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REVIEW: Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi

Dear Ms. Mancusi,

While I’ve read a few of your adult books, I’ve never tried your YA works. I’m not sure why that is because I’ve always gotten the impression your voice would do well with a younger audience. In my opinion, Gamer Girl proved my hypothesis correct. Maybe a little too well, in fact.

After her parents’ divorce, Maddy Starr leaves Boston to live with her grandmother in the suburbs. Starting over at a new school is always tough when you’re fifteen. It’s harder when your new school is full of poster children for Abercrombie and Fitch and your outfit of choice comes from Hot Topic. To make matters worse, Maddy’s first day at her new school is marred by having to wear a unicorn sweatshirt, her grandmother escorting her to the front office, and that same grandmother embarrassing the school’s quarterback by recounting an embarrassing childhood incident. Branded “Freak Girl” by the in-crowd, resulting in becoming a social pariah, Maddy loses herself in the online gaming world, Fields of Fantasy. Too bad her real life can’t be as perfect.

The best comparison for this book is that it’s like cotton candy. It’s pleasant and sweet while you’re consuming it, but the next day it’s a vague memory. This book is a very quick read and not once was it ever slow. I also think it deals with many topics today’s teens can sympathize with — divorce and wanting your parents to get back together, starting new schools and trying to make new friends, relocating and experiencing culture shock when your new town is nothing like your old one, and balancing real life with a virtual one. It’s a pleasant, comforting read.

But because of that, I also think it suffers. Not once does it ever push any boundaries or explore those issues with any real depth. I’m not saying all books, YA or not, need to be deep or edgy to be good. I am saying, however, that this book’s execution was a bit superficial and shallow for my tastes. There was nothing awful about it. But there wasn’t anything particularly good either.

Perhaps I wouldn’t feel this way if the plot were a little more original. As it is, however, we have the very familiar “Girl goes to new school, is bullied by in-crowd, and falls for cute boy belonging to in-crowd” story and we all know how that one ends. I did like the ultra-modern trappings of including MMORPGs and manga, but their inclusion here almost felt like a neon sign proclaiming “Look how cool and trendy I am!” I could be wrong. I’d appreciate hearing thoughts from any young adult readers (those readers within the actual target audience, that is.)

Which brings us back to where we started. While I love young adult fiction, I think I also have limits as to how young I can read. Gamer Girl may be a YA novel but I fear it falls on the younger end of the YA spectrum. It reads very young and is relatively simple in story and plot. I checked the inside of this book and it’s recommended for ages 12 and up, which falls in line with my impressions. This is more of a tween book than an older YA book. So if something like The Hunger Games is too heavy and readers are looking for more lighter, comforting fare, this might be the ticket. But if readers want their books more meaty, this is one to avoid. C

My regards,

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or Powells. No ebook format.

Jia is an avid reader who loves fantasy and young adult novels. She's also currently dipping her toes in the new adult genre but remains unconvinced by the prevalent need for traumatic pasts. Her favorite authors are Michelle West and Jacqueline Carey. YA authors whose works she's enjoyed include Holly Black, Laini Taylor, Ally Carter, and Megan Miranda. Jia's on a neverending quest for novels with diverse casts and multicultural settings. Feel free to email her with recommendations at [email protected]!


  1. trisha
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 06:28:30

    But all the MMORPG and manga stuff is accurate?

    Don’t think I’ll be reading this one since you called it shallow and superficial, but I might consider it for my library now.

  2. Jia
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 07:10:06

    I think the manga stuff was probably one of the more accurate inclusions I’ve seen in recent YA fiction. I still feel that there’s a vague sense of “trying too hard,” in the sense that I, the reader, thought that the text might have trying too hard to be trendy and hip and relevant. The name and title dropping might have contributed to that overall shallow, superficial feeling. But it’s not bad.

    I don’t play MMORPGs myself so I can’t say for certain that aspect was 100% accurate. I have friends who play so I know enough to be dangerous but not enough to point at something and say, “That’s wrong!” unless it’s glaringly obvious.

  3. Marianne Mancusi
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 07:22:10

    You are right. Gamer Girl is definitely targeted at a younger YA/tween crowd. In fact, it was picked up by Scholastic for their book fair in the spring–and all their books are guaranteed to family friendly without objectionable content.

    In writing Gamer Girl, I wanted to write a more wholesome, sweet YA tale in response to what’s currently out there on bookstore shelves. While, as an adult, I love the edgy, sexy, often-drug/alcohol fueled tales, I felt there was a younger, more innocent real teen audience who has been under served as of late.

