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Monday, February 22, 2016

My Thoughts: Ready Player One By Ernest Cline

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.

I have been dying to read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline for ages now! Some of my go-to reader peeps highly recommend this book and I have not really heard anything bad about it. So, in order to convince myself to read it, I added it to my List of Twelve and read it back in January- Finally! Here's the kicker- I am probably in the minority when I tell you, I didn't love this book.  That's not to say I didn't like it, I just wasn't blown away by it.

Ready Player One takes place in the future- a future where the world's resources are limited and poverty is everywhere. People have resorted to interacting with one another through the OASIS, a sort of virtual reality- it's actually pretty cool. When the founder of this system dies, he plants an Easter Egg in the game and who ever finds it wins his fortune (which is a crazy amount). Naturally, everyone and anyone has been trying to find this egg, including our protagonist, Wade.

Ready Player One is a fun story. Really- the idea of an quest and an Easter egg was so intriguing. I really enjoyed the challenges and would get totally stressed out when Wade was in the middle of one, or when he was trying to decipher a clue. I was really rooting for him. I loved how obsessed participants of the Oasis were in finding this egg and winning this fortune, that they became scholars of 80's pop culture. It was pretty intense- albeit a little unrealistic- but it was fun none the less.

I also really like the friendships Wade was able to make with some of  the other folks who were also hunting. Everyone was very apprehensive of one another and extremely distrustful, so when actual friendships were developed- it was pretty great. There were also some pretty nasty villains who do some pretty terrible things.

But, after all that, why wasn't this book as magical for me as it was for others. Here's the thing- Ready Player One pays homage to the 80's. And yes, I appreciated all the 80's references, but in all honesty, more than half of them were lost on me. I am a child of the 90's and give me anything from that era and we're golden, but the 80's that's a little tougher for me. Therefore, in that sense, I just could not connect with the story. All the references to movies and television shows were not that exciting to me. I wanted to be excited though, cause it's a pretty awesome idea! I want a book like this for my decade.

There were also times that I felt like the story was taking to long to go anywhere- Wade does something about three quarters in that I am not 100% certain was totally necessary for the overall movement of the plot. I found there was a lot of stagnant space, where I was on edge and waiting for something to happen or be revealed and nothing did or it was really slow coming. Now, this maybe just a style of story telling I am not used to, and therefore don't fully appreciate.

Overall, Ready Player One is such and unique and entertaining read that I would recommend this to everyone. I loved the gaming world (and no, you don't need to be a gamer to enjoy this book), I loved the adventure and I loved the quests. I am indeed curious about Cline's other work, Armada. I am pretty sure I will read it some day- soon.

Happy Reading Everyone!

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  1. I am still on the fence with this book. The gaming part sounds fun and the 80's I may get as my brothers were 10-12 years older than me, so I may just enjoy this one.

    I did a list of 12 also and said at least one a month, I'm doing good so far.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one but I'm sorry you weren't more blow away by it! I'm an 80's kid but I was too young to know about most of the movies, games and pop-culture references but I still was totally taken in by everything! I do think I know what you mean about the sort of detour Wade takes 3/4 of the way in. I'll admit, there was a bit of a lull there for me too, but overall I still had much better luck here than you did. I am happy that you still managed to enjoy it though :D Lovely review^^

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed it, over all. RPO is one of my favourite reads in 2015! I hear ya about the 80s references. I grew up in that era so I was familiar with the culture.

  4. Ah, I've been meaning to read this one for ages too! You've beat me to the punch here. I know I'm going to enjoy the world building in this one because it just seems so fun, and yet I also know that most of the 80s references will be lost on me as well. Ah well, I'm still curious to see what all the fuss is about over this one :)

  5. I've heard about this one a lot! I still don't know if it'll be the right book for me, but I'm willing to give it a try. :)

  6. I like the idea of this one but have to agree that all the 80s references would be lost on me. I'd need either a late 90s or anything after to connect with the book better.


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