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

20575446Title: In Real Life
Author: Cory Doctorow (Author), Jen Wang (Illustrator)
Publisher: First Second
Pub Date: October 14, 2014
Format: Kindle eBook
Pages: 192
Source: NetGalley
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Graphic Novel
Rating: ★★★★★
[Goodreads] ● [Amazon] ● [Book Depository]


Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 BrotherFor 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 mini-review:

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

“This life is real too. We’re communicating aren’t we?”

Holy heck.

  1. This is the cutest story I have read in a while.
  2. The artwork is absolutely beautiful.
  3. The message is extremely important.
  4. Need I say more?

I am incredibly impressed. I need to go buy a physical copy of In Real Life as soon as possible so I can get a better look at this amazing artwork! Seriously. I am a person of many words and yet, all my words are failing me right now. Doctorow and Wang strike the perfect balance between lighthearted fiction and the harsh reality of things. They managed to be informative about economics and class systems in a way that is simple for any reader to understand. I can’t wait to read more from these two in the future. Highly recommend IRL to everyone.

My review is really not doing this graphic novel justice. Just go pick it up and see for yourself.

P.S. Gamer girls are awesome. Thank you for acknowledging that.

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