    So while Gamer Girl may be too simple and sweet for an adult audience who loves reading YA or an older teen audience who craves a more mature reading experience, I believe (hope) it will really speak to the tween reader who has felt alienated at school. While light in tone, it deals with some serious issues of bullying. As someone who was bullied a lot as a teen (you can read my story over at I really felt it was important to write a story that empowers young girls to stand up for themselves and not let others define their self-worth. Again, it may seem a simple message wrapped in a saccharine package for an adult who has been there, done that and gotten the “I survived 8th Grade” t-shirt, but there are so many tweens and teens out there who are currently being swallowed up by the blackness, who feel alienated, weird and alone and don’t know what to do about it. I wanted them to know there’s someone out there who understands what it’s like. That they’re not alone and that they have the power to climb out of that deep hole, to help themselves. To get their own happy ending.

    That’s why I wrote Gamer Girl.


  4. Marianne Mancusi
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 07:39:49

    That link above should be Sorry about that.

    Oh and yes, I read manga and play MMORPG games in real life so yes, I believe it’s all accurate. :) The actual game in the book is fictional – called Fields of Fantasy and is based on a combo of “Final Fantasy” and “World of Warcraft” – two of my favorite gaming franchises.

  5. Jill Monroe
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 08:25:43

    As a mother of a young tween girl, I can certainly attest to the lack of fiction for that age group. I’ve been looking for good bridge books after Harry Potter pre Twilight.

  6. JulieLeto
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 08:34:18

    as picked up by Scholastic for their book fair in the spring-and all their books are guaranteed to family friendly without objectionable content.

    Yeah, Marianne! I’ll be looking for it, then! Our school does Scholastic book fairs twice a year…in fact, our fall fair is going on right now.

    I agree that a lot of the YA stuff out there is too dark and disturbing for younger girls. My daughter is ten, but reads ahead of her grade level and I’m always on the look out for books that portray young girls in an empowering way. Especially in dealing with bullying, which is a topic we discuss around here a lot. I read a lot of YA and very little of it is appropriate for my daughter. When I’m done, those books get passed along to my 16 year old niece.

    Congrats on the book. Sounds fabulous!

  7. Moth
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 10:48:19

    Cover’s pretty.

  8. Marianne Mancusi
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 11:42:03

    Thanks Jill and Julie. (And yes, Moth, I love the cover, too!) I really think teaching girls self-esteem in any way possible is just so important. I know so many girls grow up without it and not only suffer in their teen years, but long into adulthood.

  9. che
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 14:27:25

    O/T- am I the only one who finds the article titles in the scripty font difficult to read?

  10. Kathryn Smith
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 15:02:38

    Hey Marianne, are you playing Wrath of the Lich King? I’m almost tempted to take up WoW again.

    I haven’t read GG yet, but I have to agree that the cover is fab, and it is nice to see more ‘young’ fiction. I’m all for the dark stuff, but some of the YA stuff out there has main characters drinking heavily and doing major drugs all the time. Even the druggies I knew at 16 took a break once in awhile.

  11. Marianne Mancusi
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 15:19:35

    I had to do a self-imposed break from WoW earlier this year to concentrate on book stuff – as the game was taking over and the current book I’m working on, The Camelot Code, for some reason wasn’t writing itself while I played. :) It was actually refreshing to take a break, to tell you the truth. I had been pretty hardcore.

    I’m sooo tempted to go back now that the x-pac has come out though! Doesn’t help that my friends keep gushing about how cool it is, either…

    I think there’s definitely room for both dark and lighter YA fare, just like there’s room for both sweet romance and erotica on the adult shelves.

  12. Persephone Green
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 17:18:28

    The cover art is gorgeous, and I have to say that as a ‘tween, it would have definitely influenced me to want to buy the book. At that age I was perfectly happy to read books in and out of my age group so long as the plot was interesting, so I can only guess that the plot line would have interested me. I went to five different school districts before I graduated from high school, starting around age eleven, so I don’t think there’s ever too much new-girl-in-town fiction out there for young girls!

  13. Michelle
    Nov 18, 2008 @ 09:06:57

    For those of you looking for good YA (bridge from Harry Potter) I highly recommend Diana Wynne Jones. She writes great books that are easily read but not light and fluffy. She has strong female characters. Her Chrestomanci series is fantastic. I recommend starting with The Lives Of Christopher Chant. She doesn’t seem to be as popular in the US as in the UK. Also she wrote Howl’s Moving Castle. The movie is good but the book is better.

