Guy In Real Life

Paperback | May 26, 2015

bySteve Brezenoff

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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.

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From the Publisher

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...

From the Jacket

Boy and girl collide on a dark street in Saint Paul, Minnesota, 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 ag...

Steve Brezenoff is the author of the young adult novelsThe Absolute Value of -1, which won the IPPY Gold Medal for young adult fiction, andBrooklyn, Burning, which was named aKirkus ReviewsBest Book, was a Best Fiction for Young Adults selection by the American Library Association, and won the ForeWord Book of the Year Gold Medal for y...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.9 inPublished:May 26, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062266845

ISBN - 13:9780062266842

Customer Reviews of Guy In Real Life

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Basically: perfection So GIRL came out last year, and I didn't read it because...I don't even know. I mean, I don't read a lot of contemp. For some reason (probably surgery and lack of time spent in the book store), I never got around to it. Then, when I was leaving Chapters, I bought the last hardcover just before the trade came out. I took it with me to The Woods in June, and... Well, The Woods doesn't have wifi, as you know. I got about three chapters in, and thought to myself "I need to stop reading this until I am somewhere where I can livetweet it", and then I thought "No way in hell am I stopping this book", and then I read the whole thing, and drove up to the top of the hill IN THE DARK to go on Twitter and yell at Steve for having written something THAT WAS SO GOOD. GIRL has two protagonists: Lesh, a teen-age dirtbag, and Svetlana, who has kind of figured herself out ahead of schedule, and whose family isn't really set up for that. Lesh meets Svet, and becomes...obsessed with her? I guess? It's not quite an obsession. Fascination, maybe. He's fascinated by her. He's also grounded for two weeks, and all he can do is play the in-universe version of World of Warcraft. His (really, really terrible) best friend sets him up as an orc, but the ugliness and violence turns Lesh off, so he makes his own avatar: an elf healer who looks rather like Svet. As Lesh goes further into the game and further into his real life, things become messy and complicated and kind of terrifying, and ALSO WONDERFUL, and more than one time I yelled "YOU ARE ON A LOCAL SERVER, YOU DUMBASS!". I basically read YA books for a LIVING, and I have never read anyone who writes teens as real as Steve does. Lesh's self realization is AMAZING (not to mention timely: this came out just as GamerGate really hit mainstream, and watching Lesh be ACTIVELY REPULSED by aspects of the gaming world gave me, like, HOPE FOR HUMANITY), and Svet's entire character arc rang so true with me that alternated between laughing and crying for much of her narration (their families, I can't even. Perfection. Everything about this book is just too good). Also, when Lesh is playing the game, it's written like the game. It was awesome. I love this book with the sort of power I rarely feel for contemporary. I don't know if I've EVER love a contemporary book this much. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Date published: 2015-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Guy In Real Life Great read. I felt like I was there, in the story the entire time. I couldn't wait for my next chance to read. I think the author did a great job of making you feel like what it's like to be a young person today.
Date published: 2015-06-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Wanted more I’ve always bad trouble with contemporary coming-of-age stories. Ever since Catcher in the Rye reading in grade 9 English class, I knew those books weren’t for me. I don’t get the journey that they go through unless it’s staring at me right in the face. This one is no exception. I was lost, confused and felt like there was no growth at all. Just a myriad of every day life between Svvenlana and Lesh. It starts off innocently enough. An encounter with a beautiful maniac-pixie -dream-girl and a horny teenage boy. He seems to be incredibly enraptured by her so one day while being grounded by his parents, Lesh decides to make an Elvish princess in an RPG game and plays it as his PC (Playable Character). He stumbles upon another male elf named Stebbins and plays online. In his real life, he’s a sophomore boy who loves listening to metal music, wears a trench coat and hangs around with his best friend and other metal music lovers. Lana on the other hand is a wealth angry teenage girl who lives with her little sister and parents who loves nothing to do but create crafts and make her clothes one-of-a-kind. There is a moment where she is describing how much she hates her car. A car that was given to her by her parents and her reasons were incredibly snobbish. The fact that you own a car is an incredible thing. The one thing I liked about that part was the fact that she did own up to it, “I realize this is exactly the kind of problem that people like me—which is to say young white people of generally privileged upbringing—are typically accosted for complaining about. But I hate it. I hate my car.” (168) I just didn’t get there was a story to begin with except you had to know if Lana was going to find out about him using herself as a PC. And that was the only thing I wanted to know. Everything else I didn’t care too much.
Date published: 2015-02-04

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“The gaming motif adds an intriguing layer, as Brezenoff uses it to explore issues of gender identity. Has [Lesh] created this character because he wants to be with the real Svetlana or because he wants to be her? There is, he realizes, no simple answer.”