2016 Book #15 – In Real Life by Jessica Love

41NZ+T0vkHLTitle: In Real Life
Author: Jessica Love
Date finished: 2/24/16
Genre: Fiction, thriller/suspense
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Pages in book: 224
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: The Reading Room NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

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.

My rating:  3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book will count towards my “Holiday 2015 Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Blue Cover” square, since it has a blue cover. This book is about a girl named Hannah who decides to start breaking some of her rules. All her life she’s been the good girl and the obedient one. But now she is a senior in high school, she’s on spring break, and she decides that its high time she went to Las Vegas (only 4 hours away from her). Not to gamble but to meet the boy that she’s been talking to (pretty much non-stop) for the past four years. He’s her best friend and possibly more than her friend and she’s going to surprise him by showing up at one of his band performances.Little does she know that she’s the one who is going to be surprised (gasp).
So Hannah, her sister Grace, and her best friend Lo travel to Las Vegas and spend the night with Hannah’s best friend Nick. Along with him they also spend time with Nick’s brother Alex and friends Oscar and Jordy, as well as Frankie, Nick’s girlfriend (double gasp). What ensues is a wild night out on Las Vegas for a girl (Hannah) who is only used to following the rules. Hannah learns how to let lose and have fun and not just do exactly what she’s supposed to do.
Overall I thought this was a cute story. I connected with Hannah a little bit since I too was a goody two-shoes in high school. I have to be honest though, she and I were very different in the teen angst department and I found that piece of the book somewhat frustrating. I was never one to keep my mouth shut when I liked a boy so my angst was always of the “oh he doesn’t like me that sucks, oh wait look there’s some new shiny thing” while Hannah’s angst is more “oh I love this boy to pieces but I’m going to keep it to myself and be sad that he doesn’t know I like him.” I find that angst to be overly frustrating because how are you ever going to know if he likes you back if you don’t say anything. Other than that though the characters were cute, the story line was funny, and it was a quick read. Perfect read for this summer when you’re looking for something light to read on the beach!

The bottom line: This was a quick, light, and cute read. High on the teen angst scale but other than that it is a cute story about a girl taking chances and falling in love.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

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2015 Book #39 – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Date finished: 4/28/15
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Pages in book: 355
Stand alone or series: There is a sequel to this book coming out next month (P.S. I Still Love You)

Blurb from the cover:

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?
Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

My rating: 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a book you can finish in a day” check box mostly since I finished this book in a day. I had seen this book on a lot of other blogs with rave reviews so when I saw it at the Harwinton Public Library I decided to give it a try. I have to be honest though, this was not one of my favorite books. I mean the book itself was a fine book and I can see why many people like it. It was just a little too much teen angst for me, which is one of the reasons I haven’t read many young adult novels since I was in high school. I am trying to get back into them because many of them have only a medium, tolerable amount of teen angst and that’s fine. This book though just had a little too much for me, I was so frustrated with Lara-Jean in the beginning of the book that I just wanted to scream.
I wasn’t a fan of this book in the beginning and then as the story progressed things seemed to get better. I began to like the story more and I was slightly hooked and wanted to keep reading. About 50 pages before the end though, things started going downhill for me again. I guess I just don’t get the point. I started to think that the point was that we liked Peter. But he cheats on his tests, he is continually hanging out with his ex-girlfriend that he’s still in love with (umm can anyone say red flag??) and he did not make an effort to dispel Gen’s evil rumor that he and Lara-Jean had sex in the hot tub on a school trip. Excuse me, but this doesn’t exactly sound like a stand up guy to me. Certainly not one I would want to date. But then after Lara-Jean’s mad for awhile she pretty much just let’s it go and starts writing Peter a letter. Is she doing this to get back with him? To be done with him for good (my vote)? The book just ends there. And I get that there is a sequel but honestly I was kind of mad. I put all this time and effort into reading the story and I can’t even leave off with the heroine being happy with a good guy? It was just too much frustration for me.

The bottom line: Was too much angst and not enough resolution for me. Although this is altogether a popular book, I would probably not recommend.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page