The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was such a great book for the slightly geeky boy who is into RPGs (and possibly a fan of "The Big Bang Theory"). Perry's experience playing Creatures & Caverns by himself makes him a sadder character than the usual hero, but his actions in the World of the Other Normals will make them cheer.
It's his incredible geekiness and lack of social skills that makes him endearing. The scene at the dance? Priceless, and one that will resonate with just the boys who should read this book. Ditto his rant about being a Late Bloomer (and the Discovery of the Hair). He's so out of place in our world that you know that something will have to change. The changes he undergoes are obviously not normal (how many readers will end up in another version of the universe?) so aren't really inspirational except that they may give those gamers hope for the future.
My biggest complaint was that the C&C game wasn't well-explained, and the Other Normals' world didn't seem to match the game. Had that happened, it would have tipped the book into a 5-star.
ARC provided by publisher.