Biblio 411: In Real Life

Genres: love stories, young adult

main-qimg-63014ae199a8b086d38915b7b3a5cd79Author: Jennifer Love
Published: March 1st, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Read: April 24, 2016
The Hook: The book jacket reeled me in.

So, the book jacket read:

“Imagine the look on his face when you show at his show. He’s going to flip.”

I feel wrongness down to my gut when I think about doing something this big.

But then I let myself picture the scene: Nick at House of Blues with the band. Onstage, playing guitar. Seeing me in the crowd. The instant of recognition. The smile. The hug. The excitement.

This is the moment that launched a thousand daydreams.

I can keep a secret for one night if it means getting that experience.

 

How can that not interest you? And then I open the cover to read the flap of the book jacket which read:

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.

For someone who has written to hundreds of letters since she was 11 years old, someone who had an ICQ account at 13 (when the only way online was a telephone modem), someone who can relate to being friends with people you have yet to meet in real life, well … HOOKED!

Summary: Well, the book jacket pretty much sums it up so I don’t know if my summary will do it any more justice than that. But, yeah. Hannah and Nick have been best friends for four years, but have never met in person. The mail each other stuff. They text each other, email each other, instant message each other, but they never got around to meeting. They’ve tried. Well, they’ve tried once, but that didn’t quite happen. Then, the Spring Break of their senior year of high school Hannah has had enough of following the rules. Following the rules allowed someone else to snatch the opportunity to go to Washington when it was supposed to be her. Basically, following the rules didn’t really get her anywhere and she’s frustrated. So when her parents go on a cruise for Spring Break, leaving her in the company of her older sister (who is in college so, you know, an adult) and best friend. The perfect company to break the rules with (or perhaps bend them a little. Okay, no, they break them). And that’s how Hannah finds herself in Vegas, meeting her best friend in real life for the first time in four years. And, wow. Not what she expected. At. All.

Verdict: Love it, love it, love it!

Let’s talk plot.

This day in age, there have been quite a bit of stories following a similar m. o. When you think about it though, what plot hasn’t been written before or rewritten or reinvented. That’s part of the fun, isn’t it? It’s hard to say “cliche” when just about every story out there has had other variations of it.

Anyway.

I love how the story unfolds. Love had done a good job building things up to the big meet-and-greet. In addition to the build up, she dots the present story line with a flash back here and there to add to Hannah and Nick’s story. It’s not over done and it moves the story along. It gives it the right amount of tension. You can see how Hannah and Nick got to the point they’ve gotten to without having to dish out four years worth of information, you know?

Let’s talk characters.

Hannah is definitely someone I can relate to. She wants to follow the rules. She doesn’t want to let her parents down, doesn’t want to cause any trouble. And when you do that, you’re suppose to get rewarded, you know? When the tradition for the senior class is to send the president to Washington DC over Spring Break and you’ve worked your way to president. The school administration is not supposed to send the Vice President instead. You know? Not when you follow the rules and do whatever you are asked to do. It’s just not how the world is supposed to work. Then again, reality doesn’t follow those rules. It sucks. It’s unfair. But that’s life. So, Hannah. I can relate to her. She frustrates me though. As much as I understand where she comes from, I can certainly understand the frustration Hannah’s sister and best friend experience in trying to loosen her up a bit. After all, Hannah’s graduating!

And Nick. Gosh, I love Nick. He’s a good balance to Hannah and the over all story. And his bandmates? Love them. The supporting characters were just as good. I love how Grace, Hannah’s sister, is trying to get her to loosen up, along with Hannah’s best friend, Lo. They add a little curiosity and provide a break from everything being about Hannah and Nick, which keeps the story from going flat.

And it takes place on the backdrop of Las Vegas. You can’t argue with that. I mean, if you’re going to break the rules, Vegas is the perfect place!

So, the plot was good. The characters are awesome. And I know there are more elements to storytelling you should be considering, but I’m not going to get into them. Bottom line is that this story was a really good story. It was easy to read and it’s a story I will definitely revisit again and again so I’d add it to my library.

Overall rating – 5 stars!