Saturday, June 27, 2009

Are U 4 Real? by Sara Kadefors

Kyla is exactly the kind of girl Alex could never talk to in real life. She's a gorgeous, outspoken city girl who parties to forget about her absent father and depressed mother. He's a shy ballet dancer from the suburbs who's never been kissed. Luckily, when they meet for the first time it's not if real lift - it's in a chat room, where they can share how alone and misunderstood they feel far away from the conformity-obsessed scenes at their high schools and at home. Kyla and Alex quickly forge a friendship that's far from virtual...maybe they're even falling in love.
But what happens when you come face-to-face with the soul mate you've never met? Will that person be the same? Will you?
(Summary from jacket flap)

I think the coolest thing about this book is that it came out in Sweden eight years ago and was such a hit there that it's now translated to English. I don't know how often this goes on - translating a foreign book into English. I've never heard about it being done before. I guess because the American market is so hard to get into? Maybe? But I think it was an excellent decision to make the jump with this book.

The thing that worked the most for me was how pronounced and different Kyla and Alex's lifestyles were. They each were very unique which made it memorable and special when they finally met and were able to see the world through each other's eyes. I liked reading how two opposite personalities and lifestyles came together.

The other thing I liked was how the writing seemed like it came from a different place. Like, how real can an author's voice be if it's been filtered through a translator? I found myself wondering what the original was like and how the Swedish book might have been perceived differently than the English version. I felt like I was missing out on some things but it also made me feel connected to something outside of America's exclusivity.

There were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way though. Like how fast the book moved. There weren't enough details and descriptions for my taste. I wish we could've seen Alex and Kyla's relationship evolve more slowly. Milk it for all it's worth, you know?

I also think that Kyla's character was a little awkward at some points. Like the author couldn't figure out how she wanted to portray her. My perceptions of different characters and scenes were messed with a little bit because it seemed like midway through a description the author would switch it up and decide to take it in another direction. That was kind of frustrating and confusing.

Also, when I posted about this book for a Waiting on Wednesday post a while back, I got some comments from people in Sweden who said that the English version of the book had been re-edited and that some of the dirtier parts had been taken out. Knowing that, while I was reading I kept thinking of how much deeper and edgier the book could've been if everything deemed "dirty" by the editors had been kept in. It just makes me mad knowing that I'll never be able to read the alternate version of the book. I feel sort gypped.

But other than that, I think this book came together nicely. It was a fun experience to read something that wasn't by an American author.


*If you do decide to read this book, you should try and watch the movie afterwards. It's called Sandor Slash Ida and came out a little bit ago. I haven't been able to find it anywhere but I'm still looking. It looks like a fun movie.


  1. I have this book and am thinking of reading it. I probably will since it sounds interesting- and also, it's Swedish. I haven't read many translated books, but there are some like Inkheart and Princess and the Captain. The dirtier parts should have been kept in. :( Thanks for the great review!

    - Alex

  2. I want to read this book. A few negative reviews kinda confused me but yours drew my attention to Are you 4 real? again. Sounds great.

  3. I can name a good few, but it really doesn't happen much. Works both ways, though, I'd assume.

  4. Actually, I read this book and I adore it! I think Kyla is a little whiny and annoying, but other then that, it is one of my new favorite books.

  5. this boom is one of my faves now. all i want to see now is the movie i think it cames out in 2001 but i am not completely sure. this book is full of the true life things teens hae to go through. some people say there are no happu endings but in this book there always is and ending that is terrible for kyla and alex, but they both, in the end, have a happy ending. and that is what life is all about!!

  6. what is the MLA format for this book?

  7. umm.. i have never read this book. but my friend said that it had a HORRIBLE ending! :( ?!

  8. okk im gonna order this book from cuz i actually went 2 borders and it WASN'T there!!! sooo im just gonna order it 2day(: okkkkkk byeez.

  9. omgg i loved this book.... i juust wanna fid other books as good as this one! (happy)

  10. OK this is me pouring my heart out! well first i just wanna say that i absolutely LOVED this book. i mean seriously if u haven't read it yet then you are just really missing out. well i love the plot and how Kyla has probs at home but it kinda magically gets better when she and Alex start talking well that is ALL I'm gonna say cuz i really do not want to ruin the surprise if u are going to read this book. well alrightyy then have fun and i really hope u read this book. OK bye(:

  11. u HAVE to read this book... thats all I'm saying. well OK then bye(: <33333333333333333333333.


Pour your heart out. :)