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Are U 4 Real?

Are U 4 Real?

3.8 20
by Sara Kadefors

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Kyla is exactly the kind of girl Alex could never talk to in real life. She's a gorgeous, outspoken L.A. girl who parties to forget about her absent father and depressed mother. He's a shy ballet dancer from outside San Francisco who's never been kissed. Luckily, when these sixteen-year-olds meet for the first time it's not in real life - it's in a chat room. Alex and


Kyla is exactly the kind of girl Alex could never talk to in real life. She's a gorgeous, outspoken L.A. girl who parties to forget about her absent father and depressed mother. He's a shy ballet dancer from outside San Francisco who's never been kissed. Luckily, when these sixteen-year-olds meet for the first time it's not in real life - it's in a chat room. Alex and Kyla quickly forge a friendship that's far from virtual - maybe they're even falling in love. But what happens when the soul mate you've never met moves from online to in person?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this bestselling Swedish novel, Kadefors shows a thorough understanding of teenage dialogue and anxieties. When they first meet online, L.A. party girl, Kyla, and male ballet dancer, Alex, are careful not to reveal too much about their troubled backgrounds. But as lies lead to hurtful misunderstandings, truths about their dysfunctional families and problems with friends emerge (Kyla's mother is clinically depressed; Alex's Russian mother is overbearing and overprotective). Email messages, inserted into the text, reveal plenty of emotion ("Why can't our moms get that we're human beings, not some puppets they can use to act out scenes in the lives they want?"), but little information about specific issues; Kadefors's third-person narrative proves more enlightening in revealing the teens' conflicts and insecurities. There are some pacing problems: it seems to take forever for Kyla and Alex to feel comfortable enough with each other to be honest, and the story's denouement drags on. However, there is enough drama present throughout the book to keep readers on board until Kyla's and Alex's roller-coaster relationship turns into a romantic connection. Ages 14-up.
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Children's Literature - Jennifer Mitchell
Kyla and Alex are very different, but they become good friends after chatting on the Internet. Kyla enters the chat room to escape the struggles she faces daily. Her mother is severely depressed, while her father is busy with his work and his new family. Kyla copes by drinking and partying. Alex is a shy dancer who is constantly bullied. The chat room becomes his escape from his reality. Kyla and Alex have trouble being themselves at first, and it nearly blows up when the truth begins to come out. Thankfully, their friendship is stronger than that, and they begin to learn about each other honestly. During this time, Alex rebels and stops dancing. His mother, a retired professional dancer, is horrified and makes his life difficult for a time. During the same time, Kyla's mother attempts suicide. Kyla and Alex's first meeting in real life is a disaster; their second meeting is not any better. Their relationship seems doomed to failure. Then, Kyla discovers how to be kind to an old friend and learns to ride horses. Alex returns to dancing. For a while, they go their separate ways. After a time away, they are reunited when Kyla goes to see Alex at a dance contest. They confront each other about how they were hurt, and true love wins out in the end. This is a good book about teens having to make important choices such as dealing with anorexia, what to do with your life, peer pressure, bullying, and family relationships. It is a good book for any library or personal collection. Reviewer: Jennifer Mitchell
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Alex is a shy and socially awkward boy from Oakland, and although he is straight, everyone thinks he is gay because he is a ballet dancer. Kyla is a beautiful party girl from Los Angeles who drinks too much and sleeps around. Her parents are divorced, her mother is clinically depressed, and her father is uninvolved in her life, except for an occasional check. One night, the teens meet online, and they develop a relationship, gradually opening up more and more to one another about their lives. When they meet in real life, however, the conflicts between them threaten to derail their budding romance. This is an English translation of an award-winning Swedish book, Sandor Slash Ida, originally published in 2001 and later made into a film. At times, it shows its age, but its essential appeal is in its portrayal of how two very different teens manage to connect with each other, despite all their insecurities and missteps along the way. Kadefors also has fun with subverting some of the usual stereotypes. Of the two, Alex is the more sympathetic. Kyla does some cruel things to him and other people, actions that are only partially explained by her painful family situation, and it is often difficult to understand why Alex would continue to be attracted to her. Parts of the plot have not translated well from the Swedish setting to contemporary California, but this book may appeal to some readers because of the online angle and the romance between opposites.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Alex and Kyla feel trapped in their respective lives-he as a socially outcast ballet dancer fulfilling his mother's dreams by proxy, she as a lonely, hard-partying Hollywood girl barely propping up her depressed mom-and both think they've found a true friend in an online chat room. Beginning with half-truths and outright lies, the teens quickly drop their facades to be "4 real" with each other. Friendship turns to a crush as supportive, combative, bantering, flirtatious e-mails between the teens punctuate the alternating strands of their struggles with homophobic bullying, crippling shyness, ghastly frenemies, drunken misjudgments and parents who just don't understand. Their first face-to-face meetings are disastrous, as they allow anxiety and the skepticism of others to poison their idyll, but even after months of no contact, neither can shake the possibility that they share something special. Predictable but addictive plotting, combined with Alex's and Kyra's trenchant, deeply conflicted inner monologues, will keep readers rooting for these two crazy kids to navigate the messy transition from online to real-life romance. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Group
File size:
428 KB
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Sara Kadefors writes for both teens and adults. She lives in Stockholm, Sweden.

