26# Book Review– ★★★☆☆ (2.5 Stars)
In Real Life
Hannah is the good girl who always does what is expected of her. She obeys her parents, follows all the rules, and maintains her good grades. She also lets life pass her by, playing it safe and running away from anything that is even slightly risky.
“My best friend and I have never met. We talk every day, on the phone or online, and he knows more about me than anyone. Like, deep into my soul. But we’ve never actually seen each other in real life.”
Nick is her best friend; sweet, hilarious, socially awkward Nick, who is member of this awesome punk rock band called ‘Automatic Friday’. She met him online. He calls her “ghost” because her presence haunts him long after he logs off all the social media apps and websites.
“I’m stuck somewhere between hating him so much, I never want to see him again and never, ever wanting to him to let me go.”
But now, four years since their friendship began, Hannah is slowly coming to terms with reality, and realizing she might just be harboring non-platonic feelings for this best friend of hers. This best friend who she has never met in real life.
“Following the rules for the past seventeen years has gotten me absolutely nowhere. I really need to do something about that.”
So, one day during spring break, Hannah decides to screws all the rules, to quit playing it safe and drive all the way to Las Vegas to surprise Nick at his gig.
However, her plan to surprise him goes awry, and she’s the one who ends up surprised after she finds out that Nick has been lying to her.
This book was a 2.5 stars.
The writing style was pretty basic, and average. So was the plot. It was the kind of stuff you find on ebook sharing websites like Wattpad, written by amateur authors. Most of the YA books out there are written like that, if not better. No use of beautifying literary devices, just a teenage girl ranting and cursing herself for being an idiot. The description of things was also simplistic, and didn’t create a very vivid image.
There was character diversity, there were Mexicans and whites and Asians. And I’m all for that. I like that, it’s great. But it was also a little unrealistic. Like not all of them being racially different no. But in the start of the book, the main character Hannah mention 3-4 people, and all of them are Asians, (brown people) and like I get it, but it felt kinda unrealistic. Because why does Hannah know people of all these different ethnicities (Mexicans and Indians) but doesn’t know/or mentions white people which are supposed to be like the majority? The only one she knows is an internet friend and her sister’s ex-boyfriend. So the diversity felt a little forced, and not completely natural.
Personality wise, the characters were normal and believable, but not overly deep. We didn’t get a glimpse into the depths of their soul, just the surface. I didn’t get attached to any of the characters and I wasn’t rooting for them and their quest or anything, just reading about them like a passive spectator.
Yes, there was character development, only in the female protagonist, and it was made very obvious and basically the whole plot was centered around it.
The book was kind of predictable, and there were a lot of elements in the plot that were put there for convenience’s sake, and as soon as you identified those elements, you could predict the rest of the story.
So now, you might think, why should I read this book, and why should I avoid it.
Why you should avoid: It’s a cliché theme, internet best friends, unrequited love, pining after a guy who has a girlfriend…yeah. It has some very basic elements that are present in all such stories—the girlfriend, (who is always either overly bitchy, or overly nice, in this case she is nice) to create angst, a best friend who is boy crazy, a female protagonist who has a major flaw, usually a flaw found in shy people, or people who are kinda passive. A cute male protagonist, who has a cliché personality (the socially awkward introvert guy who is overly sweet) So yeah, it was pretty cliché in that way. It wasn’t an extra ordinary once-in-a-lifetime kind of event, just something very normal. So if you’re not into stuff like that, please avoid it.
Why you should read: So what if it’s cliché? Cliché themes exist for a reason. Besides, it was pretty entertaining for a one time read. I did kind of wanted to know how the two main characters would end up together, which is why I read this book in one sitting. If you can get over the lack of character depth, and cliché setting, and if you dig drama, you’ll find this book entertaining.
So why have I given it 2.5 stars? Because:
a) the writing style was very normal. Like the way I write, if not slightly simpler. I always like to read stuff that is better written than what I write.
b) The characters were slightly annoying? Don’t get me started on the best friend, and the elder sister. How annoying! If my friends behaved that way I’d be super mad at them. The main character was kinda annoying too. Very dense. Her internal ramblings were annoying me a lot.
c) I didn’t fall in love with the male protagonist. He didn’t steal my heart. I didn’t find him attractive either, so yeah. He lacked personality.
d) Everything was just so…basic.
So, read it at your own risk 🙂 x