  14. Nonny
    Nov 18, 2008 @ 10:33:52

    Marianne, I think I love you. :)

    Speaking as an (adult, female) Goth and an avid World of Warcraft gamer, I’m totally going to have to look this one up. :D

    You ought pick up the new x-pac if only for the Death Knight starting zone. I’ve always liked the Warcraft lore but it’s been absent in the majority of quests. Not so in Lich King. I’m not a hardcore roleplayer, but I love being a part of the story and seeing it unfold around me. (This is the case in the 70+ expansion content, too, from everything I’ve read.)

    I have to mandate “write x amount of words, then play WoW”, or I don’t get anything done. (Although writing is being replaced with packing at the moment, as we are moving cross-country by Xmas.)

    Dark Lady, watch over you! :)

  15. Sandra Cormier
    Nov 18, 2008 @ 13:16:08

    Personally, I’d steer away from online gaming being cool unless there was a message in there somewhere about separating reality from fantasy. My son games online and is pretty good at self-discipline (school, work etc.) but a recent tragedy in my family involved a 15 year old boy who ran away after his dad took away his X-Box because he skipped school to play online.

    My nephew’s body was found two weeks ago, a month after he went missing. It was an unfortunate accident (fell from a tree while getting his bearings) but the subject matter is still too painful. The upside is that he brought together a whole community if not all of Canada.

    Sigh. Maybe I’ll write about it someday, but not yet. As an author, we teeter between sending messages to our audience and telling a great story. Often, readers take more away with them than we expect.

    I don’t know if I’m making sense, but the subject is still like a raw wound.

  16. Marianne Mancusi
    Nov 18, 2008 @ 16:15:33

    That’s very sad, Sandra. But yes, Gamer Girl definitely has a strong message on real life coming first. The heroine isn’t addicted to the game but her father (who gave her the game to begin with) is and this leads to some disapointments for her when he chooses the game over his own children. She’s the one to teach her dad the lesson about balancing real life and the game.

    I think videogame addiction is a very serious issue as many of my friends are addicted to World of Warcraft and I’ve seen it put strain on marriages and jobs. ‘

    Nonny, I like your wordcount idea! Maybe I should institute that. No gaming til writing is done. :) I’ve heard the storyline in Lich King is really interesting and I’m very intrigued to check it out myself!


  17. Sandra Cormier
    Nov 18, 2008 @ 20:10:30

    That’s very reassuring, Marianne. I’m glad the book has that sort of message.

    I like the idea of having a word count target before going on to other activities.

    I’m on a deadline now, so I should have a target before checking out all my favourite blogs!

  18. Diana Dang
    Nov 23, 2008 @ 17:45:16

    Oh, I am disappointed to here the plotline is like that. When I first saw the cover, I was eager to check it out. I haven’t read it and just find out what the summary is about. I was hoping it is more of a fantasy book. I’ll see if I’ll get it one day. Hopefully this manga fan won’t be too disappointed.

  19. Rocker4life
    Feb 20, 2009 @ 20:43:51

    I just finished the book an hour ago took only like 148 or so to read it i loved it it seemed a little obvious chad was sir leo he liked her you could tell because he did not make fun of her i wondered what would happen w/ the manga contest and all that i never expected the whole club to fix the drawings and all that but i kinda feel it connected w/ me @ some point or another because i play on an online gaming community or as they would be called by most MMORPG and i meet this guy who’s real nice although he lives in a whole other state though he’s in california talk about other side of the country.
    ps 148= 1h 48min.
    pps I got this at my schools book fair and i waited all the way ’til i got home to throw my self on my bed and read it.
    ppps i just noticed that the author’s name shortened is like the name of an npc (non-player character) in the MMORPG i do heheh funy anyway i’ll stop talking or typing or… ya know i’m gonna stop now k.

  20. Blaie
    Feb 28, 2009 @ 21:35:41

    I got through Gamer Girl in one sitting. A little simple, but fun. The art was a nice touch!

    Also, I am completely convinced that Chad Murray = Chad Michael Murray.
    Like from the Cinderella Story, y/y?

