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Last Gamer Standing

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Twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players alike. But despite Reyna's rising popularity and skills, no one know who she is. Gaming is still a boy's club and to protect herself against trolls, she games as the mysterious TheRuiNar. When Reyna qualifies for the Dayhold Ju Twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players alike. But despite Reyna's rising popularity and skills, no one know who she is. Gaming is still a boy's club and to protect herself against trolls, she games as the mysterious TheRuiNar. When Reyna qualifies for the Dayhold Junior Tournament sponsored by her favorite team, she knows she's got what it takes to win the championship title and the $10,000 prize. But when she's blackmailed and threatened to be doxed, having her personal identity revealed, by an anonymous troll, Reyna will have to deal with a toxic gaming community, family complications, and the increasing pressure to win as the tournament gets underway.


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Twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players alike. But despite Reyna's rising popularity and skills, no one know who she is. Gaming is still a boy's club and to protect herself against trolls, she games as the mysterious TheRuiNar. When Reyna qualifies for the Dayhold Ju Twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players alike. But despite Reyna's rising popularity and skills, no one know who she is. Gaming is still a boy's club and to protect herself against trolls, she games as the mysterious TheRuiNar. When Reyna qualifies for the Dayhold Junior Tournament sponsored by her favorite team, she knows she's got what it takes to win the championship title and the $10,000 prize. But when she's blackmailed and threatened to be doxed, having her personal identity revealed, by an anonymous troll, Reyna will have to deal with a toxic gaming community, family complications, and the increasing pressure to win as the tournament gets underway.

30 review for Last Gamer Standing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katie Zhao

    This book is basically sports anime meets sci-fi and gaming culture. you're welcome This book is basically sports anime meets sci-fi and gaming culture. you're welcome

  2. 5 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    Read my full book review on my book blog, The Quiet Pond. If you are a gamer and have always craved a good book about gaming, then you definitely want to pick up Last Gamer Standing! I really enjoyed this! - Set in 2067, follows Reyna, a Chinese-American girl who plays the biggest battle royal video game, Dayhold - but uses a male avatar. When Reyna participates in a tournament and starts getting through the rounds, she receives a threat: quit the tournament or her identity will be revealed to eve Read my full book review on my book blog, The Quiet Pond. If you are a gamer and have always craved a good book about gaming, then you definitely want to pick up Last Gamer Standing! I really enjoyed this! - Set in 2067, follows Reyna, a Chinese-American girl who plays the biggest battle royal video game, Dayhold - but uses a male avatar. When Reyna participates in a tournament and starts getting through the rounds, she receives a threat: quit the tournament or her identity will be revealed to everyone. - I love that this game just gets gamers. One of my frustrations with the gaming books that I've read is that video games often provide a context, but the games don't feel like games with mechanics or limitations. Last Gamer Standing doesn't make this mistake. - I loved Reyna and really enjoyed her character arc - and I loved her family dynamic, particularly when her father is reluctant to support her gaming ambitions and wants her to pursue a more lucrative and 'stable' career instead (whilst her ailing mum is supportive). - Importantly, this book honestly explores misogyny in the gaming community and how it is rife with sexism, making gaming communities and careers challenging and sometimes harmful for women - but the story also offers an empowering message too. Content warning: threat of doxxing, misogyny, sexism I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tammie

    4.5 stars This was so fast paced and so much fun, Katie's middle grades continue to be some of my favourites! I love Reyna as a character (and her friends are adorable too), and I really think this is going to be a book that young girls are really going to relate to a lot. Reyna is spunky, resilient, and unapologetically Chinese American, and I would've loved to have seen a character like her when I was younger. This book tackles misogyny and racism in the gaming industry head on - there's no sug 4.5 stars This was so fast paced and so much fun, Katie's middle grades continue to be some of my favourites! I love Reyna as a character (and her friends are adorable too), and I really think this is going to be a book that young girls are really going to relate to a lot. Reyna is spunky, resilient, and unapologetically Chinese American, and I would've loved to have seen a character like her when I was younger. This book tackles misogyny and racism in the gaming industry head on - there's no sugarcoating the fact that this is rampant in the gaming community, but the message is still delivered in a way that is still hopeful, and I think is very suitable for the target age demographic. I personally had a lot of fun reading this and found it very cathartic to read at a time in my life where I'm really fed up and burnt out from working in a very white male dominated industry, so this was just the perfect book for me at the moment. The sports anime vibes in this book are also top notch, so if you're a fan of those, I think you would really enjoy this!

