Tuesday, March 1, 2016

RELEASE DAY REVIEW - In Real Life by Jessica Love

Published: March 1, 2016
Genre: Young Adult
In Real Life

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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 is a cute story about a long distance friendship that can possibly turn into something more. You know...there is this one big question everyone always asks: can guys and girls really be just friends? For me, I don't think they can. I believe there will always be a lingering feeling deep down. No matter how small, it's still there. That is why I love friends to lovers stories, where love is slowly evolving.

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper met through the connection of their siblings and stayed in contact via emails, text messages, phone calls and video chats. During the four years they have known each other, there was only this one chance of getting together. However, that one chance turned into a horrible day of events leading to a cancellation. Now, this time is a do-over. Hannah is on spring break and decides to plan a surprise road trip to Vegas with her best friend and sister. And when she comes face to face with Nick in real life…everything changes.


TIMELINE - I love how the story takes place in a couple days. A couple days are all you really need in Vegas. Jessica’s Love descriptions in each scene makes you feel like you are there with the characters. With that imagery, the plot line just flows.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT - Meeting a person in real life can really change the perception of what you have of said person. Things can easily be omitted and feelings can easily get hurt. From the point they met to the end, you can see changes in each of the main characters. Hannah is actually the one who developed the most. She’s always the one in control but she finally let go and embraced another side to her. All the events that happened that night made her go through a roller coaster ride of emotions. It changes how she deals with the situations at hand. When she finally got her head wrapped around her insecurities, she turned into a new person and for the better.

THE ENDING - I am a sucker for HEA and I just love how this story ended. I don’t want to spoil it but if you also live HEAs, you will love this one. It was so sweet, you can’t help but smile.

Overall, In Real Life was a really cute read. The connection between the main characters was undeniably there but obstacles stood in the way, preventing true feelings from actually being said. But when they can find their way around them, life can be wonderful. 

4 STARS - I really liked it!

Jessica Love Author
Jessica Love is a high school English teacher in Los Angeles, California, where she met her husband and her two tiny dogs online. She is the co-writer of Push Girl with Chelsie Hill.

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