  21. Narume
    Mar 12, 2009 @ 16:56:18

    I really liked this book. Though some things were predicable but that mostly because i read a million shojo mangas…well yeah i super uber loved it X3 and i can totally relate alot to Maddy (in some ways…) but yeah Great job, and there should TOTALLY be a anime movie of this i would SO audition for the voice actress role as maddy..or even Sarah ^^

    – wuv Narume (not real name) 14 yrs =D

  22. Charon
    Jul 18, 2009 @ 18:33:30

    I haven’t read this yet, but my I knew someone who’s sister had it, that someone being my brother’s girlfriend, so I’m going to get to read it when he comes down to visit. But my friend recommended this book and I’m really glad he did. I don’t read books often, since I have the attention span of am eight year old kid at a zoo when it comes to reading…but I was drawn to this book because I am an extreme addict for both manga and video games. I’m even going to be going to a new school next year…going from home-schooling to public school.
    And for me, I’ve never had a friend who loved both mangas and video games, I have friends who like mangas, but ever since I started playing video games when I was 5, I’ve never had friends who liked video games…guess I just grew up in the wrong areas.
    So anyway, I just thought this book would make an awesome read so I can’t wait to get it from my brother in a couple of weeks <3

  23. Yasmeen
    Aug 26, 2009 @ 15:29:22

    I just finished the book today and I couldn’t stop reading it. The book is cute and I LOVE the cover but I agree with Narume. The book is quite predictable on some parts. It was pretty obvious that Chad was Sir Leo… I got the book yesterday(Language Arts class purposes) from the my school’s library and read it. As soon as I read the first chapter, I couldn’t stop. I read continously until 11 pm at night! Long story short, I love the book but I wished it could be longer. I’m thirteen years old and I recommend this book to tweens as light reading.

  24. jessica :]
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 18:30:41

    BYE :]


  25. sapoman
    Jan 01, 2010 @ 08:12:28

    btw, sapoman is not even a real name, so how could it be my real name? it is the name i use for all internet stuff, so ya.

    I have been running out of books, so i was scouring the bookshelf, trying to find some i hadn’t read, when i came across Gamer Girl. so i thought ” well, even if the main character is a girl, its still might be interesting.” so i picked it up and read it in like 3 hours. and it was great, so i read it again. i like how it incorperates online gaming into the real world, but i also like how the gaming starts to take over Maddy’s life. it adds a nice touch af realism that most books lack. but, it was written so that you cared about the characters. you got angry when billy, who dosent deserve to have his name capitolized, by the way, destroyed Maddy’s painting. when the manga club fixed her manga, you felt happiness and excitment. you should write a sequel. all of us would buy it.

    btw, what is a tween?

  26. Nick
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 06:53:10

    Is this book only for Girls? i just ordered it at my school and since i was into mmorpg games i thought this would be a fun and intresting book.

  27. sydney
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 17:56:12

    I loved GAMER GIRL but then again I’m 14 and can really connect with Maddy. I too thought some parts were a bit shallow; but if you want to get away from the drama filled books that leave you in tears its a great book.

  28. L. Delene
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 18:40:10

    I feel a little disappointed. I was really hoping this would be a good read, not young YA =(

  29. Aisling
    Feb 20, 2010 @ 16:59:24

    well id say as a teen and an anime fan, their is no way in hell that things would come out so completely and perfect like that, even if it does seem nice. plus-having a teacher who likes anime-havent seen one yet. and in my school there wouldl never be such a coming together of things. also in my school there could never be an anime club. which is a shame. id also like to say that some writers can write teenage characters and situations really well but i dont think that she got it at all really. but i did get super ecited whenever they mentioned an anime that i knew!

  30. CharonEX
    Feb 20, 2010 @ 22:11:22

    @Aisling – Actually it’s not all that surprising to have a teacher who likes anime. At the school I use to attend I had a teacher who liked anime and hosted the anime club.
    At my friends school, she told me that she has a teacher who LOVES anime and even lets her text in class if it’s related to cosplay things [which I hope you know what cosplay is]
    So that’s not that surprising.

  31. Mark Humber
    Mar 12, 2010 @ 22:40:31

    This book is a god awful abomination against all that is good in the literary community how anyone could think this book is halfway decent is a mystery to anyone that is not retarded.

  32. Juila
    Mar 24, 2010 @ 17:11:27

    I have just read the book myself and i am dying to know if there is going to be a second one

  33. S.M.K.M.A.A.
    Apr 12, 2010 @ 17:25:59

    i read this book too like last summer and i could not stop reading it. it was like adicting! even at the parts when she was just doing something normal not really a big event. i loved it all and i seriouly encourage you (mari mancousi) to write a sequal. i never wanted the book to end. thats why when i noticed i was getting farther in the book i wanted to stop myself but i could’nt. plzzzzzzzzz if you can write another book it would make me the happiest person on earth especially because that is my favorite book! thnx! :)

  34. Rebecca Martinelli
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 15:37:06

    Mari, I read your comments, and while I love the idea of writing a hopeful story for girls in a time of depressing YA books, I was disappointed by this series. It feels like you were talking down to your audience the whole time. The book had great potential, considering how popular anime and manga is at the moment. However, instead of giving the reader anything with real substance you resorted to tired stereotypes and one dimensional characters. Hopefully in the future we’ll get to great otakus in your books, but this one really fell flat.

