In Real Life, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


STILL FRIENDS A DECADE ON? WHAT ARE THE CHANCES? For a while, Ian, Lauren and Paul shared the same friends, the same university, the same dreams and the same potential.

Ten years on they are worlds apart. Call centres, charity shops and bedrooms that smell like cabbage were never part of the plan.

The real world doesn't look quite like any of them imagined.

But when Lauren, in a moment of nostalgia, cracks open a long-forgotten Hotmail account, she comes face to face with the people these three friends used to be ...For two of them it will mean a new beginning to an old love story. Hilarious and heart-breaking, In Real Life paints a searingly honest portrait of a generation and captures a world where human connection is easier than ever before but where relationships remain just as tricky.


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This novel is set partly in 2004/5 when Lauren leaves Paul (very strong opening chapter), goes to Vancouver and email Ian, and partly in 2014 when Ian, between jobs, moves in with his sister, Paul is lecturing and trying to write a second novel and Lauren is managing a charity shop and trying to avoid going on blind dates. It was an easy read and the shifts between the two time frames were well-managed, but it wasn't a terribly original book. I feel like I have read several novels like this recently. Ian and Lauren were likeable, but their sense of aimlessness and hopelessness was wearying to read about. Surely with a university degree and normal social skills and ten years on your hands, you could have worked your way up into some sort of stable job that you more or less enjoyed, even if it wasn't playing in a band.Paul was, of course, horrible and his behaviour very predictable. The ending was pleasing and even a tiny bit optimistic. For what it's worth, the mountains you see in Vancouver are the North Shore/Coast Mountains, not the Rockies.

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