The cover is what grabbed my attention; the title is what kept it.
Gamer Girl is centered around Maddy, a 16 year old girl whose world has crashed down on her. Her parents are newly divorced, her mother moved her and her sister to a new town to live with her unicorn-obsessed grandmother, and (the mother load) the first day at her new school, the “popular” crowd dubbed her ‘Freak Girl’. Maddy escapes her RL1 with two things: drawing (manga is her favorite past time) and Fields of Fantasy, a MMORPG2 her father gave her so they could “spend more time together.” (He’s an addict, which I know a little something about.)
Even though the beginning read like a ‘Why does everything bad happen to me?!’ set-up, I kept in mind this was a teenage girl and that’s how the world is to them. (At least, that’s what I was like at that age.) However, things quickly pick up when Maddy starts playing Fields of Fantasy and meets Sir Leo. The flirting between Maddy’s online character Allora (love the name) and Sir Leo is cute and very reminiscent of my online flirting days. (Sigh. I miss those days.)
I liked Maddy. Between the manga (Fullmetal Alchemist FTW3), the game, and repeated references to My Chemical Romance (their music feeds my soul), I recognized a kindred spirit in her that I rarely find in other books. Some people won’t connect to her like I did, and that’s okay. Everybody’s different. All I’m saying is, if I was a teenager, I would want to be Maddy’s friend.
It was a light read, clocking in at just under two hours, and I finished it in one sitting. And while the ending was a bit cheesy (think of any teen underdog movie and you’ll know what I mean), it didn’t faze me. I still grinned stupidly at how everything turned out and wanted to hug the book tightly to my chest when I finished.
So, if you’re a lover of online flirting, manga, or a fellow gamer girl, I think you’ll like this book.
And now I really, really, really want to play WoW4 again.
1 RL = Real Life
2 MMORPG = Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
3 Fullmetal Alchemist is a manga series that became an animated television series with a film sequel. FTW = For The Win
4 WoW = World of Warcraft, a MMORPG that I was addicted to in college.