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Literature / Gamer Girl (2008)

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This is about the novel. If you are looking for the trope, see Gamer Chick.

Gamer Girl is a young adult novel by Mari Mancusi. It tells the story of Maddy Starr, a Goth girl who has trouble fitting in at her new high school and finds solace in an MMORPG.

Not to be confused with with the identically titled 2016 web novel by Joe Berridge Beale.

Tropes used in this novel:

  • All of the Other Reindeer
  • Alpha Bitch: Shared between Chelsea and Lucy, although they actually play the Co-Dragons to Billy.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Grandmother: Poor Maddy...
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Emily. So, so much.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Mr. Wilks, when he isn't pointedly siding with The Haters.
  • Ask a Stupid Question......: Billy, when he tries to insult Maddy, gets hit with humiliating snarks. "I'm putting the posters... on... the waaaalll" "See, with tape. You know... sticky sticky."
  • Author Avatar: In-universe; Maddy's manga character Allora is her avatar, both figuratively and literally.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bland-Name Product: Sojo Beat in place of Shojo Beat. Later on, it's spelled as Shojo Beat for the rest of the book.
  • Book Dumb: Billy.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: When Bob decides his FoF raid is more important than going snowboarding with his family, Maddy decides enough is enough and tells him exactly how she feels about it, leaving him speechless and surprised at her maturity.
  • The Cheerleader: Lucy.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Chad is conflicted between his desire to do the right thing and his loyalty to The Haters.
  • Cool Loser: Maddy.
  • Cool Teacher: Miss Reilly, who's even described as being cool by the protagonist.
  • Drama Club: Both Chad and Matt are in it, which becomes a plot point.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: Maddy did this before making friends in manga club.
  • Flipping the Bird: There are a few instances of the one finger salute.
  • Advertisement:
  • Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: Maddy dresses in Goth style, but is fairly normal.
  • Gamer Chick: Maddy.
  • Genre Blind: When Sir Leo rejects Maddy, she never considers that his bizzarely out-of-character behavior might be the result of another person using his computer. This doesn't just mean his randomly rude and insulting attitude either. She fails to notice that he isn't speaking in the character of his alternate self, something the real Sir Leo constantly insisted on doing. In her defense though, she's a little busy being angry and heartbroken over it.
  • Gym Class Hell: The Haters stuff Maddy's gym uniform down the toilet.
  • Humiliation Conga: Maddy when Sir Leo rejects her, her manga is ruined, and The Haters post it all over the school.
  • Jerk Jock: Billy Henderson
  • It's a Small Net After All: Of the potentially billions of people she might have made friends with in Fields of Fantasy, Maddy's one and only in-game friend happens to be the schoolmate that she has a crush on.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
  • Love Interest: Maddy's online companion Sir Leo. He turns out to be a football player from her school, who was afraid of what his Jerk Jock friends would say if they found out he was a gamer.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Maddy thinks Sir Leo would only be interested in her Fields of Fantasy counterpart.
  • Must Make Amends: To prove to Maddy that he really has changed and is standing up to his friends, Chad reports them to the principal and rallies the manga club to fix and repair Maddy's comic in time for the competition.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The Haters stealing and defacing Maddy's manga leads to Chad reporting them to the principal, and to finally turn on them.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Maddy, in a good mood, asks Emily to show her her dance routine. Emily knocks over a glass display and covers the living room with glass, upsetting her grandmother and angering her mother.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There's a girl named Sarah Silver playing Guinevere in Hannah Dustin's high school production of Camelot. Exactly one scene later another girl named Sarah shows an interest in manga.
  • Otaku: In addition to being a gaming fan, Maddy is a huge fan of manga and anime. She even starts a school club and at the end of the novel, enters one of her own creations in a publishing contest.
  • Parental Neglect: Maddy is understandably infuriated at her father, a fellow gamer, for his inability to put the game down long enough to join the rest of the family on a ski trip.
  • Perky Goth: Black Raven, AKA Treena. Maddy is also a mild version.
  • Preppy Name: Chad.
  • Reality Ensues: When Chad finds out what his friends did, he tells the school principal and finally stands up for Maddy. It turns out that stealing someone's comic and defacing it counts as destruction of public property, which leads to the Haters getting suspended.
  • Straight Gay: Matt
  • Shout-Out: When Maddy starts her first day at her new school, she wonders where all the Edward Cullen worshipping Goth kids are. Also, when she tells Matt about Sir Leo, he says "Tell me what you know and I'll play Veronica Mars."
  • Teens Are Monsters: The Haters, with the exception of Chad. Their whole reason for treating Maddy like crap is because she's different.
  • Token Good Teammate: Chad in The Haters.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: When Maddy is being bullied, her English teacher advises her to do this, not because it's the right thing to do, but because it will keep the bullies from having power over her.
  • Two-Teacher School: The only named teachers are Miss Reilly and Mr. Wilks.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Chad Murray is repeatedly described as having beautiful blue eyes.
  • When She Smiles: According to Maddy's mother, Maddy is beautiful when she smiles.


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