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Gamer Girl Hardcover – November 13, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (November 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525479953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525479956
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,212,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7–10—Maddy feels as though her life just keeps getting worse and worse. Because her parents have divorced, she has had to leave her friends in Boston and move with her mother and younger sister to live with Grandma in New Hampshire. She has developed a mad crush on handsome, unattainable Chad, whose friends refer to her as Freak Girl. Maddy's only consolations are her beloved manga drawings and the online game Fields of Fantasy, which her father gave her for her birthday. As Maddy becomes more involved with the game, she creates a new identity for herself as a magical Elfin maiden named Allora, and meets the handsome knight Sir Leo online. Eventually Maddy realizes that she cannot continue to use gaming as a refuge from her real-life problems, and she finds the courage to confront both the clique at her school and her neglectful father. And even more importantly, she begins reaching out to potential friends by starting a manga club and entering Gamer Girl in a prestigious writing contest. This is a fun, quick but predictable story. Readers will guess the identity of Sir Leo long before Maddy does, and her grandmother is stereotypically fussy and interfering. However, the manga and gaming themes will appeal to many teen girls, including reluctant readers.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

After her parents’ divorce, Maddy has to leave her ultra-hip Boston life for a New Hampshire suburb, where she, her mother, and her sister stay with Grandma. Not only does Maddy have to deal with missing her friends and father, but Grandma ruins her first day at school by insisting she wear a unicorn sweatshirt and then by embarrassing a popular boy with stories of his childhood bed-wetting. Bullied by the in-crowd (“the Haters”), crushing on the wrong guy, and stuck with the nickname Freak Girl, Maddy escapes into her drawing and the online game Fields of Fantasy, where she can vanquish enemies and make friends far easier than at school. After encouragement from a sympathetic teacher, Maddy makes friends by starting a manga club. But just when things are improving, the Haters strike again. Mancusi believably captures the hopes, disappointments, and awkwardness of high school life. While the trendy elements may eventually become dated, the story of a girl finding her inner strength will always resonate. Grades 6-10. --Krista Hutley

More About the Author

Mari Mancusi always wanted a dragon as a pet. Unfortunately the fire insurance premiums proved a bit too large and her house a bit too small--so she chose to write about them instead. Today she works as an award-winning young adult author and freelance television producer, for which she has won two Emmys. When not writing about fanciful creatures of myth and legend, Mari enjoys goth clubbing, cosplay, watching cheesy (and scary) horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure--playing videogames. A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon, and their dog Mesquite.

Customer Reviews

To be completely honest, Gamer Girl was by far the worst book I have ever read.
Shannon
The story line is horribly clichéd. This honestly just felt like a fangirl trying to write a fanfiction about herself--a self insert.
M
In the end, they're really more of a straw man to make the main character seem superior than anything more meaningful.
Lucas H.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By M on October 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book literally felt like I was reading a fanfiction; the only difference was that I was actually reading a book instead of reading it online. I just don't think it was developed well enough to be published. The story line is horribly clichéd. This honestly just felt like a fangirl trying to write a fanfiction about herself--a self insert. I thought that I would enjoy this novel because I like games and manga/anime myself, but I was horribly horribly wrong. This story might be good for a young 10 year old (except for all the cursing), but this book is definitely not a good story for an intelligent person to read if they want to pass the time. I am ashamed that there are still authors out there that still use this typical clichéd and stereotypical storyline. It's about time to come up with something new. Nothing was new material.
The characters aren't really developed and the main character's personality traits contradict a lot. One moment the main character considers herself shy and says she is too scared to talk to anyone in real life, but the next moment she punches a guy in the face. No.
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139 of 182 people found the following review helpful By Lucas H. on November 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is not a book as much as it is a collection of clichéd plot devices and character stereotypes that are more two-dimensional than those found in after-school specials.

