In Real Life



Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It's a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It's a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. 

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer - a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake. 

From acclaimed teen author and digerati bigwig Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, "In Real Life" is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash. (Summary and book cover courtesy of


This was a great read!  The story was realistic both in circumstances and the challenges a gamer of any age might encounter.  There were many complex topics that were approached and given the limited duration to cover everything; I think it was effectively done.  In particular, I appreciated that the main character was a young girl.  The artwork is beautiful and I enjoyed the portrayal of the fantasy gaming world.  Highly recommended.

Please note, I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review courtesy of NetGalley.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it?  Fans of graphic novels that examine meaningful situations.