Book Review: In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: In Real Life
Authors: Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
Publication Date: October 14th 2014

Synopsis: "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 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 a players from developed countries with money to burn. This behaviour 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."

My thoughts: The artwork in this book is just beautiful. I love how colourful it is, I love that there's all different body shapes in the book - how the main character is a little plump, a little shy. I love that this book came into my possession just as I was getting back into gaming (on Guild Wars 2) with friends.

This book takes a serious subject and then works it into an intriguing story. And things don't go completely smoothly, either. I love that the story isn't just some beautiful fantasy where the main character comes along and fixes everything - because it doesn't always work that way.

I do think that the book took some liberties with the subject matter - making the in-game characters a lot more life-like and including some distinctly human moments within the RPG - but I think they had to so that they could make the story work. Anda and her in-game character are awesome, and while I think this story would have benefited from a slightly closer look at female gamers (it is touched on briefly, but not much), I was really drawn to her story.

I received a review copy of this book from First Second Books.

You would like this book if: you like gamer girls; you love beautiful artwork.

Rating:  9/10

If you'd like to keep up to date with what I'm reading, follow me on Goodreads here!

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