ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.
When I was offered the opportunity to interview Jessica Love about her novel In Real Life, I jumped at the opportunity because I knew my students would love it. I decided to take it one step further and get them even more excited about her book by having them come up with the interview questions. They immediately asked me if I would be buying a copy for them to read; of course I will!
ABOUT THE BOOK (Goodreads):
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.
“A sweet, honest story that begins as so many of our relationships do: online.” —Emery Lord, author of Open Road Summer
“Love expertly creates a timely and entertaining story set on the glamorous Vegas strip, complete with rock and roll, gambling, love, and drama. Readers will relate to the characters in this book and their effortless use of technology to support relationships.” —School Library Journal
“[A] sweet story ideal for contemporary teens whose lives play out in similar computer-and-text-message-related ways.” —Booklist
“The story manages to find its heart when it focuses on Hannah and Nick’s relationship. The warmth and intimacy of their friendship is convincing, and readers sighing over their long history will root for their relationship.” —Kirkus Reviews
“As Hannah and Nick work out the kinks of having to interact in person, they discover the advantages of taking things to the next level in this sweet, straightforward romance.” —Publishers Weekly
“A witty and entertaining story of friendship and secrets with a sparkly Vegas backdrop. Jessica Love knows love!” —Kristin Rae, author of Wish You Were Italian
Here’s what my students wanted to know about Jessica Love and her book:
- Does Hannah consider the idea that Nick may be “catfishing” her?
She doesn’t really, because she’s very trusting. They have known each other for so long and have really grown up together, so since they have shared so many things, this doesn’t really cross her mind. They have video chatted, so she knows he is the person from his pictures, and they met because their older siblings (who have met in person) introduced them online, so she feels pretty confident that he’s the real deal.
- Jessica, what’s your favorite roadtrip music?
Cold War Kids. They have a bunch of albums and every single one of their songs is so fantastic. I can just put all their albums on shuffle and I’ll have fantastic driving music for hours and hours and hours.
- Do Hannah’s parents know about her relationship with Nick? Are they supportive of the relationship?
They know she has an online friend she texts a lot, but she insists they’re just friends, so her parents don’t worry too much about it. They trust Hannah…it’s her older sister Grace they don’t trust.
- Now that we’re in the year 2016, do you think online relationships have become less taboo than in years past? Is that how you came up with the idea to writeIn Real Life?
Oh yeah. I met my husband online in 1998, and it was super taboo back then. It was so weird that we actually made up a fake story about how we met because we didn’t want to admit the truth. Now it’s no big deal at all, and we finally let everyone know the truth.I decided to write this book in part because I have so many great friendships with people I’ve met online! I like to show people that real connections can happen with people you’ve never met in person.
- Do you know anyone who has gone through a similar situation as Hannah or has it happened to you?
No, this has definitely not happened to me. Not with a romance, anyway. I have traveled to meet people I only knew online, but they were just friends, and it was all very drama-free. I was inspired to write In Real Life by some people I saw on a reality show – they had been talking on the phone for five years and had never met in person. I loved that idea and I thought it would make a cool book.
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