegas to meet her online best friend, whom she maybe has more than bestie feelings for. I liked very much that Hannah and Nick started off just friends, neither was online looking for a hookup or love, they just had a lot in common and genuinely have a strong connection. Not that I’m saying there is anything wrong with finding love on the internet, because it’s about the only way to meet people these days. But I do have a problem with teens running off to meet people they only know from the internet without their parents knowing a thing and wouldn’t want my nieces reading a book that suggested that was a good idea- however Hannah does not go alone and has facetimed with Nick enough to know that he’s not really a 48 year old man who has a sound proofed basement room for his “girlfriends”.
~ Hannah and Nick meet through their older siblings, who met at a concert and hit it off, and both though their littles would get along.
~ Hannah and Nick talk all the time, or text, they are closer to each other than anyone in their everyday lives. But even with that kind of interaction, there’s still things that Hannah doesn’t know about Nick…
~ No, he’s not a 48 year old man with a sound proofed basement room for his “girlfriends”, but he hasn’t exactly been 100% honest either.
~ For a hot moment, I though maybe Alex and Nick were the same person and not just brothers, and if that had been the case, I probably would have chucked the book across the room because that would have creeped me out. Fortunately the book did not stray from the romance parameters.
~ The back of the book mentions the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding, which this did remind me of (not that it felt like a rip off, but Hannah’s predicament is similar to Julia Roberts in MBFW). I am glad that it didn’t have the same kind of ending though, because I think that would have broken my heart.
~ I did have a problem with how Hannah’s sister and friend blew Hannah off in favor of Alex and Oscar, it was terrible behavior. However, it’s sadly true to human nature (after all Grace and Lo probably felt like the heroines in their own romantic movies, but still, ya’ll, that was cold).
~ I am nowhere near as smart and studious as Hannah, but other than that, I was a Hannah in high school. My parents had very little trouble with me because I policed myself- and I still hate roller coasters (I had trouble reading the scene with the roller coaster, that’s how much I fear and loathe them). I just really liked Hannah, although I’m glad Nick called her own on some of her crap- because Hannah is not always honest with herself, either.
~ Loved all the Las Vegas adventures! Especially that the girls got the Empire Records themed room in the Planet Hollywood hotel (although it made me so sad that the girls didn’t know anything about the movie- and if you don’t, then you need to go watch it now, the rest of the review will keep until you’re done).
~ Did you watch it?
~ Good. It’s a great movie, right?!
~ I tried hating Frankie, and I definitely resented her, but on the other hand, I found her fun. She’d make an interesting friend, and I loved the idea behind her blog- Underage Vegas. But even though I share a lot online, there’s tons I don’t share… Frankie doesn’t seem to have that filter. How authentic of a life can you have if you feel the need to chronicle every moment online? I’m super weary of internet superstars. It just seems… insincere.
~ I just loved this book, and I want everyone to read it so we can talk about it!
Hannah Cho- the good girl gone wild… okay, not wild, but she does get mildly adventurous for a nerd.
Nick Cooper- Hannah’s online bff, wonderful, weird and the nerdy yin to Hannah’s nerdy yang.
Grace- Hannah’s older, college aged sister, much more free-spirited than Hannah.
Lo- Hannah’s other bff- she is definitely the wilder of the two friends.
Frankie- surprise! She’s Alex’s girlfriend and super popular blogger.
Alex- Nick’s older brother.
Oscar- Nick’s best friend, rocks 80’s style hair.
Jordy- band friend of Alex and Nick, quite the ladies man.
Mai and Jason- adorable newlyweds who refer to Hannah and Nick as “mini-us”.
There were a lot of great moments but two really stick out:
~ When Lo picks the non-Mexican fake ID card from her cousin Carlos. She just cracked me up.
~ Nick and Hannah getting pulled into the wedding celebration of Mei and Jason, it was just adorable.
Stop the Clock:
In Real Life was just a great, fun read. It’s a great first book, and I can’t wait to read more by Jessica Love!
In Real Life gets a Midnight Book rating of: