Sunday, March 6, 2016

Blog Tour: "In Real Life" by Jessica Love (GIVEAWAY + EXCERPT)

My rating: ★★★★★

Author: Jessica Love

Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Page Count: 240 (hardcover)

Release Date: March 1st, 2016

PublisherThomas Dunne Books (St. Martin's Griffin)

Hardcover: 978-1-250-06471-4 / $18.99

eBook: 9781466870994 / $9.99

Places to order:

About Jessica:

Jessica Love is a high school English teacher in Los Angeles, California, where she met her husband and her two tiny dogs online. She is the co-writer of Push Girl with Chelsie Hill.


Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, Skype all the time, regularly send each other 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 at school, she decides to finally break a rule or two herself.  She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, with her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-a-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention to Hannah for the past three months. And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about.  Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one 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 review:

First off, thank you very much St.Martin's Press and NetGalley for sending me an eARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And thank you to Michelle Cashman from St. Martin's Press for allowing me to be part of the blog tour!

Secondly, I wrote a NON-SPOILER review so that everyone can read what I have to say without spoiling the book to those who haven't! I hope you all enjoy it! (Don't forget about the GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT of "In Real Life" towards the end of this post!)

"In Real Life" will make you laugh, scream, and want to go on this rollercoaster ride again and again! Love, secrets, lies, truths, confessions, and courage; what more could you want in a contemporary novel?

AHHH this book was such a good pick-me-up! Definitely the book to read if your not having the best day of if you need a good laugh! Loved this new contemporary novel to bits and pieces! It's been awhile since I've read a fun YA contemporary novel that made me feel so many things. 

Hannah Cho is a smart, quirky Korean girl who never stepped out of her comfort zone or got into any trouble. She's an exceptional student and the "good sister" in the family who does what she'd told and stays put. After four years of virtual friendship with Nick Cooper, she's ready to finally to be brave and put her heart and feelings on the line as she (along with her older sister Grace and best friend Lo) set out on an adventure to meet him in real life.

It was fun to watch her go on this crazy adventure to Vegas to overcome her fears and to let loose with two of her greatest gal pals! And it was great to see another diverse young adult novel, even if it only extends to the main character and her sister being Korean and doesn't much elaborate on their culture or traditions (I, myself, am Korean, so I'd recognize references). 

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book did not turn into a "catfish" story, meaning that Nick didn't turn out to be a completely crazy person. I liked that this was a sweet, romantic story filled with risks, heartbreak, and misunderstandings so that they were able to learn from their own actions.

I predicted certain situations that would happen in this book, but after reading the ending, I had immediately wanted to forget I had finished the book so that I can read it all over again with fresh eyes and watch the characters go on their adventure again! Also, I will never look at the word "ghost" again the same way without my heart wanting to burst in happiness! :)

The craziness Hannah and the other characters went through made me laugh hysterically, yell at the book once or twice, create angry reaction tweets with gifs, hold my breaking heart from falling out of my chest, and smile like a mad person! They were in Las Vegas for crying out loud! I definitely anticipated that they would all go on lots of spontaneous events!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book is like a mash of "Something Borrowed" by Emily Giffin, "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" by Jenny Han, and "Hello, I Love You" by Katie M. Stout! This book, in my opinion, deserves a 5 out of 5 stars because if a book is able to make me feel so many emotions all at once and makes my heart feel full, I consider that a great book!

I highly recommend this novel and hope you have the chance to check out Jessica's media sites and buy copy of this wonderfully fun book! 


To enter this giveaway for a chance to win one finished copy of IN REAL LIFE, check out the Rafflecopter widget below!

