Author: Steve Brezenoff
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary, Fantasy
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Lesh collides with Lana one night. Physically. And this starts a
Surprisingly endearing and captivating. I couldn’t get over how much I enjoyed sitting down and slowly reading Guy In Real Life. There are several different voices in this strange love story, each of them unique and quirky in their own way. We have Lana, who is slightly strange and hippish. She makes her own clothing, including having a craft wheel at the bottom of her stairs that lead to her room so her parents know exactly what she is doing up there on the top floor. She is of course beautiful and smart and strange and elf like. Our dear Lesh, that’s the metal head boy and other main point of view, falls in love with her because she is so different from him, and yet, they find they share a lot of the same interests. Particularly role playing games. He loves video games and she is dungeon master to a group after school.
As their relationship progresses, Lesh and Lana realize that they have more in common than anyone thought possible. Lesh is mesmerized by Lana, so much so he creates a character like her in his video game and plays as her. Which leads to some very funny and interesting consequences.
This book took me a while to read. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed every minute of it. But I had to put it down because even though I was totally in it for Lana and Lesh, there are a lot of chapters that are role playing oriented. These chapters are told from their character’s perspectives, including elves, trolls, orcs, etc. I understand why they are there and the first few times they were charming, but after a while, I found myself lightly skimming those chapters. I wanted to get back to Lesh and Lana! I also really enjoyed the story where the two main characters weren’t so cookie cutterish. I love that Lana loves to do homemade crafts and sewing. (I sew and knit so she’s probably someone I could be friends with.) I love that Lesh likes metal music, wears all black and doesn’t know what to do with girls. These characters are endearing!
Also, I want to say that my favorite character is Lesh. In fact, he might be one of my favorite characters of all time. He’s vulnerable and silly and goofy and says and does the wrong things. But what really got me is his internal monologue. He’s hilarious. He thinks the things that I always thought ran through boys’ minds. He’s self deprecating, awkward and uneasy with himself. I love how he’s quiet and Lana thinks he’s being cool/coy/deep. When really Lesh is worried about sounding like an idiot and stays silent. Lots to enjoy in this book but really, my favorite is Lesh who gave me some great insight into guys everywhere.
Overall, give Guy In Real Life a try. It is on the nerdy side, game heavy, lots of fantasy elements because of their immersion into their role playing worlds. But it’s also fun, silly and maybe a little misunderstood. Just like teenage life.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy