Title: Ready Player One (Ready Player One #1)
Author: Ernest Cline
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young AdultDystopia
Release Day: August 16th 2011

In the year 2045, 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.

3 stars! 

“You were born at a pretty crappy time in history. And it looks like things are only gonna get worse from here on out.”

It feels so weird reviewing a book that has an impressive number of reviews and ratings online. Ready Player One was exactly what I expected, but just half of the story.

The year is 2045 and the world as we know it is gone; instead, people live most their lives in virtual reality and specifically a game called Oasis created by James Halliday (and Ogden Morrow although most of the time I forgot he was involved). Our main character, Wade Watts (his full name is Wade Owen Watts, W.O.W, because of course it is) aka Parzival has had a rough life as most people in his lifetime and the only way to escape that crappy life is to plug into the Oasis and the limitless features and opportunities it can provide.

“Going outside is highly overrated.”

Wade dedicates his entire life to finding Halliday’s Easter egg and winning the hunt. He reads his journal entires, he watches his favorite movies and shows, etc. Wade’s online best friend, Aech and his online crush Artemis make up our book trio, conveniently I have to say but this book is nothing if not convenient when it comes to its characters. They all just happened to be teenagers too, because if one of them was a middle-aged dude this would be too realistic I guess.

“People who live in glass houses should shut the fuck up.”

Ready Player One is heavily influenced by the 80s, as in, there’s literally no page that doesn’t reference to something from the 80s, my 80s knowledge of pop culture is pretty limited and frankly, I don’t like the 80s. Still it was surprising that I was able to read this book and immerse myself in it long enough to laugh, to cringe and to shake my head most of the time. There were times that the book referenced absurd stuff like a tiny sticker on an archaic game or something that made me go, SERIOUSLY BOOK FOR REAL!

This is the kind of book you write to show off your knowledge about the 80s, and I applaud that. But half way in, I was beyond exhausted with the endless exposition. The book almost doesn’t even need the characters, they are there just to name drop and reference until there’s no more stuff left to mention. I honestly am curious to see how this translates on the big screen, I imagine if the endless pop culture exposition is visual, it might be easier for someone like me to enjoy it. Which brings me to the major issue I had with this book, the way the characters were developed and almost there just to serve the game. 

“In the OASIS, you can become whoever and whatever you want to be, without ever revealing your true identity, because your anonymity is guaranteed.”

The only thing I loved about this book and I fangirled like crazy is the Oasis. The game, depending on someone’s age becomes what you need it to be, a babysitter for baby Wade when his mom worked at night, school, endless archives of 80s culture, virtual museum and even workout buddy. I just loved the details of this, and I’m sure if I was a bit more into the 80s I would be loosing my mind over it.

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