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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Publisher: Random House
Published: August 16, 2011
Pages: 374
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 4.5 Stars

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

In short: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is nerd-topia incarnate, with lots of heart.
Listen, I don't know a whole lot about 80's pop culture (I'm a 90's kid), but I do know an insanely imaginative and cool concept when I see one and this is what Ready Player One delivers. Imagine being able to live your life in a virtual universe, travel from one RPG world to another, equip and level up your character, and solve puzzles in a competition to win billions of dollars. Sound like every gamers wet dream? It is. It was beyond fun to imagine myself in Ernest Cline's richly imagined virtual universe.

Second to being able to gallivant in this nerd-topia myself was following protagonist's Wade Watts' progression through the egg hunt. While Wade initially reads as just your typical teenage loser trope, his learning curve and genuine good heart make him the underdog to root for. Along the way he meets an intriguing cast of characters and takes on the Big Bad using his impressive wits. I'm kind of surprised there hasn't been a sequel to this book yet (which should totes be called "Ready Player Two"); was I the only one who felt that ending left endless possibilities?

While I do wish I had been able to understand more of the 80's pop culture references to experience that sweet, sweet nostalgia, I was still able to enjoy myself immensely while reading this exciting and creative adventure book. Ready Player One has an insanely fun premise, a compelling edge-of-your-seat storyline, and a protagonist with a good heart - definitely recommended to all.

Other Reviews:
Happy Indulgence
Just Another Story
Lunar Rainbows

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  1. Awww you're a 90's baby huh? :) Well I'm happy that you were able to enjoy this one despite not being an 80's baby like me hehe! I was too young for a lot of the movies mentionned here but like you, I still got a kick out of EVERYTHING here. Geekiness is geekiness for me no matter what LOL! The world here was just so imaginative and immersive...and I truly loved Wade - you've got my vote for Ready Player Two :D

    1. Well, I'm technically a late 80s baby. But I grew up in the 90s :) And yes, geekiness is geekiness!

  2. I'm a 90's kid, but I feel like I know enough 80's references. Regardless, I STILL really need to read this one. It sounds amazing. I actually just read another review of this one today. It's great to people review "older" titles if you will.

  3. Yay, you read this one!! I am so glad you liked it. I thought it would be your cup of tea. I am pretty curious about the movie. It should be good.

  4. This sounds AMAZING. I feel so bad -- looking at the cover, I was like, oh it's probably a meh-book. Bad reader! I'm glad you shared this review, because this is definitely something I want to read. Thank you!

    I'm hosting a giveaway!

  5. I like that this one has a unique premise but really don't know much 80s stuff so I worry that the references would go over my head. Also, I've never understood the fascination with gaming - my students keep talking about Minecraft for example, and I'm just like, "Uh huh" - so I wonder if I'll like this. What do you think?

    1. Sorry it's taken so long to reply to you. I think I would still recommend you give this one a go. Hopefully you could at least appreciate the creativity even if the references all go over your head as they did mine.

  6. This sounds so interesting! I've seen the title around for a long time but never knew what it was about. Glad you enjoyed it! I'm curious about the 80s references too; I was born in 86 so I'm really a 90s kid but I loved watching that I Love the 80s miniseries on VH1 haha :D

  7. Sounds like an interesting book :D I'm glad you liked it a bunch Aylee. <3 Gorgeous review :) I'm curious about this one now.