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.
I have been in this business for quite some time now, close to three years if I am not mistaken. That is something. If you have been following my book reviews you would know that I rarely, and I do mean that, dislike the books I read. I usually refrain for writing negative reviews, I try to find something good in every book I read as long as I am still telling the truth about the work.
This book is one I have wanted to read for a very long time, but I could simply not find the time. I finally did and I cannot even find the words to describe just how disappointed I am. From the synopsis I expected something special, something extraordinary. The title itself is very attractive plus the book was written by a man which is rare especially in this genre, or at least I have not come across too many books written by men that are meant for teens. I need to make one thing clear from the beginning, I have nothing against people listening to metal nor to people who play video games, female or male. I am a geek myself and enjoy video games and computer programming so I am in no place to judge. This is honestly not the reason I disliked the story.
The beginning seemed quite promising, but after that I lost interest. Two people meeting by chance, people from different worlds – great. I love this type of stories and you know that. This one however, I am not that fond of. I agree with the friendship that formed between the two main characters despite their extremely obvious differences, but I never wanted a romantic relationship to develop. You know I truly enjoy romance and observing how a relationship develops and faces all the challenges thrown at it but these two characters were not meant to be more than friends, at least not at the stage in life they were at. Their relationship changed too quickly from friendship to a romantic one and that bit did not seem realistic.
Lana or by her real name Svetlana is not the type of heroine that I can ever admire. She tried to pass off as this hippy girl with a lot of artsy hobbies but she was nothing else but a spoiled brat. She had everything most people could not even dream of. She had a huge house, two parents and a car, but she kept complaining. The house is not the right size, the car is not the one she wanted. Yes, you would imagine she were complaining about wanting better things, but no, she wanted lees than she had. It is strange and under different circumstances I would have like that, but for some reason in this one the way she acted on top of everything just made me dislike her more. Her relationship with other characters annoyed me as well. She was a bit too judgmental, she tried not to express it out loud but thinking it it is enough for me. I think I would have preferred if she were honest and told people what she really thought of them no matter how hurtful that would have been. Honestly is better than being lied to.
I won’t even get started on Lesh.
But above all things which could have been forgiven what I found very inappropriate, especially in a book written for teens that are easily influenced by what they see, hear or read was the treatment of human beings, how the women were portrayed in this book and the derogatory terms that were used to describe certain men. We are living in the 21st century, such things should no longer be acceptable not that they should have even been.
By writing this review I am not trying to convince you not to read the book. You can do as you wish. All I wanted to do was express my opinion which I did. Hopefully I managed to add something more to the review that has not been already mentioned by other bloggers. I know that the opinions on this book are quite mixed.
From me, with deepest regret: 1/5