  35. xMiro
    Jul 05, 2010 @ 00:02:58

    I finished this novel today, it was pretty average but kept me reading. It was a bit to predictable and I’m confused as how Shoujo is spelt in here. If it’s copyright issues, how is it that they were able to get titles such as Black Cat, Chibi Vampire, Pokemon, Sailor Moon, ect mentioned? It bothered me so much through the novel that I went and scratched it out and at least wrote it the NA way (Shojo)

    I also dislike the generalization with the Edward Cullen thing. I’m sure not all ‘goth girls’ looooove him.

    Anyways, it was a good read other than what was mentioned.

  36. Sebastian Sanders
    Jul 09, 2010 @ 02:43:39

    i was also home schooled when i was younger and it is also a great weay to get your education.,-‘

  37. Emily
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 17:56:50

    Well I saw the cover of this book and thought it was very interesting. After reading the summary I was indeed very excited to buy the book.
    Turns out I was wrong. Well, first off I’m a teenager and pretty huge anime fan so I can sort of connect well.
    I did though, like Maddy’s character, her sarcasm was sometimes hilarious.
    But then again…this wasn’t the best plot. New girl moves in, new girl has stupid family, new girl gets bullied, new girl crushes on popular boy, new girl fixes family problems, new girl gets with the boy.
    The thing is…everything was much too stereotypical. I really loved Maddy’s character but my adoration stopped when she got to school and suddenly nicknames them the “Haters” and had no backbone. Where was the sarcastic Maddy??
    And Black Raven, her character seemed pretty cool, and then..”obsessed with vampires” just really got to me. I mean Chibi Vampire? Barely about vampires…just about a girl who gets a nosebleed everyday. Usually the more “popular” girls were into vampires nowadays, all the anime freaks I know in my school hate Vampire Knight and vampires altogether. Too Overrated.
    Oh yes, and the little story Maddy made for the contest really got on my nerves. Going back to the real world and killing everyone with “powers”? That’s one thing that’ll never happen and will probably teach teenagers to run away from their problems and into their fantasies.
    But, all this is just my opinion anyways. I mean what do I know, I’m a teenager after all.
    This is one long review….

  38. Emma
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 23:12:49

    To be perfectly honest, Ms. Mancusi, I hate your book. I’ve gotten to chapter six (when Maddy must once again complain to her mother about how much everyone hates her and is ruining her life) and don’t know if I’m going to be able to finish it. Said best by a Yahoo customer review, “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.”
    Individuals that live alternative lives or identify themselves as goths should be offended at the flat representation you give them in Maddy. Teenagers aren’t all poser “populars” who live-breathe-eat Abercrombie or super-serial goffiks who love My Chemical Romance and Twilight. Next time, try a little more research (or thought) before picking up the pencil.

    And just a last thought: in World of Warc…sorry, I mean Fields of Fantasy, if I ever met a female gamer with an avatar like Maddy’s, I would instantly assume she’s a brainless wannabe looking for guys to help her out because she’s incapable of playing the game herself. That’s just about the most n00b-gamer-girl thing you can do.

  39. Sung-ah
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 17:07:46

    I started reading this in sixth grade, since the cover appealed me when I found it at my town’s public library. I quite loved it. The MMORPG and manga is a good addition since it relates to young teen girls such as myself.

    I’m entering eighth grade and just reread the book. I noticed there were a few stereotypes (such as goth girls loving on Edward Cullen) and cliches. Even so, it’s a quick fun read. Black Raven also relates to one of my goth friends who’s obsessed with vampires and in love with anime. As an aspiring manga-ka/writer, I really liked this book overall and would recommend it to my anime-obsessed friends. ^^

  40. nane
    Jan 18, 2011 @ 23:21:07


  41. Brenzie
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 18:55:06

    This book kind of made me angry. I’m 13 years old and I really don’t put too much interests in Young Adult reads unless it’s actually not too bad. I hate the overly simplistic sweet cute storyline, I’m in need of, I can’t say terrible bad things to happen, but rather where a character struggles with many difficulties, losses, and finding out who they really are, etc. Not this, ugh. The product placement made me very angry, I only was interested in it because it was about MMORPGs, I wasn’t expecting the book to be all KAWAII DESU. I will admit, Manga is pretty awesome, but heck with the My Chemical Romance product placement also made me angry, for two reasons I despise them and I don’t want to see that in a book. I would like to be vague, i.e “I began to play a familiar tune I’ve heard once too many times from a favorite band of mine…” or perhaps just a pick a band that isn’t horrible. It irks me when authors do this. And making a friend named “Black Raven”. Other kin much? The character seemed pretty…cool I guess. But I was suggested this by a friend, I kind of like it but it holds too many flaws. 2/5.

