Book Review by Aarene Storms: Guy in Real Life

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

Lesh does not have romance on his mind as he staggers home drunk at 2:30am after a heavy metal concert in downtown Saint Paul. He is thinking about his head, his guts, and the sidewalk, and how soon those three things are going to connect in vivid, pukey Technicolor.

That's why Lesh isn't watching where he's walking ... and he walks right into Svetlana,

Svetlana isn't thinking about romance either. She's riding her bicycle, thinking about her friends, and contemplating the amazing artwork she has created for the upcoming Gaming Club campaign ... until Lesh wobbles into her path and sends them both sprawling into a puddle.

The collision of Lesh and Svetlana starts a series of events that might be reminiscent of a modern reboot of a 1970's television sitcom ... until the plot takes a sudden twist and everything changes.

Lesh is so fascinated by Svetlana that he secretly creates a online MMO character that looks just like her. He even names his character "Svvetlana" (with two V's), and campaigns her up to level fifty, gaining power, virtual gold, and lots of magical online loot.

Lesh enjoys spending time with Svetlana (one V) in real life, but he also enjoys being Svvetlana (two V's) in the game.

What could possibly go wrong?

In alternating narrative voices (Lesh and Svetlana, and also the virtual warrior orc Kugnar and the virtual elf priestess Svvetlana), the story gradually stumbles and reels to an unexpected -- and sort of wonderful -- final chapter.

Recommended for readers ages 14 to adult.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.  --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS



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