are u 4 real? was originally published as Sandor/Ida, and is Sweden’s all-time best-selling young adult novel. The book has been published in ten languages, was made into a feature film, and won the 2001 August Prize, Sweden’s equivalent of the National Book Award.

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Are U 4 Real? 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like Chrissyyyyyyyy i loved the last few pages(ending) I cried.... Its good for a romance story but not life application. AMAZING SWEDISH BOOK!. (it was translated). AWESOMMMEEEE ne of my top favvvss.<3
Chrissyyyyyy More than 1 year ago
I honestly can say i lovedddd this book!!!! im 16 and i die for teen romance novels. i love them. this book was one of my favorites. im one of those girls that if you put into barnes and noble and then search teen and then go into romance i have read almost 90% of those novels and i love them. this one is definatly in the top 10 it was amazing!!! read this book if ur a sucker for friendship/ romance. your goin to love the last 10 pages lol. And the books i recommended are awsome. (wake sequal Fade) (the luxe series) (twilight series) lol im only allowed to recommend 5 but i would have put a whole dam list on there for people like me lol!!! BYE READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
I've been eagerly awaiting the time that I would finally be able to read this novel. Since, the premise sound interesting and the cover is one word: adorable! Lucky for me, this novel defiantly came close to my expectations and was one cute book! In Are U 4 Real? you became involved in the two main characters- Kyla and Alex- struggles and issues that are present in their complex lives. These two are people who many can possibly relate to in some ways. For example, Alex deals with bullying at school and the consequences that come from being a male ballet dancer while Kyla is reeling from her mother's depression and the father who is not that present in her life. While I always like Alex, it was a bit hard to like Kyla at times. For one, she wined a bit too much for my liking and that constant winning lead to her making some choices that were not very good. Plus, I hated the generalization that Sara made throughout this book which was if your not living the best possible life and have to deal with issues you fall into skanky behavior and a slight drinking problem. It was just annoying. Other than those two things, I truly did come to like both characters by the end, and the message they brought out in the end "Be yourself and don't let anyone stop you from being who you want to be." The plot in this book was fast paced and constantly made you wonder if Alex and Kyla were ever going to be together. Also, I loved how emails and instant messages were incorporated in the book's main plot, because they brought a realistic feeling to the book. Overall, Are U 4 Real? is a sweet romance type book that many teen girls will come to enjoy. Though, I highly suggest you should see if your library has it before you buy it, because it seemed at times that it wouldn't be worth the full 16.99 price tag. Grade: B
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont care what you say i love this book <3 It is recommended for ages 13+ because of whats in it i suppose :c But amazing read nonetheless!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anybody wanna chat? Titleb it Eeyore if u do :)
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Alex and Kyla are two teens from California who meet on the computer and develop a close friendship. Though their online relationship is growing, it hits a brick wall when they meet in real life because they are so different. Alex is a shy ballet dancer while Kyla is a wild party girl. With these huge differences, will their relationship survive? ARE U 4 REAL? was originally published in Sweden in 2001, so it does sound a bit outdated in parts, but overall Alex and Kyla's story is one that readers can relate to. It's a smart novel with family issues, relationship drama, and other situations that teens could easily picture themselves in.
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Wass up