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Guy in Real Life

Cover of Guy in Real Life

Guy in Real Life

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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.

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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About the Author-
  • Steve Brezenoff is the author of the young adult novels The Absolute Value of --1, which won the IPPY Gold Medal for young adult fiction, and Brooklyn, Burning, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Best 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 young adult fiction. Born on Long Island, Steve now lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Beth, and their son and daughter, Sam and Etta. His main is a Blood Elf monk, but he's been known to run a Night Elf priest from time to time.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 14, 2014
    Ever since sophomore metalhead Lesh Tungsten collided with geeky 17-year-old outsider Svetlana Allegheny on the street, he can’t get her out of his head. When she begins to join him at lunch to thwart a classmate’s lecherous advances, focusing on anything but her
    becomes nearly impossible. Meanwhile, Lesh is being drawn into a multiplayer online RPG, but the avatar Lesh most enjoys playing as a buxom elf he names Svvetlana—doesn’t exactly distract him from her real-life counterpart, who is struggling to keep her Dungeons & Dragons–style gaming club afloat. Brezenoff (Brooklyn, Burning) successfully immerses readers in the characters’ progression from awkward acquaintances to adorably besotted teens. In addition to alternating between their perspectives, he also spends time within both the digital and analog RPGs, exploring sexism and gender stereotypes, while highlighting the way that both types of games are often driven by a novelistic kind of storytelling (even if some gamers skip past those scenes). An idiosyncratic romance that offers plenty of cultural food for thought. Ages 14–up. Agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner.

  • Sara Zarr, National Book Award finalist for Story Of a Girl "In a voice full of authentic grit, poetic verve, and real emotion, Steve Brezenoff weaves a tale that feels both wholly original and instantly classic. Another fantastic book from a writer I envy and admire."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "In a first-person narration that alternates between the boy in black and the girl dungeon master, Brezenoff conjures a wry, wise and deeply sympathetic portrait of the exquisite, excruciating thrill of falling in love. This is not the teen love story you've read a thousand times before."
  • Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone "Guy In Real Life is a remarkably original, addictive novel that illuminates the roles we play for others and, ultimately, ourselves. A must-read for anyone who questions who they truly are, and who they could be."
  • Publishers Weekly "An idiosyncratic romance that offers plenty of cultural food for thought."
  • Pete Hautman, National Book Award-winning author of Godless "I suppose Steve Brezenoff will have to grow up one of these days and forget what it was like to be sixteen, but let's hope it doesn't happen too soon—at least not to the part of him that can write a book like Guy in Real Life."
  • John Corey Whaley, Printz Award—winning author of Where Things Come Back "Guy in Real Life is a fascinating, original take on the spaces that exist between who we are and who we hope to be. Virtually everyone will love this book."
  • Chicago Tribune "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."
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    HarperCollins
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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