Guy in Real Life, by Steve Brezenoff (book review) – guy, girl, gaming

book cover of Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff published by Balzer + BrayOnline MMOs,
tabletop RPGs,
never the twain shall meet?

His best friend says that every online game female character is a GIRL – guy in real life – but is it wrong for Lesh to spend time online as Svvetlana if he truly wants to be with the real Svetlana?

And why shouldn’t Svetlana prefer creating fantasy game scenarios to attending boring pro soccer games with her clueless parents?

After school, Lesh hangs out with the wrong crowd by habit, Svetlana only hangs out with her dungeon friends, yet somehow their worlds overlap in this fun read.


Book info: Guy in Real Life / Steve Brezenoff. Balzer + Bray, 2014.  [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: A late-night sidewalk collision brings together 2 teens from very different circles as their roleplaying and online game lives somehow intersect.

Getting grounded finally gave Lesh time to play the MMO that Greg is hooked on. But he hates being a blundering orc and instead chooses to be an elf, whom he molds into the image of quirky Svetlana at school, the girl he met when her bike ran into him that rainy night.

Svetlana’s detailed roleplaying scenarios intrigue the Central High Gaming Club, but when one guy quits, the club could lose its official status. Maybe Lesh of the black trenchcoat would join? Decidedly better than being with her crazy Minneapolis soccer fan parents.

Game life connects this guy named after the Grateful Dead’s drummer and that dungeonmaster girl in skull-embroidered skirt, but real life is more than energy levels and 20-sided dice in this quirky maybe-romance told from their alternating points of view.   (One of 6,000 books recommended on

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