  42. Michelle
    Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:01:44

    I hope you make a second one because I love the book! May God be with you when you write a second book and always. And note to all: Mari isn’t perfect do you think you could write a perfect book? NO! Don’t blame it on God. Blame it on Satan. Satan makes this world mess as it is. God is only perfect. I hope anyone who is not a believer or doesn’t trust God take this message and stop being stubborn and know God loves you. And you should love him too!
    God blessed,
    Michelle (a follower of God)

  43. Michelle
    Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:07:13

    @Michelle: I made amistake sorry! I ment to say “I hoper anyone who is not a believer or doesnt trust God take this message and stop being stubborn and KNOW THAT GOD LOVES YOU” the last part is what I messed up sorry! oops!

  44. Michelle
    Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:09:29

    @Michelle: Yes God loves you a made a mistake don’t take it seriously.

  45. Clare
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 16:27:42

    @Marianne Mancusi:

    I loved this book a lot! The character is really fun to listen to and I identified with her so much it was almost scary. I am a teenager too. I like manga and anime as well, so that was part of why I liked the book.

    At the point in the book when Maddy finally stands up to Billy I was all like “Yeah! You go girl!” while at the same time realizing how almost fake that scene was. I know from experience that most bullies will NOT be that dumb and back down just because you take a stand. Although it is refreshing when they do in novels, it doesn’t happen like that in real life. But I won’t get into that.

    Also, I am not quite sure whether you meant to do this Mari, but the first few times you wrote the manga brand name “Shoujo Beat” you wrote “Sojo Beat.” At first I thought that was just trying to avoid copyright issues, but then the third and last time you spelled it “Shojo”. So I was a little confused.

    The other thing I didn’t like was Maddy’s unwillingness to accept that her old friends had moved on, even though they no longer made ANY attempt at all to tell her that they wanted to stay friends with her. I wouldn’t have given them the time of day after totally ignoring me and not returning calls.

    Another part that bothered me was that about at the point when Maddy’s dad is giving his lecture on internet safety, I figured out instantly that before ‘SirLeo’ actually gives ANY clues as to who he is I knew SirLeo was Chad. And then I was just pretty much yelling at Maddy the whole rest of the book (starting from when she finds Chad in drama practice [‘SirLeo’ had mentioned having Drama Practice in his IMs to Maddy]) to get a clue that SirLeo WAS NOT Matt because Matt was obviously gay.

    Also, yes, you did use a lot of stereotypes, like the ‘Edward Cullen-worshiping goth girls’ although I know plenty of normal, almost preppy teenage girls that would fit into the ‘Edward Cullen-worshiping’ part of the stereotype. But I am willing to argue that that’s pretty much the way some teenagers see. I don’t personally, but if nobody saw that way, then why would we have them in the first place?

    Other than that, it was a pretty good novel. Like I said, unlike some people here who say it’s a horrible book, I think it was pretty darn good.

  46. Jennifer
    May 03, 2011 @ 10:10:28

    I have a question do you know the time and the setting this place took place in the book called “Gamer Girl” ? and what was her like the promblem in this book and how was it solved I’m confuse.

    Sorry that I’m confuse!

  47. The Killer Queen
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 23:36:37

    Let’s be honest. This book is pretty much a big, fat, destructive insult to the female gamers who have played video games in their lifetime and enjoyed them. Yes, the book itself is full of overused cliches, insanely one-dimentional stereotypes, and a plot that has been used countless times in, but the one thing that ticked me the most was that this was supposed to be about a female who plays video games. Yes, our heroine plays World of Warcraft-ripoff, but she never even tried to explore or even tell us the good and bad things of playing video games (asides the obvious shut-in, but that’s never explained in detail). I never even liked the heroine in the first place!

    Maddie Star (obvious self-insert Jerk Sue optional) is a rude, selfish, whiny, immature, unappreciative spoiled brat who thinks that she is so damn alternative that everyone else is mere blank stereotypical compared to her (“Aberzombies”? “Haters”? Has Maddy even look at her own damn life as a stereotype?!) She can throw popculture references here and there like she is so trendy and hip, but the existence of these references are only there to just make her look like she’s all that. To me, it just makes her look like a stereotypical Goth Poser/Japanophile that “Gamer Girl” isn’t even remotely relevant to the character AND the book itself!

