In Real Life
Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper talk to each other everyday, consistently shower each other with gifts, and tell each other everything. They’re typical best friends, there’s just one slight problem; they’ve never actually met.
When Hannah’s spring break plans go awry, she finally decides to meet her best friend who just happens to live in Las Vegas. Plus his band is playing at the House of Blues. Hannah will go with her legal adult sister Grace, and her immature friend Lo, and finally meet the ghost she’s been talking to for four years.
I thought this book was very good. I liked how incredibly detailed the story was. From all the Las Vegas parties, to the many facial expressions of Nick Cooper to Hannah’s deep and intense fear of roller coasters. The way the author described Hannah’s thoughts and the action throughout the whole novel was so wonderful. It made me feel like I was a part of the group having an adventure in Las Vegas. The fact that it was so thorough and cleverly planned out made it seem so organic and unpredictable, which I thought was great. Stories similar to this can be very foreseeable but this one managed to keep me engaged.
I also really liked how it took place in just a weekend. Due to the fact that it was only a weekend, Jessica Love was able to go through every little thing that happened. You knew where they were every minute of the day, what was going through their minds and what was constantly going on around the characters. The weekend started with Hannah wanting to go meet Nick on the Friday night, Grace, Lo and Hannah drive out to Vegas Saturday morning, the whole shenanigans of the entire novel happens Saturday night, and then they drive home Sunday morning! The story wasn’t stretched out for a long period of time, so the author had the ability to really make it feel like an adventure out on the town of Las Vegas. She could jam pack the story with problems and details without needing to stretch out the story over many days.
I also thought it did a great being super relatable. I understood everything that was going on inside Hannah’s mind and had totally felt that way before, she’s a character that goes through very normal struggles, like not wanting to have a bad reputation, but wanting to be free of the rules. Or how she is really scared of something and will do anything to avoid it. Or simply how she has feelings for someone, but she doesn’t want to tell the other person out of the fear of rejection.
I felt like the character Lo (Hannah’s best friend in real life) could have been expanded more. I know that because of the time restraint there wasn’t a lot of room for character development aside from the main characters, but I wanted to learn about Hannah’s party girl counterpart, or for Lo to mature, or grow up or something by the end of the story.
I didn’t like how Lo told Hannah to make Nick jealous by flirting with Jordy, then Jordy and Hannah kissed and that whole scene was not only very cringe worthy, but I think it wasn’t written as well as it could have been. It was written in a way where it didn’t add very much to the story and what it did add, it could have been put somewhere else and the story would have been just fine.
To conclude, this book was pretty decent. There were a few bumps in the road, but it was a good short weekend read. If you’re looking for something short and sweet, I recommend this book. I binge read it in two days.