  4. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    Set in a near-future society in which a Chinese American girl competes in a VR battle royale game while taking on the sexism and misogyny in the online gaming world. "This book is basically sports anime meets sci-fi & gaming culture." hell yeah 👀 Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram Set in a near-future society in which a Chinese American girl competes in a VR battle royale game while taking on the sexism and misogyny in the online gaming world. "This book is basically sports anime meets sci-fi & gaming culture." hell yeah 👀 Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    March 13, 2021: "the story of Reyna Cheng competing in a VR battle royale tournament where she’ll have to fend off the anonymous troll threatening to dox her" p e r f e c t, especially with that cover uff. March 13, 2021: "the story of Reyna Cheng competing in a VR battle royale tournament where she’ll have to fend off the anonymous troll threatening to dox her" p e r f e c t, especially with that cover uff.

  6. 5 out of 5

    prutha

    this lowkey deserves so much more hype. Last Gamer Standing follows Reyna Cheng, a twelve-year-old gamer who goes by the alias TheRuiNar to protect herself from sexist comments, as gaming is majorly dominated by boys. Many female gamers who compete in the VR battle royale are a target of constant trolling so Rayna decides she's better off concealing her identity. When she qualifies for the Dayhold Junior Tournament and gets a chance to win $10,000 and the championship title, she's confident that this lowkey deserves so much more hype. Last Gamer Standing follows Reyna Cheng, a twelve-year-old gamer who goes by the alias TheRuiNar to protect herself from sexist comments, as gaming is majorly dominated by boys. Many female gamers who compete in the VR battle royale are a target of constant trolling so Rayna decides she's better off concealing her identity. When she qualifies for the Dayhold Junior Tournament and gets a chance to win $10,000 and the championship title, she's confident that she has the skills to do and the cash prize would be more than helpful for her family who struggle to make ends meet while paying for her mother's medical bills. But when an anonymous person threatens to reveal her identity and dox her, she has to deal with all the pressure, whilst trying to win the tournament. -Rayna was a wonderful MC to follow. She had a brilliant voice and was such an inspiring person. -I'm personally not into gaming but I still enjoyed Last Gamer Standing because Katie Zhao's writing was perfect to understand what was going on. -While on the point of Zhao's writing, I would like to say that she has one of the most amazing writing styles I've ever seen. Though this is only the second book I've read from her, the other being HOW WE FALL APART, I can easily see her being on my favourite authors list. -I loved the portrayal of misogyny in the gaming sphere in this book as it is a pretty big issue. -Overall, I highly recommend this to people who love gaming and are craving a powerful middle grade novel. Representation: Chinese-American MC, Asian-coded SCs, Chinese SCs Content Warnings: Sexism, misogyny, threat of doxing, loved one with cancer. I received an arc from the publisher via edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This did not impact my review or thoughts in any way

  7. 4 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    I expected more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lay

