Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff pays homage to the new networks that we (myself included) rely on for love: technology.
Brezenoff packs this modern dilemma into a cheeky, geeky story of RPG, LARPing and video game lexicons. I have very limited knowledge about video games, so I was skeptic at first but also curious. After all I am a reader; I take on stacks of books and move up level by level in lexile points.
Fortunately the story itself is not in full video game mode, but it has a few contextual key points that prove that it is in fact a geeky love story. The love story is interesting because it involves a hardcore metal fan, Lesh, and the game profile he creates, Svetlana, who he falls in love with. This is the moral dilemma about modern technology that Brezenoff introduces rather skillfully: Falling in love with a CHARACTER you created! Rather creepy, but in a world of ideal relationships and teenage awkwardness, Lesh’s actions are very relatable (from a teenager’s perspective).
After all, being in love during high school is very awkward and sometimes stressful for the couple and people around them. Brezenoff incorporates these types of teen issues, such as dealing with parents, friends and cliques (Gamer geeks versus metal fans?), in his book quite well. For that, I give Brezenoff a big thumbs-up for the full slice-of-life action, but the whole plot itself is pretty mediocre and similar to modern genres of books that I’ve been reading.
If you are a writer who constantly looks out for slice-of-life, geeky books (especially if you are a gamer of some sort), then this book might fit your criteria. From a reviewer’s perspective with no knowledge of video games whatsoever, I found this pleasing but bland. Brezenoff could have added more background info about the relationship and the clique structure of “gamer versus metal fans” so as to demonstrate the difficulty of their relationship due to their different outlooks. But it is a book that is meant to end well.