    I got a few questions to ask to many, but let’s face it it’s 2011 and I doubt the author will respond to this, so what the hey?

    Can those who were truly alienated and those who were bullied for being different, relate to a brat who in the end got everything she wants just by being a total bitch to others who aren’t in her status quo? Is there even anything remotely likable about her aside from the reference dropping?!

    As a female gamer who does spend her life in video games, has Maddie played any other video game in her life? Has she spent her time playing games and staying there for purposes other than “a hot faceless guy’s there”?! Is there any critical trouble that Maddie has been facing in the Online Community other than being in fear on finding out who Sir Leo is? She knows that some attractive “gamer girls” are only there to be “girls” and not gamers, right?

    Also, is Maddie stupid enough to know that Chad Murray (middle name possibly Michael) was Sir Leo… or even the fact that her friend Matt was gay? Even my younger otaku sister can figure that out in a heartbeat! Is there anything Maddy even learned in the new school of hers? She seems that the entire point with the school was on how to get out of there!

    I know that the young demographic is a time of innocence, but they aren’t that stupid. Kids need books that need interesting characters with likable features, an interesting and consistent plot, and a strong character development amidst the popculture references and alternative lifestyles.

    I hate your book, Maricusi. I hate it because it insulted me and those who love video games and anime and all the other popculture stuff. I bet your character Maddie will be great friends with Ebony “Enoby” Darkness Dementia Raven Way from My Immortal, maybe even Bella Swan, but maybe she might get shunned for not being too “goffik” enough for her, amirite?


  48. AnotherAnnoyedAnonReader
    Jun 10, 2011 @ 15:12:11

    @The Killer Queen:
    I hope the author reads all these comments, to realize her book was a sorry excuse for literature.

  49. AnotherAnnoyedAnonReader
    Jun 10, 2011 @ 15:15:10

    …..This would be really funny if the author was atheist.

  50. Adrianna Curts
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 06:30:10

    @Marianne Mancusi: I am in the 8th grade and just turned 13. I think you did a great job on the book. I think it is good for my age group. I draw a lot of manga and am into things like that so I think those parts ,in my judgement, were accurate. My father is a big gamer and he read some of it and didn’t mention any errors of RPGs he saw so I guess that must be pretty accurate too. I am currently writing a book report on this story as well. I thought this was a bit cliche see as I knew e retrying that was going to happen but that is also because I’ve read a lot of books for my age. As I agree there wasn’t really any big event or climax it was still a great book I couldn’t stop reading. :)

  51. Person
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 19:34:47

    Dear Marianne you are the coolest author ever, i love WoW its the best game ever, and this book is fantastic. Its one of my favorite books, you should keep making books there great (: !

  52. Person
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 19:38:28

    @AnotherAnnoyedAnonReader You can Shut the hell up and go get a life, so what if you dont like the book or her writing. IT DOESNT MEAN TO HAVE TO BE AN ASSHOLE! Dont read her book or look at this if you dont like her book you idiot. Your probably just jealous because YOU cant write a book as great as hers. So get a life and quit trying to bring people down, you twat.

  53. Person
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 19:44:00

    Oh and TheKillerQueen this is not and insult to gamers, i would know because i am a female gamer(: Honestly if you DONT LIKE THE BOOK DONT READ IT, ITS THAT SIMPLE HONEY, YOU DONT HAVE TO WRITE 5 PARAGRAPHS ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU DONT LIKE THIS BOOK! I mean really what is wrong with you people these days!?!? Quit trolling people.

  54. TheKillerQueen
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 23:28:41

    So it’s alright for you to express your own opinions freely, and yet you tend to bash other people’s opinions because they don’t agree with you?

    And the “if you don’t like it, don’t read it” phrase? Overdone. Overused. I already read the whole thing anyway, and I don’t like it at all. Simple as that, honey.

    If I am trolling I would simply say that this book sucks and leave it at that. But I actually have reasons and explained these particular reasons why the book was bad.

    And besides, I know a lot of gamers who think this book is a huge joke. Look at the comments above me. Some of them really hate the book as well. Even the main review says that it’s not that well written.

    So all I am saying is that before you bash me on how different everyone’s opinions are from yours, why don’t you simply just tell us the good parts of the book or maybe even tell us why you think the book is good instead of bashing the hell out of those who don’t share your viewpoint. Okay?

    And besides, it’s not like you playing video games are in it for the attention… are you?

  55. Unbiased Observer
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 00:17:11

    Young adult comments are…interesting.

