IN REAL LIFE by J. Hannah Orden


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A 15-year-old's first love takes an exciting but confusing turn when she gets involved with her boyfriend's best buddy. Marty--with the help of her friend Annie--orchestrates a casual first meeting with the ideal boy, Rob. The plan works, with Rob and Marty quickly falling into an easy, loving relationship. But Rob, inhibited by his family, can't tell them about his new girlfriend and stays home at night to avoid questions. His best friend Brent, however--an archetypal bad boy--appeals to Marty's wilder side. Marty is drawn, for different reasons, to both boys, intoxicated by Brent's nightly daring and romanced by Rob's daytime steadfastness. Before she finds a way to handle her feelings, Brent runs away, conveniently staving off a showdown. Orden uses aspects of ""real life""--seemingly random happenings, the absence of definitive denouement--to wriggle out of many of the rules of fiction writing: e.g., since there are no clear-cut endings in real life, she elects not to include one here; and Marty is passive, a character who never takes responsibility for her actions. In all, then, an unsatisfying read--despite the emotions churning realistically beneath the surface.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1990
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Viking