Ever since her mom died three years ago, Analee Echevarria has had trouble saying out loud the weird thoughts that sit in her head. With a best friend who hates her and a dad who’s marrying a yogi she can’t stand, Analee spends most of her time avoiding reality and role-playing as Kiri, the night elf hunter at the center of her favorite online game.
Through Kiri, Analee is able to express everything real-life Analee cannot: her bravery, her strength, her inner warrior. The one thing both Kiri and Analee can’t do, though, is work up the nerve to confess her romantic feelings for Kiri’s partner-in-crime, Xolkar—aka a teen boy named Harris whom Analee has never actually met in person.
So when high school heartthrob Seb Matias asks Analee to pose as his girlfriend in an attempt to make his ex jealous, Analee agrees. Sure, Seb seems kind of obnoxious, but Analee could use some practice connecting with people in real life. In fact, it’d maybe even help her with Harris.
But the more Seb tries to coax Analee out of her comfort zone, the more she starts to wonder if her anxious, invisible self is even ready for the real world. Can Analee figure it all out without losing herself in the process? (Goodreads)
I received Analee, In Real Life by Janelle Milanes through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm giving it 5/5 stars.
I absolutely loved Analee, In Real Life. It was just what I needed when I read it. Analee's narrative voice was charming and engaging. Her family had nuanced, complex, and entertaining dynamics and the Cuban culture that came into play was also really fun to read. In addition, the cast was, like, 99% non-white, which I loved and want to see more of in YA. The relationships in this book were tense and the emotions, visceral. I related to and empathized for Analee so much. There were also so many tropes I loved: fake boyfriend, internet crush, etc. In time, I even grew to appreciate the bittersweet ending that, at first, left me screaming, NOOOOOOOOO!!!!
So, in conclusion, take a chance on Analee.
Analee, In Real Life by Janelle Milanes will be published September 18, 2018.