I received an ebook of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Original Release Date:
Published October 14th 2014 by First Second (first published 2014)
Date I Read The Book:
My Star Rating:
Graphic Novel / Standalone
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 Review: (Vague Spoilers)
In Real Life is a graphic novel – and I beautifully illustrated one at that. The art even varies slightly between the real world and the game world to help you visualize, the colors are really nice, and the panels are played out in a way that makes the story really easy to read, even if your not big on graphic novels. Its a good one to start with if you want to get into them.
I liked the characters – they all seemed very real, fallible and honest. Anda was super relatable. I liked the story – it had a nice message about empathy and how you can never fully understand someone else’s struggles, but it doesn’t shove it down your throat. I will say that if you don’t know at least the basics of MMORPGs, you might not fully get some of the dialogue as its a big part of the story, but you don’t need to be a professional player of league of legends or anything to get it (I dislike MMORPGs even though I love video games and normal RPGs).
The ending felt a little abrupt – and you have to suspend your disbelief a little, as things are resolved a little too easily. But its a cute story overall.
I really enjoyed this!