  56. Ridley
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 00:29:05

    What an odd thread this is.

  57. Jia
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 03:36:41

    @Unbiased Observer & @Ridley: The comments of my older YA reviews tend to go this way.

  58. Jane
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 08:28:01

    @Unbiased Observer Ah, you have never visited the Twilight review threads then? I had to close them.

  59. Christine M.
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 09:58:54

    @Jane: Now, why doesn’t that surprise me?

  60. anon
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 16:54:56

    I know this is late, but couldn’t Mancusi try anything new? This story is dipped in Mary Sue. As a teen, i feel INSULTED for someone to expect that i would gain any knowledge or understanding from such a sad boring book. This book is a typical online story that was never intresting in the first place.
    Also “gamer girls” arent unique and special at all.
    Every school has a croud of “outcasts” that choose to stick together, so nobody is really “friendless” in high school.
    Mary sue Mary sue.
    Mancusi, stay clear of books aimed at tweens next time, okay? You’re damaging our future.

  61. -insert apology here- : sadielizyy's fun stuff
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 13:57:18

    […] “Gamer Girl” by Mari Mancusi summary:  (this is an opinionated letter but there is a summary for the book in […]

  62. MapleSong178
    Jun 15, 2012 @ 23:03:43

    Gamer Girl has definitely made its way into my top ten books. It was a little light for my taste and the plot was quit predictable but I am still able to say I loved it to the very end.

    Some people might say that Mari Mancusi’s Gamer Girl was a bit stereotypical but honestly a lot of you people out there see someone walking down the street and automatically start making conclusions about them like some of the characters in Gamer Girl. It is unacceptable to call Gamer Girl stereotypical. Why? The reason is obvious, to those people who actually read the book THOROUGHLY you noticed that one of Mari Mancusi’s morals in her book is that you can’t always judge a person by his/her cover. How can we tell? Maddy falls in love with Chad, one of the “Haters”, who happens to have much more of a heart and or sensitive side then the rest of his so-called friends and states that he’s “diffrent” from the “Haters”.
    The other problem I have with some of the bad reviews people post online is how the books apparent references to manga, anime, and MMORPG was not accurate at all. You can’t just conclude that all otakus do not have a love for manga like Chibi vampire and such. You have to take in that everyone has their own list of likes and dislikes. Many of my friends who have a passion for manga and anime love manga such as Chibi Vampire, Vampire Knight, etc…
    Mari Mancusi worked hard as a gamer girl HERSELF to write this book in a teenagers P.O.V. (point of view). For those people who are too ignorant to see that Maddy is not a complete brat let me tell you this. Maddy lets you know that even though she is mad at her parents at times she DOES appreciate them for all the things they have done for her. Also, The Killer Queen, Maddy did not just get a happy ending like that for being a “brat” Maddy worked hard for the outcome of a happy ending like starting up a manga club and spilling her heart over the manga she was trying to produce that ended up being doodled on with profane writing by the “Haters” . If you ask me Maddy DESERVED a happy ending not only because she worked hard. Maddy displays that the possibility of a happy ending is possible but you have to strive for it. Not only that Maddy may have played other video games in her lifetime and there is no proof that she didn’t either the author probably left that detail out of her book by accident or intentionally. Who knows? Obviously not you. Your statement and defense holds no water. Tell me, where is your SOLID evidence. Your not the author of Gamer Girl therefore you don’t know all the details of the characters life as well as Mari Mancusi. Before you make assumptions and hate on something make sure you have, as I have stated before, SOLID HARD EVIDENCE.
    Older readers please keep in mind the light plot story was specially targeted for young readers. Also just because some of you people may have figured out where the story was going and who was actually who doesn’t mean that everyone else did. You guys are smart and that’s great but others may not be as smart as you. Gamer Girl is a wonderful book for readers with an open mind.

  63. Angela
    Aug 30, 2012 @ 21:14:57

    The best book I’ve ever read!! I know there are SOME shallow parts but it was the cutest love story :)

  64. anime cosplay
    Sep 03, 2012 @ 12:58:10

    I would never fathom cosplaying that I cant believe it was done, i guess it was bound to happen do to the shows popularity.

  65. Sara
    Jun 08, 2013 @ 14:47:58

    I got this book in seventh grade and now(being 19…) I read the book all the time! I can also relate to maddy meaning loving manga(creating my own), loving video games. in fact i am majoring in video game and design and having friends that like it and starting a club and having other people make fun of you for liking it! But as monster high says be you and stay true to yourself and don’t change because someone or people don’t like the same things as you… Hope you write a sequel to it

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