In Real Life by Jessica Love
Interests/Topics: romance, friendship, Las Vegas, music, social media, appearances vs reality
Curriculum Connections: English
Blurb: My best friend and I didn’t attend the same high school which was great for sharing clothes (and the occasional essay, if my memory serves me correctly). This was before the age of cell phones, so we called each other (on a landline) each afternoon when we got out of school to catch up on the day’s gossip. We’d spend hours talking about boys and make-up and boys and music and boys.
Nick and Hannah, in In Real Life, have been best friends for four years. They share everything—at least everything that can be shared via social media because they’ve never actually met in person. Their friendship is tightly bound through the forces of Skype, Facebook, and texting, and neither has ever had a better or more understanding friend.
They’ve occasionally talked of meeting face to face, but, in all honesty, they’re both kind of nervous about it. Their friendship is so solid that they don’t want to do anything that may jinx it. But then Hannah decides to throw caution to the wind and heads out on a road trip. Destination? Nick’s hometown.
Nick is shocked to see Hannah in the flesh. And he should be. As it turns out, Nick’s been lying about his life for years.
Flavour: “He rattled off all these plans he had for meeting in Barstow, but I was stuck on the fact he wanted us to meet at all. For two years we had talked—mostly online, but we had just recently started texting and talking on the phone, too—but for whatever reason, I never considered him, like, a real person. Us meeting for real had never occurred to me, really.” (21)
“If we meet in person, then you can’t call me Ghost anymore. I won’t be a ghost. I’ll be real.” (21)
“A tentative smile spreads over his face, and he leans closer to me. ‘I can’t believe you’re here.’ I glare at him. ‘Well, honestly, I’m sort of regretting it right now.’ His smile drops away. ‘I’m sorry.’ He does seem to look sorry, but I’m not as familiar with his looks. I need to hear the regret in his voice to be sure. ‘You said that already.’ He makes eye contact and holds it. ‘I know. I just…I swear, I never meant to lie to you.’” (80)
“Lo sits up, rubbing her eyes. ‘I thought we were going to the pool or something today.’ ‘That was the plan before I had the worst night of my life. Now the only thing I want to do is get back home. Can you please get out of bed and get dressed so we can go?’ ‘No,’ Grace mumbles. I pull the comforter off her and throw it onto the floor. ‘You don’t get to say no. You didn’t have the night I had. I don’t want to be in Vegas another second. If I could fly home right now, I honestly would, because the idea of spending four hours in a car with the two of you sounds absolutely freaking miserable. But if that’s what it takes to get me out of this place, then it’s what needs to be done. Now, get up now. Before I really get upset.’” (182)