Dutton, Sep 2008, $16.99
Maddy Starr did not appreciate how great her life was until her parents separated. She was the collateral damage of the split as she no longer attends an exclusive school in New Hampshire but goes to public Hannah Dustin High School as she now lives with her old fashioned grandmother; hip is out and ancient is in. Her fist day freaks her out as she alienates the in boy Billy Henderson, who with his popular friends makes life miserable for Maddy starting with calling her Freak Girl and becomes their favorite person to harass. No one not even the losers will help Maddy battle the most popular “Haters” as she calls Billy and his clique.
For her birthday, her father sends Maddy Fields of Fantasy computer game. Her character is Elfin Princess Allora, who becomes a powerful mage mentored by Sir Leo the tank. Maddy begins to write a manga comic book based on Allora’s adventures in the FOF realm and starts a manga club at school.
This is a fun teen tale as Maddy goes from popular to freak when she changes schools. She turns to manga art and FOF as a defense mechanism to temporarily escape her mental pain in the real realm. The GAMER GIRL meets on line Sir Leo and in person Chad Murray, but feels fickle as she likes both of them. Young adult readers will appreciate Maddy’s woes as she struggles in real life while escaping albeit temporarily in virtual life.