It has everything which makes a teen book amount to nothing. A main character named "Maddy Starr" (an obvious author-insert for Mari Mancusi) who constantly bitches about how "nobody gets her, and nobody ever will," and how she's repulsed that no one at her new school is a "mop headed emo boy" or an "Edward Cullen worshiping goth-girl". Rather, they're all "AberZOMBIES" and "Haters." Please note the capital "H," as Maddy expresses such disgust for anyone who is different from herself that she needs to emphasize it with a proper noun. All in all, the result is a grotesque caricature of a gothic teenage girl. She constantly talks about Twilight and My Chemical Romance, at one point even going as far as to complain that the lead singer from My Chemical Romance does not attend her school, because if he did, they would sooo totally be soul-mates.

The reader quickly begins to wonder whether the author truly writes at a middle-school level, or whether this is a devious marketing ploy created to pump the teen demographic for every last one of their parents' dollars. Either way, there is no literary merit to this book. Despite failed attempts at profundity, there's no message deeper than "love is good, follow your dreams, cliques are bad." But even the intended anti-clique message is overshadowed by the fact that all the cliques in the book are so incredibly stereotyped. In the end, they're really more of a straw man to make the main character seem superior than anything more meaningful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By s. wade on May 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book confused me, has the author ever actually been an outcast ever in her life or did she just not get an invitation to some girls sweet 16 party once when she was in Junior High and take it very, very badly? Either way the whole thing is written less like "Oh i'm so lonely, being a teen sucks" and more like "I just spent my daddy's entire bonus check at hot topic and nobody noticed me yet, you all suck!"
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31 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Alfredo Castaneda III on January 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen. However, this is not due to any legitimate humor. No, this is due to the inadvertent and awkward situations that abound in this pitiful excuse for a novel. All of the characters, without exception, are flatter than anything Stephenie Meyer could ever write. This "ubergoff" girl (who isn't any less commercial than her classmates the "aberzombies" and haters) decides that she wants to be counterculture, yet simply comes off of as petty and pitiful compared to everyone else. Although it is not alluded to early in the book, the main character is actually a very big fangirl, feeling the need to indiscriminately pepper her speech with internet terms and otakuspeak. Her condition only worsens after that, with her falling into an MMO addiction (and even falling in love with a faceless player!) and becoming increasingly withdrawn so that she could draw her manga. This is supposed to be a story of how gamers should be accepted as normal people and other related issues, but instead comes off as a descent into madness not unlike the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nian on January 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
His name is CHAD MURRAY? Like, in recognition of Chad Michael Murray, the One Tree Hill star? What a terrible, terrible coincidence. Just, come on - as soon as he cheated on/betrayed Sophia Bush, he's been kicked off my LIKE list to the very bottom. Besides, I'll always remember him as squinty-eyed-boy.

Gamer Girl (GG) reminded me too much of A Cinderella Story (ACS). So typically clichéd that it made me want to bang my head against the wall. Then moan in agony.

1. Pathetic protagonist who's constantly ridiculed/made fun of. (In GG: Maddy's called a Freak. In ACS: Sam is nicknamed Diner Girl in mockery.)

2. There's an even more pathetic loser boy who, on the surface, is Golden Boy, but underneath, might as well be a puppet whose strings are pulled by the Popular Crowd. (In GG: Chad. In ACS: Austin.) Honestly, I don't know why women fall for men like them. In both, the boys are simply too awkward for words and/or too pretentious on paper that they fall off the edges.

3. Instant Messaging/Conversing through internet. (GG: Chad and Maddy meet through an online game with faeries and adventure. ACS: Austin and Sam are chat buddies who basically spill secrets/complain about life, etc. to one another.)

4. None of the works seemed too cautious of online predators. Oh yes, it's mentioned (but not in depth) in GG but the protagonist brushes it off her shoulders without a care (what kind of message does this send out?). As for ACS - well, it's so filled with romance that there's practically no logic, so the dangers of online chatting is completely lost.

5. Clichéd storyline. Girl meets Boy online. Girl and Boy start falling madly in love with each other despite note knowing the other's true identity.
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