All I can say is thank goodness for books! This was the perfect escape I needed after a rough afternoon. I came home and finished Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi.
Here’s the back-story. Nerdy as I am, I wanted nothing more than to go to Barnes & Noble for my birthday on Friday. As usual, I stalked the Shakespeare shelves, because one can never have enough Shakespeare books! This time around, I picked up a couple by Barry Edelstein: Thinking Shakespeare and Bardisms. I then trudged over to the YA section, but I really wasn’t feeling it. I told my husband that I was a little shocked that I wasn’t in a YA mood; I’ve been teaching teenagers for 19 years and can’t remember a time when I haven’t been excited about some new YA book or author. I decided to move on to the Sci-Fi section when the cover of Gamer Girl grabbed me by the eye and shouted READ ME! Can’t say no to that. I got to the “Squee!” on the back cover and knew I had to read this book. On a side note, I wonder if the author is a Pottercast fan, too. Anyway, my final purchase of the evening was my real birthday gift—Star Trek Scene-It! I can’t wait to play that game. I wish my friends were as geeky as I am; I guess I’ll simply have to take it to school and play with my Sci-Fi class.
Okay, I guess that’s enough exposition, now on to my review. Gamer Girl tells the story of Maddy, a sophomore who recently moved to NH after her parents’ divorce. We all know how bad it can be to be the new kid in school, but imagine being forced to change from a “gothy, but approachable,” outfit to old lady jeans and a unicorn sweatshirt! I’m old and that would mortify me! Maddy’s situation goes from embarrassing to humiliating when her grandma walks into school with her and inadvertently insults the most popular kid in school. Turns out he is also the biggest bully and now Maddy is his prime target. It really is no surprise that she immerses herself in the online game Fields of Fantasy, which is a birthday gift from her dad. Virtual life is much more appealing than real life when you are known as Freak Girl at school. As an avid YA reader, I found the book to be very predictable, but I didn’t care! I loved watching Maddy discover what I already knew. Plus, the description of the game play felt like a cross between WOW (World of Warcraft) and LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online). As a gamer girl, I must admit to laughing out loud at some of the jokes that only the geeky can truly appreciate. Overall, this is a very fun book and is a quick read. I look forward to giving book talks about it tomorrow and adding it to my classroom library.