In Real Life by Cory Doctorow | Review

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In Real Life by Cory Doctorow | ReviewIn Real Life on October 14, 2014
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 175
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

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.

(Last Updated On: November 1, 2021)

I’ve not read many graphic novels, though I’ve always really wanted to get into them because I have such an interest in comics. So the other day during my lunch at school I was sitting in the library near the graphic novels and I had just happened to see this one on the shelf. I had been meaning to buy this one because it’s about video gaming online (which is something I do), so when I saw it there I squealed with glee and decided to pick it up and read it. I’m so glad that I did!

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Anda comes home one day from school after being asked to be join a guild online for the game Coarsegold. Her mom is totally cool with it, so she joins and begins playing. She ends up becoming a person who goes around and gets rid of players who are illegally buying and selling items to make money, though she’s making money herself by doing this. She’s completely okay with doing this until she befriends one of them, and finds that he’s the same age as her but has to work tireless hours with so much pain in a factory. It’s horrible and Anda wants to do something about it.

I really enjoyed this book, especially because of the video game aspect. I also liked how this book showed what life is actually like for kids in other parts of the world-it definitely raises awareness. I also really enjoyed how this book brought up the idea of girl gamers. I myself am one which is pretty awesome. I’ve not known any girls that have been harassed online for gaming, though I have heard some terrible stories about it, so I appreciate how this book had a girl gamer protagonist. All in all, this was a really enjoyable graphic novel that I’d definitely recommend.

Notable Quotes:

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

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  1. Ooo, officially added to the to-read list. I love Doctorow, and this sounds like Ready Player One with Doctorow's usual political social/ethical positions. Yay! Thanks for reviewing.

  2. I love the cover. I'm not a fan of graphic novels but I read one from time to time.
    I like the sound of this one, and I think is super cool that the main character is a girl gamer.
    Lovely review

  3. I love graphic novels and that cover is fantastic! I'm also a huge video game nerd so books and shows revolving around games is kinda my thing, like Sword Art Online (the first half anyway lol) Great review. I will definitely be checking this one out!

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