If this book was an animal, it would be a purple octopus. Really! In the beginning of this book something just squeezed me tight and soon I couldnt let go. Maddy is such a strong character and I absolutely loved her attitude. When she started playing Fields of Fantasy again something magical squeezed my heart, especially when she met Sir Leo. I couldnt get enough. Then once Maddy got back to the real world and was bullied at school. Something squeezed me until I could feel her pain. The bullying was so raw and terrible. It hurt. The ending of this book was significant. It was a great coming-of-age story. I loved it. Read On!
Forced, by her parent's divorce, to move--along with her mother and younger sister--into her grandmother's home, Maddy Starr has to leave her old life and school behind. After an unfortunate incident involving her grandmother and her (Maddy's) clothing, she's labelled Freak Girl and school is hell for her.
Maddy's only escape is into the world of Fields of Fantasy, the roleplaying computer game her Dad gave her for her birthday. In FoF she becomes Allora, a beautiful, confident elf...who catches the attention of a handsome knight named Sir Leo.
But while romance is blooming between Sir Leo and Allora, Manga loving/drawing Maddy is still struggling to find her way in her new school. Can she find a way to deal? And would anyone ever choose brunette, skull-tights wearing Maddy over busty, blonde Allora?
This novel was really enjoyable to me (someone who doesn't know much of anything really about interactive/roleplaying games or manga) because while it did involve things that I think would have also made it enjoyable for people who did know about those things, it never went to one extreme or the other. When Maddy started playing the game, her setup was described, when she first met Sir Leo he explained some 'etiquette' I guess to her, and what she did in the game was described. The way all of this was done made it not a how-to lesson and just a part of the story that happened to tell you about FoF.
And when it came to the manga, different characters liked different types so one character explaining what they liked about a to a character who liked b, let you know what those were if you had no idea.
There was information given that was interesting and helpful to someone who didn't know about the topic and (from what I've seen in some Amazon reviews) fun for those who do. I think that's a fantastic achievement.
The characters made the book even more enjoyable. Maddy's grandmother seemed almost like a fairytale character to me (I'm not really sure I can explain that but I just feel like she wouldn't have seemed out of place in one of those Grimm Brothers' tales)..not because she's sweet or evil, just... Maddy's sister and parents also had a lot more depth to them than siblings and parents usually have in stories that are focused on a single, teenaged character.
Gamer Girl is a book that I believe teens (and young adults) will enjoy whether they're Gamers or not because it really does not have a weak aspect (characters, plot, writing)*.
*My one problem with the book at all was Chad Murray as a character name because all I thought of every time was Chad Michael Murray...