by Steve Brezenoff
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Publication Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
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From the acclaimed author of Brooklyn, Burning comes Guy in Real Life, an achingly real and profoundly moving love story about two Minnesota teens whose lives become intertwined through school, role-playing games, and a chance two-a.m. bike accident.
It is Labor Day weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again.
But they don't.
This is a story of two people who do not belong in each other's lives, who find each other at a time when they desperately need someone who doesn't belong in their lives. A story of those moments when we act like people we aren't in order to figure out who we are. A story of the roles we all play-at school, at home, with our friends, and without our friends-and the one person who might show us what lies underneath it all. (Goodreads)
The story starts off with a bang, and because of that I had really high hopes for the novel. I had read a lot of great reviews for the book, even some which compared it to the writing style of two of my most favorite authors. Unfortunately I couldn’t seem to get into the book as much as I really wanted to.
The storyline for the book mostly revolves around gaming and role-playing. I’m not much of a gamer anymore, even though my husband is a huge gamer. Unfortunately I wasn’t really interesting in any of the gaming talk. I actually ended up skimming through most of it. However, I can see how people that are gamers would find it interesting.
I did enjoy the ‘real life’ parts of the book, where the characters weren’t involved in the game. I found myself looking forward to those chapters the most. The chapters rotated between the two main characters points of view, which kept things pretty interesting.
The two main characters in the story were Lesh and Svetlana. Svetlana was a really interesting character. She was referred to in the novel quite a few times as a hippie, and I think that is a pretty accurate description for her. I found her to be a very likeable character. Lesh, the metalhead, was a much more complicated character. It almost seems that he is ‘finding himself’ in the story. There is a bit of a plot twist for Lesh at the end of the story, and I was actually left kind of confused with this twist, but I think that Lesh was pretty confused about it all as well.
Overall; while I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, I can definitely see the potential and can see other people really enjoying the story. Unfortunately it just didn’t work for me.