Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff | Book ReviewGuy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
Published by Harper Collins on May 27th 2014
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Social Themes, Emotions & Feelings, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: ARC, eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780062266859
Goodreads
three-half-stars

From the acclaimed author of Brooklyn, Burning comes Guy in Real Life, an achingly real and profoundly moving love story about two teens that National Book Award–finalist Sara Zarr has called "wholly original and instantly classic."
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 the roles we all play—at school, at home, online, and with our friends—and the one person who might be able to show us who we are underneath it all.

Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff is a pretty fun, romantic contemporary young adult book with some pretty nerdy characters. I actually really flew through this book when I read it. Initially,I thought it might take a while to get into, because it is long – 386 pages. However, between the two points of views, it just seemed to fly by. I really genuinely had a fun time reading this book.

Steve Brezenoff’s book follows two main characters – Lesh and Svetlana. As the book opens, Lesh is leaving a bar after a concert. He’s a younger high schooler, but looks older, so he is drunk. As he is walking home with his best friend, he crashes into a girl. This girl is Svetlana. She’s on her way home from Dungeons and Dragons club, if I recall correctly. They manage to collide into a mud puddle. This pisses Svetlana off.

You would assume that they would not come into contact with each other again, however, this is kind of incorrect. The two begin consistently running into each other – Svetlana begins sitting with Lesh at lunch. Lesh ends up joining Dungeons and Dragons club when they need an extra member. In addition, Lesh begins playing an MMORPG (I think that’s correct) and plays a character that is modeled after Svetlana. As Guy In Real Life unfolds, we see sparks fly between the two, but there’s a few elements stacked against them.

Lesh as a character actually reads as a pretty realistic teenage boy. He’s really into metal and dressing all in black. He has his moments of awkward. He swears, he drinks. Lesh has one really close best friend who is essentially his neighbor. Also, he does say things that could be construed as offensive, but I construed it as how teenage boys actually talk. He is very immature at moments, but the cool thing is that he has character growth and it is interesting.

Svetlana is kind of interesting too, although I felt like she wasn’t written with the kind of depth that Lesh was. I mean, she is really into her RPG game and is the dungeon master. So, she is calling all the shots for the game. She also is really into drawing the different characters that pop up in the game and different elements of it. In addition, Svetlana is into weird music. She is not like the rest of her family who happily go to soccer games. She wants to stay in her attic room and draw or sew. I thought she was really quirky and a bit weird. However, her and Lesh really work well as a pairing.

I think that Guy In Real Life does pretty well when it gets into the different nerdy aspects of the two main characters. I liked the interactions that took place at school and in the Dungeons and Dragons club. However, I wasn’t super big on the parts that took place in the online game that Lesh plays. Overall though this is a quick read with a well written male main character. Svetlana leaves me less than enthused, however, there’s a lot to enjoy about this book.

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three-half-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

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