In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
Review Copy: Provided via NetGalley
Release Date: October 14th 2014 by First Second
Description From Goodreads:
Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It's a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It's a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends.
But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer--a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake.
From acclaimed teen author (Little Brother, For the Win) and Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow and Koko Be Good creator Jen Wang, In Real Life is a perceptive and high-stakes look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture clash.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After having this book on my "to-read" list for some time now, I immediately requested it when I saw it was available for review on NetGalley.
IN REAL LIFE is one of those books that is about something that has become so important in recent years following the Gamer-gate stuff. While I didn't particularly care for the artwork most of the time, I did like the fact that the book celebrated gamer girls and tackled the subject of bullying. However, I had to dock one star because I didn't care for how the relationship between Anda and Raymond was handled. (For me, Raymond wasn't a fully developed character, which was unfortunate; he seemed more like a story device.)
I should note that while I didn't particularly care for the artwork in the beginning, the design of the story when in the game are absolutely stunning. The colors pop and create this vivid online world. It's outside of the game when I felt the artwork suffered.
All in all, IN REAL LIFE is a positive story that deserves to be read.
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