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Jessica (HDB)

I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!

Currently reading

The Gunslinger
Stephen King
The Small Hand
Susan Hill
Summer of Night
Dan Simmons
Progress: 70%
The Dovekeepers
Alice Hoffman
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Naomi Novik

In Real Life by Jessica Love

In Real Life - Jessica  Love

Okay, so this book is a bit tough to review. I can't hate on it too much because, truth be told, I loved the idea of a book about a friendship that was created over social media and the telephone. To be friends with someone who you've never actually met isn't so much of an anomaly anymore. I love that! I have two amazing friends, both of whom I've spoken with countless times via email, Skype and the telephone, but never met in person. There's just as much validity to that type of relationship as any other, in my eyes. Despite any other qualms I may have had with this book, I'm happy it spotlights this topic.

 

The other reason I'm torn, is that I still don't know why I don't like Hannah. Our main character isn't easy to love, that's for sure. She's super reserved, overly whiny at times, and afraid to make her own decisions. The problem is, that it's well explained. It's the way she was raised, and so I can't hate her for her personality, despite how much I wanted to. I was Hannah when I was a teen. Straight laced, rule follower, sometimes stick in the mud. It took me until college, and being away from my parents, to loosen up. Do you see my dilemma? I admit I never grew to like her much. Still, I understood her.

 

Now here's where this book and I didn't see eye to eye. First off, I can't say enough how I dislike the whole "I had him/her first" mentality. Look, if you passed up a relationship with someone, they're not yours anymore. If they're taken now, too bad. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it. Hannah's reaction towards Nick, once she met him in real life, drove me absolutely crazy. The worst part is that she knew she was the reason they weren't together. She knew her words had clinched that status. Yet she kept playing the victim. There was no love lost between us.

 

The other big issue I had was the depiction of the girls once they arrived in Las Vegas. Okay, I know that underage girls and guys party in Vegas. I do. Is it necessarily okay to make that a centerpiece of a story written for the YA set though? Hannah's sister, and her friend Lo, are absolutely terrible. I liked them okay at the beginning, but once they flitted off to hook up with random guys, abandoning Hannah in favor of booze and sex, I was over them. Not okay.

 

Honestly, the scenes I loved the most were the ones where it was just Nick and Hannah. Nick laughing on the phone at stupid jokes that Hannah makes. The two of them together, in person, finding that same chemistry. That part was adorable. That part I loved. That was the part that had the least amount of screen time. I guess, for once, I wanted more romance in my contemporary.

 

Long story short, I settled on 3 stars for this book. It's a little formulaic, but it's a quick read. I know there are tons of readers out there who won't have my same issues, and will eat this book up. So, there you have it.