By Jessica Love
Available now from St. Martin's (Macmillan)
Hannah Cho has never met her best friend Nick Cooper in real life. This spring break, she's going to change that by road-tripping to Las Vegas with her sister and her other best friend. She's also, finally, going to tell Nick how she feels.
I couldn't wait to read this book! The cover is adorable, and I always love Vegas and road trips. I also liked the premise, because I've made many good friends online and meeting them in person for the first time is always a heady experience (despite not being in love with any of them). Nowadays, online relationships transition into real-life relationships more and more. It started promising too. I can almost always empathize with the awkward overachiever.
Yet, I could feel myself getting crankier and crankier as I read.
I felt for Hannah when her big confession didn't go the way she planned. Nick already has a girlfriend, and is different from the guy she spoke to on the phone in other ways as well. But ... she keeps acknowledging and then backing away from the fact she brought a lot of her emotional troubles on herself. Nick already confessed his feelings for her and she turned him down - brutally. He didn't tell her about his new girl because he was licking his wounds in private.
I understood why Hannah felt hurt, but once you turn someone down you don't get to whinge endlessly about them moving on. I was on the side of Grace and Lo (her sister and friend), who were both encouraging her to be honest about her feelings and to please let them enjoy their vacation if she was just going to mope about a tangled snarl of love she caused. (Actually, I pretty much liked every character but Hannah.)
Worst of all, reading IN REAL LIFE made me feel old. I think I would've rolled my eyes at this kind of drama even as a teen, but I just had zero patience for it. IN REAL LIFE had the bones of a story I could've loved, but I just found it grating.