Review: Analee In Real Life by Janelle Milanes

Analee in Real Life has fake dating, online friendships and all sorts of High school drama throughout the story. However, its true focus is on familial love and self realization wrapped in stunning prose.

Annalee In Real Life CoverEver 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?


I received an eARC of Analee in Real Life via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I want sure if I would actually enjoy Analee in Real Life at first. Little by little, author Janelle Milanes wrapped me up in the Echevarria family and their woes until I couldn’t wait to read what would happen next.

At the beginning of this story, Analee is sad and bitter. She spends her days blocking the entire world out and hiding in her MMORPG guild with a guy she’s half in love with but hasn’t said anything about.

I loved that the fact that Harris was her online friend was never criticized and made out to be a lesser friendship by anyone in her family. Seeing Analee come out of her shell on her own terms, little by little, was wonderful. I loved that Seb made an effort to try the game she loved, and that Analee actually came to genuinely enjoy soccer while watching Seb play.

One of my favorite parts was watching Harlow try her damnedest to do right by Analee and her heritage, even when she failed. I loved watching their relationship grow so organically.

However, I felt the ending with regards to the romance that takes up a good chunk of this book was a little anti-climactic. I loved the way Milanes wrote the familial ending, but Seb felt really out of character.

Overall, though, I loved this book. You can pick up a copy on Amazon or Indiebound!


Title: Analee in Real Life

Author: Janelle Milanes

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Length: 416 Pages

Release Date: September 18, 2018

Rating: ★★★★ / Five stars

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Representation: ownvoices Cuban main character,

Tropes: fake dating, online relationships,

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