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Book Review: In Real Life


In Real Life
by Cory Doctorow
My rating for this book: 4 stars out of 5

MMORPG stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games which are relatively familiar to the common gamer. In this graphic novel, the craze seems to be focused on this one game, Coarsegold Online. It’s reason for popularity is to be part of the buzz, meeting people from around the world, and earning cash you can use .. IRL (In Real Life).
In this book there are multiple storylines present. Personally, I favour how Anda gets into completing quests. Gnome like avatars collect objects that would be sold to other gamers at pricey values. In order to earn money Anda`s job soon becomes to take them out and stop their illegal business. As money kept rolling in for her, it was unavoidable to become acquainted with them. In particular she connected with a poor chinese boy who goes by the name of Raymond. As they get to know each other Raymond reveals his life outside of the internet. He admits to what his daily life consists which are health conditions, child labour and a tough family life. This was the most interesting storyline to follow because it acted as a spark that assisted in developing the overall story.

The story puts a spotlight on the main character’s life, Anda and how gaming becomes one of her major priorities. Playing, allows her to become a leader, act boldly, and finally attain some romance in her life. Her adventure as a gamer wouldn’t be complete without complications in where her values are put to the test.

Something that I found ineffective in the book was the random events. At some points it seemed as if the author included parts without a purpose. What this resulted in was the taking away of moments. I feel as if the author potentially used these scenes as filler to increase the length of their book. Otherwise, are unnecessary and does not upsurge in the stories strength.
An element of the book that impressed me was the way it contrasted two different lifestyles and cultures while uniting them at the same time. It showed how a typical teen might live in a comfortable western life, and a glimpse of a less fortunate eastern lifestyle. It was really nice to have this factor included without having it based on the whole story.
The book In Real Life written by Cory Doctorow left a refreshing impression on me. Compared to other books I have read, it contained engaging themes that helped to further explore the characters. If I were to come across another book by this author I would definitely want to read it. I think it would be interesting to see if this author is just a one hit wonder or an overall effective author.

Find this book in the Library catalogue

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