Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Where gaming meets the real world.

I just finished Steve Brezenoff's Guy in Real Life this weekend. I picked it up because I purchased it for the library, it got good reviews, and I love the cover. I can say I really liked the book. Not the best, but an enjoyable read.
Lesh Tungsten is trying to figure out where he fits in. After an evening of drinking and a concert, he collides with Svetlana Allegheny as she rides by on her bike. Lesh is grounded for his antics (he's a sophomore in high school) and his best friend, Greg, convinces him to try the MMORPG while he's incarcerated in his bedroom.
In the game, Lesh can be whoever he wants. He chooses an orc character to start, but then creates another, a beautiful elf priestess named Svvetlana. As he gets closer with the real Svetlana, lines blur between fantasy and reality. Svetlana, for her part, is creative and quirky, and also a Dungeon Master, responsible for planning elaborate campaigns for the high school's gaming club. Lesh and Svetlana are both separated from reality, but come together in real life. But what happens if Svetlana finds out about Lesh's alter ego online?
The book is told in alternating chapters so the reader can see both sides of the story. It's not clear if Lesh is confused about his gender or sexuality-- as I read it, he's not, he just wants to have a different persona online. I love Svetlana's character. She is always embroidering or drawing, avoiding awkward family outings and spending time with her friends in the gaming club. It is an engaging, realistic YA story.

Ex libris,