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“CREDIT: In Real Life by Jessica Love; Courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books”
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.
Sometimes, when I’m talking to Nick, I wonder how we man- aged to get ourselves into such a bizarre, complicated friendship. At first glance, our relationship probably doesn’t seem all that odd. Like right now, it’s the Friday afternoon that kicks off the spring break of my senior year. I’m lying out next to my pool with my feet dangling in the chilly water, my back flat on concrete, and I’m talking to him on the phone. This is how I spend pretty much every Friday from 3:30 to 4:25-ish, before he goes off to band practice and I have one of my various school or family obligations. Sounds pretty normal.
But the thing is, Nick lives in a different state, 274 miles away. Yes, I looked it up.
“Ghost,” he says, because he never calls me Hannah, “you know I will do anything for my best friend, and this is no exception. I’ll have this girl killed for you without a second thought. Just give me twenty-four hours.”
I laugh as I swish my feet back and forth in the pool. “There’s no need to resort to murder. It’s just a stupid student government trip. I’ll be over it by the end of the week.”
As tempting as it is to plot Aditi Singh’s violent end, the only reason she applied to go to the national leadership conference when it should have been a given that the senior class president (aka me) was going was because I got into UCLA and she didn’t, so a big ol’ middle finger to her. But she can’t see my middle finger, because she’s in Washington, D.C., for spring break and I’m at home with no plans like a big loser.
“Well, if you change your mind,” Nick says, “just let me know. That’s how much our friendship means to me. The code word is ‘Platypus.’ Just say it, and—poof!—I’ll make her disappear.”
I sit up and pull my feet from the pool, crossing them in front of me. “And how can you do that?”
“Hey, I live in Vegas. I have connections to the mob. Everyone here does.”
“You’re a senior in high school, and you live in a tract home in Henderson. You’re not exactly Al Pacino.”
“You don’t know. Everything I’ve told you for the past four years could be a front. I need to have a cover. No one suspects the quiet, nondescript white boy.”
“You’re right. There is a lot I don’t know about you. I mean, there are any number of huge secrets you could be keeping from me.” I say it just because I’m playing along, but it’s not true at all. I’m pretty sure I know everything there is to know about Nick Cooper.
I know when my sister met his brother at a concert four years ago and they told us we should start talking online, he thought I was one of his brother’s friends playing a joke on him until I e-mailed him a picture. I know in the middle of junior year, he shaved his head when his favorite English teacher started chemo. I know the gravelly scratch of his voice when he wakes up in the middle of the night to answer one of my random “I’m bored, talk to me” phone calls. I know the hole in the sleeve seam of the lucky Rage Against the Machine T-shirt he inherited from his brother, Alex, since I’ve seen so many pictures of it. I know his middle name (Anthony), the date and time he was born (September 24 at 3:58 A.M.), and his favorite color (gray). And he knows more about me than absolutely anyone else, even the über-embarrassing stuff. We’ve IM’d, texted, sent a million pictures, mailed each other packages, video-chatted, and talked on the phone.
We’ve just never been in the same place at the same time.
I don’t think it’s strange to be so close to someone I’ve never met. Yeah, he’s in Nevada and I’m in Southern California, but I talk to him more than to people I’ve been in classes with since kindergarten. I do wish we could go to the movies together or something normal like that, but we watch the same movies at the same time and mock them over video chat, which is pretty much the same thing.
On the other end of the phone, his laugh stops abruptly and his voice changes. “Secrets? What kind of secrets could I have?”
“Who knows!” I try to sound shocked and serious, but I can’t keep a laugh from creeping in. “For all I know, you do have a secret mob life. Do you have some sort of gangster name I’m supposed to call you?”
His voice lightens again when he realizes I’m joking. “Oh yeah. Knuckles Nick. Or, no. Wait. Nick the Click.”
“What does that even mean?”
“I don’t know. It rhymed. Don’t those names always rhyme?”
“I know nothing about mob names, Nick the Click. But rhyming names do make mobsters seem a bit less murder-y.”
There’s a shuffle, a thump, and a squeak on his end of the phone, and I imagine him collapsing backwards onto his twin bed. “I just hate that you’re still bummed over missing out on the trip.”
“It’s not that I’m bummed, it’s just . . . I followed all the rules, Nick. I did exactly what I was supposed to do. Serving four years as class president means I go on that trip, not Aditi Singh. Onetime vice-presidents don’t get to go! It’s supposed to be my year. She broke the rules, but she got picked. How do you break all the rules and get what you want like that? It isn’t fair.”
“Well, you know what they say. . . .” “Life’s not fair?”

“Well, that, too. But I was thinking rules are made to be broken.”

*       *       *       *       *       *       *

Thanks again for reading and hope you have the chance to get a copy of this novel!

Happy reading!
Whitney Lauren

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