    This book is everything I wanted it to be. Funny and packed with action, a gaming world I'm desperate to explore (even though I've never played a battle royale game) and characters I fell in love with. Watching Reyna grow and go up against the challenges of being a young Chinese girl in a white male dominated space was inspiring and infuriating and I rooted for her so hard. While Last Gamer Standing is set in the future, it still felt grounded and current in a way I loved. It has all the excitem This book is everything I wanted it to be. Funny and packed with action, a gaming world I'm desperate to explore (even though I've never played a battle royale game) and characters I fell in love with. Watching Reyna grow and go up against the challenges of being a young Chinese girl in a white male dominated space was inspiring and infuriating and I rooted for her so hard. While Last Gamer Standing is set in the future, it still felt grounded and current in a way I loved. It has all the excitement and adventure you’d expect from a story about gaming, without feeling purely fantastical. For me, this makes the story even stronger because it manages to balance the sci-fi elements with very real issues in the gaming community that Reyna faces. She isn’t just battling in-game enemies and demons, but fellow players who want to harm her in the real world, too. In general, Katie is wonderful at layering different plot threads and conflicts that intertwine and are resolved in satisfying ways! I also deeply appreciated the complex family dynamics and how conflicts were resolved in this story! If you want a book that had plenty of action, humour and substance, read Last Gamer Standing. you can read my full review here.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

    Ok HOLD UP... where did this book come from and how come I haven't heard more about it? Why didn't I hear about it sooner than its RELEASE WEEK? EXCUSE ME? Please, go buy this book. Make is a success. Put it in the hands of everyone you can. This is such a powerful, poignant story about a twelve year old Chinese American girl making a place for herself in a world dominated by males. She's a gamer girl, but she's actually here to win and show the boys that gender has nothing to do with skill. Set Ok HOLD UP... where did this book come from and how come I haven't heard more about it? Why didn't I hear about it sooner than its RELEASE WEEK? EXCUSE ME? Please, go buy this book. Make is a success. Put it in the hands of everyone you can. This is such a powerful, poignant story about a twelve year old Chinese American girl making a place for herself in a world dominated by males. She's a gamer girl, but she's actually here to win and show the boys that gender has nothing to do with skill. Set in a VR universe, this story delivered hit after hit and didn't slow down until everything was the way it should be. I can't believe I hadn't heard of Katie Zhao before this. I must read more from her ASAP.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Check out the Edelweiss BookFest panel with Katie Zhao, Lori M. Lee, and Victoria Schwab on June 9, 2021! https://www.abovethetreeline.com/book... E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus It's 2067, and Reyna Chang is definitely super excited to be at the summer Dayhold Academy and to be taking part in the junior championship tournament. She's had to keep her online identity separate from her in person one, since there is a heavy bias against both female and Asian gamers. Her online presence is The RuiNar, Check out the Edelweiss BookFest panel with Katie Zhao, Lori M. Lee, and Victoria Schwab on June 9, 2021! https://www.abovethetreeline.com/book... E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus It's 2067, and Reyna Chang is definitely super excited to be at the summer Dayhold Academy and to be taking part in the junior championship tournament. She's had to keep her online identity separate from her in person one, since there is a heavy bias against both female and Asian gamers. Her online presence is The RuiNar, who presents as a teenage boy, a play on the Chinese version of her name, Rui Nar. Her parents are struggling, especially now that her mother is battling cancer, and are not thrilled to have their daughter be so interested in gaming. They think that she should spend her time studying useful things, like math and science, and don't fully support her dreams of being a professional gamer like LuckyJade847, her idol. The summer academy has many useful classes, but Reyna struggles with the social aspects of the camp, since she has to hide her identity. Her best friend from school, Henry, is at the camp, and she does connect with Nell Kwon (a boy), over their interest in The RuiNar. Reyna makes it through the first round by forging an alliance with Proslayer, a player whom she has admired, but he does not make it through. In the second round, she tries another alliance with RHCP, but that doesn't go as well. In the meantime, her mother's condition worsens, and her father wants her to come back home. Not only that, but she gets an anonymous e mail from another player who threatens to dox her. (From Dictionary.com: To publish the private personal information of (another person) or reveal the identity of (an online poster) without the consent of that individual.) This strengthens her resolve to do well at the tournament, especially since she wants to win the $10,000 prize in order to help her family. During the third round, she is made the captain of a team that includes F3lx, who is widely suspected of habitual cheating, but who is so clever he is never caught. Will Reyna be able to hold her own in the tournament, stay connected with her family, remain safe from those who wish her ill, and pursue a career in E Sports? Strengths: While the descriptions of in-game play (and the fantastic cover!) are what will sell this to most readers, there is plenty of relevant social content for gatekeepers. This is set just far enough in the future that readers in 2067 might still have access to this book! Not a lot has changed, especially in the treatment of women and people of color in the gamer world. I loved that Reyna addresses this topic, and while it informs many of her choices, it never stops her from working towards her dream. It is also helpful that she does have a few role models (whom she eventually gets to meet), and has friends who are supportive of her once they find out her true identity. Also important is that when she has an opportunity to report mistreatment, it is taken very seriously. She is even given a response when she asks specifically what the consequences will be. When there are problems in middle grade novels, I think it is helpful to young readers to see good practices modeled in books, since they may not see them in real life. Since this is a Scholastic title, make sure you order an extra box if you are having a book fair! Weaknesses: I could have used more information about Reyna's life and how she worked her gaming into her ordinary activities before she came to the summer camp. Also, my daughter's name is Nell and I've never heard the name used for a boy before, so I kept expecting another subplot to develop from this. What I really think: If this were available in hard cover, I would probably buy five copies. In prebind, I will probably get two or three. Video gaming is a HUGE interest among middle school readers, and until a few years ago, it was difficult to find books that involve them. Now, there's Anderson's fantastic Insert Coin to Continue, Mbalia's Last Gate of the Emperor, Mancusi's Dragon Ops, and many more titles.

  11. 4 out of 5

    salsa

    Thank you Edelweiss+ and Scholastic (Trade Publishing) for providing me the e-ARC copy of this book for an exchange of an honest review. Because there was so few female gamers to begin with, I wanted to represent us well. I wanted to stand up for the few girls at my school, too, who were often teased or bullied by the boy students. It's 2067 and the gaming world had developed so much. Dayhold was a very popular VR game. They even held Dayhold Summer Camp where kids could enter and learn more Thank you Edelweiss+ and Scholastic (Trade Publishing) for providing me the e-ARC copy of this book for an exchange of an honest review. Because there was so few female gamers to begin with, I wanted to represent us well. I wanted to stand up for the few girls at my school, too, who were often teased or bullied by the boy students. It's 2067 and the gaming world had developed so much. Dayhold was a very popular VR game. They even held Dayhold Summer Camp where kids could enter and learn more about Dayhold and gaming, and the kids seemed so excited! Reyna Cheng, a twelve-year-old Chinese-American, was not different. Except, that she had to hide her real-identity and use a male avatar. In Dayhold world, TheRuinar was known as a rising-star but no one knew that it's a girl who's behind the avatar. Being in such a sexism and toxic environment was quite an obstacle for Reyna. She had to deal with those downgrading comments from guy gamers, saying that girl gamers could not do better than them. But, then, she entered Dayhold Junior Tournament and that led to a lot of things she didn't expect would happen. Review: I enjoyed this book! I really love the way Katie Zhao crafted and explored the VR world, I was so intrigued. The action happening within the game and the battle royale was also so exciting. For real, I enjoyed most of the tournament rounds so much. I love Katie Zhao's writing style as it was really fun to read (I can see me reading her other works!). And this book being a middle-grade and using light and familiar words were very helpful for me as sometimes I tend to get confused over technological and sci-fi terms (this is a little bit personal, but if you find same difficulties as me, then this book is a good choice!). And now onto, our main character, Reyna Cheng. I love being able to see through her mind as Reyna was so passionate with her dream and it was so nice to see her showing her determined love in game despite being a minority. She's an Asian girl in gaming world where people see white guy gamers are >>>>> others. However, she's still flawed, she was still a kid and she did mistakes but she learned and realized. I love to see her character development and becoming a courageous girl. This book has a strong message of being brave and determined for your dream even if it seems very impossible to happen. As stated above, despite of being a middle grade, this book also has important issues such as misogynist and racism. Those issues were addressed in such an excellent way that it's easy to understand but also delivered and showed how they are so crucial. Oh, and I also love the family relationship growth and friendship which happened in this book. Family and friendship played important role for Reyna and it's lovely to see the relationship dynamic. In conclusion, if you're looking for: 🎮 Chinese-American girl gamer as the main character! 🎮 sport anime meets gaming culture 🎮 intriguing gaming world and exciting game tournament! 🎮 sci-fi MG book that tackles important issues such as sexism and racism then go put this on your TBR and read! cw: misogynist and sexism, racism, doxing threat and blackmail, loved one got cancer

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dragons*4 Ever

    💙💜🌌🎮LAST GAMER STANDING💙💜🌌🎮 In twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng's world, gaming is everything. Professional esports teams are the mainstream celebrities. Kids begin training from a young age, aspiring for the big leagues. Reyna is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players. But despite Reyna's rising popularity and skills, no one knows who she is. Gaming is still a boys' club and to protect herself against trolls and their har 💙💜🌌🎮LAST GAMER STANDING💙💜🌌🎮 In twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng's world, gaming is everything. Professional esports teams are the mainstream celebrities. Kids begin training from a young age, aspiring for the big leagues. Reyna is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players. But despite Reyna's rising popularity and skills, no one knows who she is. Gaming is still a boys' club and to protect herself against trolls and their harassment, she games as the mysterious TheRuiNar. When Reyna qualifies for the Dayhold Junior Tournament, she knows she's got what it takes to win the championship title and the $10,000 prize. It's a chance to make a step forward towards her professional esports dreams and to help her family with the costs of her mother's hospital bills. But when she's blackmailed and threatened with doxxing by an anonymous troll, Reyna has to confront the toxic gaming community head. ( Short version of Synopsis ) Reyna is a inspiring, hard working, and amazing young girl, and character. People are both sexist and Racist to her for being a female Chinese gamer, and to keep her self safe from all the bullying she makes a account called TheRuiNar as a boy avatar. Juggling how to keep her identity hidden, Reyna does not want but needs to win the Dayhold competition in hopes to win enough money to help her family pay her mother's medical bills. Reyna's mother has breast cancer, and her father is pleading her to come home, telling her to give up on her dreams of being a gamer. But Reyna is determined, this is not just a hobby it is a dream a passion. The game that they play, is so cool, though I don't play video games ( reading most of the time ), this sounded so fun and like a actual game in real life. I love how we see the Ruyi Jingu Bang, which is a weapon in Chinese mythology also in The Dragon Warrior and The Fallen Hero ( other amazing books by Katie Zhao ). Reyna is trying to survive under the pressure, when a mysterious player threatens to reveal her identity, which will makes thing only harder for Reyna. A player in the game, has also been cheating and playing nasty. Reyna must stay noble and true to herself. I loved the diversity, and bravery, and how amazing this book is. Reyna is a brave protagonist and I loved this book, it was quite interesting! All of Katie Zhao's books have all been amazing and I can't wait to see what she has in store next! I loved how it dealt with racism, sexism, and a Reyna's relationship with her father. ✅CHARACTERS ✅PLOT ✅PLOT-TWISTS 💙💜🌌🎮CHARACTERS💙💜🌌🎮 ✅REYNA 💙💜🌌🎮CONCLUSION💙💜🌌🎮 A great book 🤗

  13. 4 out of 5

    daisywritess

    TW: Bullying, Racism, and Misogyny This book was a wild ride from start to finish. I applaud Katie Zhao for not dragging this book for about 100 more pages even though she totally could've because the story was awesome. The highlight of this novel is definitely the way the author was able to effortlessly handle the topics of racism and sexism and all the misogyny Reyna faces as a Chinese-American girl gamer. But what's so great about this book is that it resonated with me and I'm sure will resona TW: Bullying, Racism, and Misogyny This book was a wild ride from start to finish. I applaud Katie Zhao for not dragging this book for about 100 more pages even though she totally could've because the story was awesome. The highlight of this novel is definitely the way the author was able to effortlessly handle the topics of racism and sexism and all the misogyny Reyna faces as a Chinese-American girl gamer. But what's so great about this book is that it resonated with me and I'm sure will resonate with every Chinese American or Asian Diaspora person within the vicinity. While this book has a younger demographic I greatly appreciate how it never felt like she was talking down to the reader, which unfortunately a lot of adults seem to do these days. The world is tough on people like me and Reyna Cheng but the best way we can help is by preparing them to take the world by storm and face these problems head on. The writing style and the way the author introduces the game is very impressive as well. Within a few chapters I felt like I had a good grip of the mechanics of Dayhold, as if it was a game you could actually play in the real world! I was also pleasantly surprised by how the game itself took inspiration from Asian Mythology. Kudos to Katie Zhao for having the guts to develop an entire game based off of Asian Mythology within a couple hundred pages. The characters are also such a joy to read about. The kids ACTUALLY act like kids. Naive but not stupid. I enjoyed all the K-Pop references here and there as well as how well the author develops our lead heroine, Reyna. She felt very real and I found myself laughing at her jokes and nodding along to everything she says about misogyny and racism towards Chinese-American girls in general. So often are we underestimated by the people around us, but me and Reyna both know that one day the world will know our names. Overall the writing is very simplistic and the plot wasn't anything too complicated but I loved the upbeat and hopeful undertones of the novel. I definitely needed this book especially in these confusing times while I'm being swarmed by homework and school. The ending was very nice and neat and although it's not completely realistic I appreciate how the author still managed to keep the story and Reyna very down-to-earth. I came here for the anime sports vibes and gaming but I stayed for the eloquent conversations about racism, misogyny, and all the ugly stuff you deal with as a Chinese American.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tyerone Johnson

    “Last Gamer Standing,” by Katie Zhao is a middle grade RPG Lit novel about Reyna Cheng, a 12-year-old Chinese American girl who plays Dayhold, a virtual reality battle royale game set in a world inspired by various Asian cultures and folklore. Reyna’s mother is sick with breast cancer, so she works her butt off to get a scholarship to Dayhold’s summer camp, so she can win their junior tournament and the $10,000 grand prize to help with her mother’s medical bills. However, due to the misogynistic “Last Gamer Standing,” by Katie Zhao is a middle grade RPG Lit novel about Reyna Cheng, a 12-year-old Chinese American girl who plays Dayhold, a virtual reality battle royale game set in a world inspired by various Asian cultures and folklore. Reyna’s mother is sick with breast cancer, so she works her butt off to get a scholarship to Dayhold’s summer camp, so she can win their junior tournament and the $10,000 grand prize to help with her mother’s medical bills. However, due to the misogynistic and racist harassment she’s received in the past, Reyna elects to play under an alternate account, TheRuiNar, using a male avatar. Things go well for her until another player reveals they know TheRuiNar is Reyna and threatens to dox her if she doesn’t drop out of the tournament. Overall, I loved this book; it was funny, action-packed, and a quick read. Reyna was adorkable and I felt for her, having to hide who she was for fear of reprisals from white gamer guys. I also liked her friends, especially Nell who was TheRuiNar’s biggest fan and hype man. I don’t usually read middle grade novels, but I loved this book form start to finish. Though, I did think the identity of Reyna’s black mailer was too obvious a choice. I also felt things got repeated a lot. That said, I give “Last Gamer Standing” 5 out of 5 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adair Lee

    A middle grade book set in a not-so-distant future. Gamers from all over the world compete in Dayhold, a virtual battle royale, to become the best of the best and potentially become a pro gamer. Reyna is one of these players, but as a twelve-year-old girl in a world of toxic, masculine boys she chooses to hide her identity behind a male avatar, TheRuiNar. After qualifying for the Junior Dayhold Tournament—with it's $10,000 grand prize—she's met with friction from both an unidentified hacker and A middle grade book set in a not-so-distant future. Gamers from all over the world compete in Dayhold, a virtual battle royale, to become the best of the best and potentially become a pro gamer. Reyna is one of these players, but as a twelve-year-old girl in a world of toxic, masculine boys she chooses to hide her identity behind a male avatar, TheRuiNar. After qualifying for the Junior Dayhold Tournament—with it's $10,000 grand prize—she's met with friction from both an unidentified hacker and her father, who want her to drop out of the tournament. In a world that doesn't accept that girls can be pro gamers, Reyna struggles to keep her identity a secret and ultimately win the prize money for her family. This is a perfect book for middle grade gamer girls, although I enjoyed it myself as an adult. It wasn't over complicated, but I did miss a depth to the characters that would have made them more memorable, whether they were good or bad. The conversations between characters was kind of uninspired and just felt added to pass the story along to the next point, but I also kept reminding myself that this wasn't a book intended for adults necessarily. I think I just craved more from this book than I actually received. I handed it off to my daughter who I think will get more enjoyment from it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marcella

    I enjoyed this book a lot! I can see myself in those pages and Reyna's journey is nothing short of amazing and empowering. I love Reyna, Nell, Henry, and all the characters. I also adore the world building and sci-fi gaming background. This book might appear as cliche gaming fiction at first BUT as you read, you will find deeper topic about racism, misogynistic, and others. And what I adore most from this book is we can see from Reyna's story how each of us finding our own way to survive, to fight I enjoyed this book a lot! I can see myself in those pages and Reyna's journey is nothing short of amazing and empowering. I love Reyna, Nell, Henry, and all the characters. I also adore the world building and sci-fi gaming background. This book might appear as cliche gaming fiction at first BUT as you read, you will find deeper topic about racism, misogynistic, and others. And what I adore most from this book is we can see from Reyna's story how each of us finding our own way to survive, to fight with everything we have for our loved ones. To choose a way that seems impossible and not give up on things we loved to do. *Thank you Scholastic for review copy! The review is 100% honest*

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    Thank you Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review! I ABSOLUTELY loved this book. Pros: Last Gamer Standing grips you from the beginning and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end of it. The writing style was refreshing and made it easy to go through the book. The characters were really interesting to read about and were also quite relatable. Reyna was such an incredible mc and I absolutely love her. I love how this book also Thank you Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review! I ABSOLUTELY loved this book. Pros: Last Gamer Standing grips you from the beginning and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end of it. The writing style was refreshing and made it easy to go through the book. The characters were really interesting to read about and were also quite relatable. Reyna was such an incredible mc and I absolutely love her. I love how this book also tackled important subjects such as misogyny and racism really well. This book deserves more hype. Cons: Nothing :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chloe 文琪

    Oh this was great and wonderful, but it was beating me over the head with the themes. Why am I older than everyone in this book what the heck this is strange— Reyna Cheng’s life—dang it—reflects mine a lot (minus the splendid ending and gaming). There’s something about seeing your culture and way of life put into words, y’know? Makes it feel real. I love how this opens up a new world to the younger peeps about the racial and gender inequality, but omg I know the constant beating about it is intend Oh this was great and wonderful, but it was beating me over the head with the themes. Why am I older than everyone in this book what the heck this is strange— Reyna Cheng’s life—dang it—reflects mine a lot (minus the splendid ending and gaming). There’s something about seeing your culture and way of life put into words, y’know? Makes it feel real. I love how this opens up a new world to the younger peeps about the racial and gender inequality, but omg I know the constant beating about it is intended for kids but my bruises are hurting. Isn’t for me, but at the same time it is. Just Katie Zhao things to write something exhilarating.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan H. LATER

