I was sooo excited when I got this book in the mail, simply because I haven't read a graphic novel in ages, let alone reviewed one! I immediately jumped into the book and finished it in one sitting.
Rating : ☺☺☺☹☹
Do I recommend it : Yes, if you want a quick read or to get books read for your reading challenge.
Would I reread it : Probably not.
In Real Life is a graphic novel about a girl who plays an online game with other girls like her, with the sole purpose of having fun and being a whole other character. However, as she gets better at the game, she gets real opportunities of making actual money, leading her to find out that people in this game actually sell in-game things (or levels) for money as well. Her job is to get rid of them, but she is unable to as she befriends one of the Chinese boys who do this for a living. The topics of morality, exploitation and culture clashes are explored in a fun and light graphic novel.
↙ What I didn't like about the book :
The book definitely didn't move as fast as I thought it would, and the plot line was dull at moments. It took a while for the protagonist to meet the other major character, and their friendship definitely developed rapidly and unrealistically.
Because the book started so slowly, the ending was, to me, abrupt and cliché. It was the kind of ending that made me roll my eyes and sigh. The relationship between the characters in the ending disappointed me, because it was very obvious and I found it more suitable for kids, because of the very fast reconciliations and "happily ever after" ending.
↗ What I liked about the book :
The topics the authors dealt with definitely made me enjoy this book a lot. Topics as touchy and different as exploitation in the rural areas of China aren't found in many books, and being Chinese myself, this book meant a lot to me. It was great to see the two different countries and lives come together through a video game, which is the second point I want to address.
This book was a great way to show that kids who play video games are NOT wasting their times. Just think of League of Legends and how big and successful you can be from playing it! We get a good glance at what 2015 video gaming and online gaming really is, and how fruitful you can be from it, not to mention how many friends you meet and things you can really learn.
The artwork was great, and the characters looked very real. I loved the colours and the aesthetic of the book, and how it was scribbled but very clearly and well done. I would highly suggest this book for anyone who loves art and drawings!
I definitely loved the experience of reading a more mature graphic novel, although I was slightly disappointed in it. It is mostly because my expectations were extremely high! I hope to read Nimona soon and I really hope I can review another graphic novel in the near future, because I love doing it as it is so much more different from reviewing an actual novel!
Thanks for reading,
☺☺☺☺☺ : Flawless
☺☺☺☺☹ : Very good, a few flaws
☺☺☺☹☹ : Enjoyable
☺☺☹☹☹ : Okay, would not reread
☺☹☹☹☹ : Disliked, do not recommend