I do appreciate Doctorow for pointing out how intimidating it can be to be female online.
But that's basically abandoned as a storyline almost immediately. I'm happy he addressed it though it's obviously much safer for him, as a man, to mention the issue than it would be for a woman but it's just kind of mentioned once or twice then forgotten about. The book isn't about that, but I sort of wish I probably should have liked this more than I actually did. The book isn't about that, but I sort of wish it was.
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Instead, it's about gold farming. These gold farmers are downtrodden Chinese sweatshop gold farmers. Who need a teenage, white, American girl to inspire them to unionize. Through an online translator. That did kind of rub me the wrong way. We never really get to see all that much of any of the Chinese characters, which was another disappointment.
But Anda herself is such a genuine, nice girl, and a joy to read about. Better yet, her parents are loving, supportive, and engaged in her life. I get so sick of absentee parents in YA, and it's nice to see good parents who are trying and who have children who respect them. This is a very quick read, and it goes down easily. The characters are appealing, and Doctorow's heart is in the right place. I think he could have done better, but he did pretty good. Jul 02, Lisa rated it it was ok Shelves: would-not-recommend , ya , , graphix-comix , speculativefiction , ebook , coming-of-age , arc , reviews.
Raymond, it turns out, works illegally within the game to make money on the outside to survive. Lines between right and wrong get blurred pretty quick whil A digital ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Lines between right and wrong get blurred pretty quick while Anda balances what she thinks can be done and what the reality actually is. The graphic novel is supposed to address class, ethnicity, and gender struggles within a page format and do it well.
It fails. Horribly, horribly fails. You need to make up your mind. Now I have questions: Why is Liza the Organiza invited to speak to a high school class? Since when do MMO organizers go to classrooms to recruit players? Especially ones under age who do no thave access to credit card accounts to pay for such things.
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I guess? The Liza the Organiza starts her organizing — she wants to know how many of the girls in the class game and then how many of them game as girls? Which of course, none of the aforementioned girls who raised their hands in admittance of gaming, raise their hands to admit they game as girls. We already know the long, long history of what happens to girls who game as themselves in the gaming world. Are you joking? And this ends the entirety of the discussion of women in gaming and gender disparity in the gaming world in In Real Life.
Between the front matter, Mr. Anda gets into the game, gets bedazzled by the popularity she receives within the MMO world and then meets Raymond. The storyline limps along, dragging the reader to point out white people should stop being saviors to all the other non-white folk because you know, we keep fucking their world up. The ending, with all the faux tension being built, was kind of anticlimactic. Like, yay?
And oh yeah, Liza reappears again for some strange reason to grant her approval on how things turned out. Liza, you were a pointless character. You should have been axed. Does our heroine just log into the game in the privacy of the laundry room? I mean, honestly? How the fuck do you think video chats work? Through ESP?
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This is a big graff — how could this have been missed through the editing process? And the avatars of the Asians they are sent out to kill are all drawn like stereotypes of Asian farm workers. How can a book that is supposed to capture essence of teens yet sound like it written by a 40 year old man who is far on the wrong side of teenage years? If anything, at least the book is pretty to look at. Dec 23, Jessica rated it really liked it. Really enjoyed this!!
Apr 08, Puck rated it liked it Shelves: graphic-novels , young-adult , contemporary. Eeh, this was alright. Enjoyable but not memorable. I liked the art style the most. The colors were bright and vivid and worked really well in making the digital world feel energized and alive.
The fighting scenes especially stood out by their power and the dynamic movements of the characters. Wang did a great job at designing the diverse fantasy world of Coarsegold, and if it was real, I'd love to join the game community. The plot however wasn't nearly as creative as the digital w 3 stars. The plot however wasn't nearly as creative as the digital world of Coarsegold Online. Most of the characters fell flat for me expect Anda and certain events were pretty predicable.
I felt like Doctorow should have taken more time to work the story out properly, because the topics that are discussed in this novel are important and based on real-life problems.
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Now things with Raymond were wrapped up so quickly that you never got the time to really think about those problems, which is damaging and kind of disrespectful. Still, the feminist aspect of this story is a good one, and all the different female gamers are wonderful in their own way.
In the end games are supposed to bring people together because everyone loves to play, and Doctorow and Wang succeeded in getting that positive message across. I'm happy to have this graphic novel in my collection, and I'd love to check out more of Wang's work in the future. Jul 29, Lotte rated it liked it Shelves: a-young-adult-fiction , read , ge-ya-contemporary , a-graphic-novels.
The good part is that this got me reading after I've been in a reading slump during the last couple of weeks. The not-so-good part is that the story was, well The art was rather mediocre in my opinion and the plot just lacked something. While I've loved every graphic novel I've read so far, this was the first one that didn't really grab or excite me. Sep 11, Ferdy rated it it was ok Shelves: graphic-novel , meh , young-adult.
Spoilers Loved the artwork, wasn't as impressed by the rest. Found the characters really flat and the most of the story quite dull and predictable, the gaming aspect when the characters actually entered the video game was quite fun though. Was more interested in Raymond's life and the problems he faced in his workplace in China than Anda's first world problems and second hand angst.
Kind of hated the end where the complicated issues Raymond and other players like him faced were solved i Spoilers Loved the artwork, wasn't as impressed by the rest. Kind of hated the end where the complicated issues Raymond and other players like him faced were solved in the most cheesiest way possible, it was so unrealistic how everything worked out so perfectly for them, there were no consequences or backlash to their demands. The worst aspect though was the whole white savior complex, with Anda being outraged and crusading for justice and all the Chinese players needing generic advice from her to stand up to their boss for some reason they couldn't do anything without her.
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