    Way too much focus on racism and gender equality for the age group that would be reading this material. The truth is that someone reading this would be bored. There is no reason to bring such a serious topic to a young audience that simply wants to have fun reading. Go write strong literature if that's how serious you want to get with writing. I wouldn't recommend it because it's too predictable as well. The father bit, the enemy, the whole who will win at the end. I mean it's in the tittle. I wa Way too much focus on racism and gender equality for the age group that would be reading this material. The truth is that someone reading this would be bored. There is no reason to bring such a serious topic to a young audience that simply wants to have fun reading. Go write strong literature if that's how serious you want to get with writing. I wouldn't recommend it because it's too predictable as well. The father bit, the enemy, the whole who will win at the end. I mean it's in the tittle. I was expected a light, fun read. Did not get that Can't recommend.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Aiden Feltkamp

    I would have loved this book as a kid. The world is believable and the plot is solid. I found the inner monologue a little repetitive. I know that issues of sexism and racism are constant and it showed that well. I just wish there had been more variety in the main character’s prose. The other characters were fun, but the major supporting characters were all male. I wish there had been more female characters up front and center in addition to the main character. I liked the action/gaming sequence I would have loved this book as a kid. The world is believable and the plot is solid. I found the inner monologue a little repetitive. I know that issues of sexism and racism are constant and it showed that well. I just wish there had been more variety in the main character’s prose. The other characters were fun, but the major supporting characters were all male. I wish there had been more female characters up front and center in addition to the main character. I liked the action/gaming sequences a lot and wanted more of them.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    This book was okay. I usually land in the sweet spot of middle grade books that are compelling to me as a 19-year-old. This was, however, felt a bit juvenile. (Which is OKAY because it was written for children!) I really liked the commentary on how girls, especially girls of color, are treated in gaming spaces. My enjoyment was probably 3/5 but the book itself is a solid 4.5/5 stars for what it is.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sean Kottke

    Coming soon to a book shop near you: an entertaining e-sports science fiction tale taking on systemic misogyny and racism in gamer culture (itself a microcosm and magnification of the larger culture), pitched to middle grades readers. Emphasis on "entertaining." I'm intrigued by the hints the book drops about the world surrounding the core story. Coming soon to a book shop near you: an entertaining e-sports science fiction tale taking on systemic misogyny and racism in gamer culture (itself a microcosm and magnification of the larger culture), pitched to middle grades readers. Emphasis on "entertaining." I'm intrigued by the hints the book drops about the world surrounding the core story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennybeast

    Mile a minute plotline and deeply immersive gamer fiction. Loved the themes -- fighting back against misogyny and racism, and the power in pursuing dreams. Reyna is a fantastic character. Really enjoyed it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Fast-paced and fun but not a lot of depth to the characters, and a little heavy handed with the morality. If you're in the target audience (middle grade, Asian, gamer girl), however, this would be a fantastic read. Fast-paced and fun but not a lot of depth to the characters, and a little heavy handed with the morality. If you're in the target audience (middle grade, Asian, gamer girl), however, this would be a fantastic read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    A great story about a girl gamer in a male dominated toxic gaming world. Reyna’s determination and courage throughout are what make the story a wonderful read, and I am happy it is in our library now for my own girls.

  26. 5 out of 5

    i'm a reader

    I got very excited when I reached the 60% of the book...excited to finish the book that I just found myself skimming through lol. It get so repetitive and very (VERY) predictable. It has basic plot and one-word to wrap up this review: FLAT.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    3.5 stars rounded up. This was a fun read. It'll be high interest for my 5th grade gamers. However, I felt like it overemphasized the "girl gamers are unwelcome" idea. (I've felt that way with other books with female gamers as well.) 3.5 stars rounded up. This was a fun read. It'll be high interest for my 5th grade gamers. However, I felt like it overemphasized the "girl gamers are unwelcome" idea. (I've felt that way with other books with female gamers as well.)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dani Terk

    Strong female MC, e-sports, a gaming academy, smashing the patriarchy/racism at every turn, and one of the most gorgeous book covers ever—what's not to love! Strong female MC, e-sports, a gaming academy, smashing the patriarchy/racism at every turn, and one of the most gorgeous book covers ever—what's not to love!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Karrar

    This book was like the little sister to Warcross and I loved it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Janina (readsabit)

    This was so much fun!!!

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