When I read about this on the So Bad, It's Horrible
page, I picked it up at a library just to see if its really as bad as they say. Strangely enough, I really liked it. In fact, I can relate to Maddy on a very personal level, and a lot of the situations she gets into regarding the manga club actually did happen to me (in college, not high school). I will admit, it's not the best book in the world. It really isn't. Many characters are bland and underdeveloped (and a little too black and white), the plot is cliche, some twists at the end are way too sappy, convenient, unrealistic, and unbelievable, and Maddy's whininess could have been toned down a bit. The Haters are the most underdeveloped, coming off more as strawmen to move the plot than actual characters. My fiction writing class teacher says that's the worst thing you can use a character for. But I do like the messages it tries to send out: it's good to get away from reality once in a while, but you can't run away from it. You have to face it head on, or you'll never be happy. Only get away from reality for a short while so you can balance it out. That's a good message, and it doesn't paint gamers in a bad light either. I also give the book props for treating the anime it references with respect. But it's not enough to really save this book. It's not the best book in the world, I won't deny it, but I like it a lot more than I should. In fact, I love it. I guess I've found my guilty pleasure. Please don't throw projectiles at me!!