Guy in Real Life
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Guy in Real Life is a sweet high school romance, with some fantasy elements related to role-playing games. There are a couple of instances of kissing and making out, and one teen experiments with alcohol and learns its pitfalls the hard way. There's some moderate profanity but also a main character who actively avoids it.
What's the story?
Lesh is a sophomore, dresses in black, and listens to heavy metal. Svetlana's a senior, wears long, flowing skirts, and listens to anything from Bjork to Berlioz. He starts getting into online RPGs, and she's a Dungeon Master in the school's table-games club. Thrown together with the worst (earliest) lunch schedule, they get to know each other and realize people are more than what they show to the world. After they discover their common interest in fantasy gaming, Lesh tries to blend his budding attraction to Svetlana with an online character. But things quickly get out of hand, and, when the truth comes out, Lesh may have lost Svetlana for good.
Is it any good?
GUY IN REAL LIFE accomplishes a lot in the guise of a teen romance. It's a heart-meltingly adorable look at first love, sure, but it's also an intriguing exploration of how to figure out your identity and show it to the world. It points out gender bias and double standards and enters fantasy realms where monsters are slain and heroes are made. Seamlessly weaving these elements together are the rock-solid narrative voices of two very different, and very believable, teen characters; kids will easily relate to Lesh and Svetlana as they take turns telling the story. Getting inside both of their heads shows us that people are more than what meets the eye.
Kids who don't like fantasy may feel the fantasy passages bog the whole thing down, but try not to skim those sections: They're a big part of how the characters learn who they are -- and who the world thinks they are -- and why or whether that matters.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about combining fantasy and real life. Why do you think the author included the fantasy parts? Which parts do you like better, or do you like them both?
Did you like Lesh's final answer to the question of what he wants? Why, or why not? How would you answer that question?
Is it OK for girls to play online as male characters and for guys to play as females? What about in table games? Is there a difference when it's online or IRL?
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Great girl role models, High school, Misfits and underdogs|
|Publisher:||Balzer + Bray|
|Publication date:||May 27, 2014|
|Number of pages:||400|
|Publisher's recommended age(s):||14 - 17|
|Available on:||Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle|