Thank you to Author Glynis Astie for inviting me to read and review her new book ‘Gamer Girl’. Glynis told me that another Author Tracie Bannister had recommended me as a good bookblogger, which I was very flattered by. So, thank you to both Tracie and Glynis. Now for the book….
Struck by tragedy at an early age, Meri Palmer escaped into the only world she understood. Within the virtual realm of online gaming, she lived a life filled with mythical creatures and thrilling adventures, where she was strong, powerful, clever, and beautiful—everything she believed she wasn’t in real life. As the years went by, her desire to cling to her cherished fantasyland only grew stronger.
But when Meri meets Morgan, equal parts gorgeous and goofball, she begins to wonder if the time has finally come to rejoin the so-called real world. Channeling the bravery of her fairy warrior alter ego, Meri slowly lets Morgan beyond the protective walls she’s built around her heart. Just as she finds a comfortable groove in an uncertain world, Morgan succumbs to insecurities of his own, leaving her lost and confused. Through her battle to regain her equilibrium, Meri will discover that even in reality, things aren’t always what they seem.
Will Meri win the battle raging in her heart and summon the will to rescue her knight in shining armor? Or will she give in to the fear and find her game over?
Tikinou Publishing (31 May 2016)
I liked the initial blurb when I was offered to read and review Gamer Girl. It actually reminded me a little of Sophie Kinsella’s ‘Finding Audrey’. I think that this idea of mine mixed up my thought processes of the book initially, as I was imaging Meri as a teenager. However, she is actually in her 20’s. So my ideas of what to expect were wrong.
Once I got into the book, I grew to love the main character Meri. She has had a tough time growing up, and now living with her Grams. (brilliant character, funny, caring, the kind of Grams I’d like to have myself!). The story follows Meri as she alternates between her virtual fairy world and her reality of work, life and the struggles that it always brings.
I am not a gamer, I don’t know anything about the gaming world and don’t have an interest in it. It didn’t matter in this book. The gaming part of the book is the way that Meri is showing her fears and insecurities. It was very cleverly done.
I liked how it’s not only the female character that has insecurities. When we meet Morgan, he seems pretty perfect for Meri. He gets her Yoda obsession. (Something I think is close to the Author’s heart too, I suspect?!) ;-) But as Morgan’s character develops, we learn he is not so perfect, and he has secrets and insecurities too.
He is cute at the beginning when he comes to Meri’s birthday party, Morgan gives her a Yoda pendant necklace, and says:
“This Yoda can stay with you through all kinds of weather. Not just the bad stuff.”
Meri as a character is so relate-able, she is insecure, but despite her insecurities she has a passion and as we read we see how Meri strives for her passions. She is stronger than she thinks. Meri is also very funny in a relate-able way too. Between Meri and her best friend Declan, there are certainly quite a few chuckle worthy moments in this book. Before an upcoming tennis match, Declan tells Meri:
“Besides the catastrophic danger you face in these situations – of injuring both your pride and your body – you do realise you’re going to sweat.”
Sometimes in a book its the small things that are not really hugely relevant in the story line, but these small things make the story so much more real and pull the reader in to the involvement of the characters lives. For the first half of the book, we don’t know what ‘Meri’ is short for. She doesn’t tell Morgan, as she thinks its a weird name. I didn’t guess the name, but it kept me wondering. That’s what I mean by the smallest parts of a story line. Her name is very fitting by the way. You will have to read to find out what it is!
I love how Authors can bring to live imaginary characters that you can’t help but fall in love with, and are so memorable and distinct that they stay with you, almost as friends you are waiting for your next catch up with. I really enjoyed Astie’s smooth writing style.She developed amazing characters in Meri, Declan, Grams and a couple of other brilliant sideline characters. I recommend this book, and I look forward to more from Glynis Astie.
Overall, this is an enjoyable book, with love, friendship, laughter and a good old bit of Gram’s ‘phelgm speak!’. This is funny not disgusting! You will need to read it to find out what I mean by this!
Glynis never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how, in only six short months, she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien. The end result became her first novel, French Twist. As this was just the beginning of their epic love story, Glynis continued to chronicle their adventures in the sequel, French Toast, and the final installment in the series, French Fry. After she finished milking her life story for all it was worth, she decided to write straight-up fiction with Gamer Girl, which infuses her beloved chick lit with a hint of fantasy. When Glynis is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.