Home       About Me       Review Index

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Stefanie's Thoughts: Ready Player One

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.

Hey everyone,

So I did something I normally don't: I watched the movie version before I read the book. This is a very rare occurrence for me (I even have a bag from Chapters that says the book was better..). But seeing the movie just worked out better for this one: plus my hold for the book at the library wasn't ready for pickup yet. 

This book took for me 18 days to read, which also never happens. With everything going on in my life right now, reading took a back seat (but I did end up reading the last section in a day so there's that at least) but that pesky reminder from the library about needing to return this in three days really got me to speed read the last portion of it.

I really enjoyed Ready Player One from the start. I found the prologue a bit wordy, but chapter one got the adventure going. I loved the crazy and random 80s pop culture references, personally, my two favorite references were the ones that referred to Quidditch and the other about Ewoks. A side note: I'm obsessed with Ewoks, even have one from Disneyland that I made sure I bought when I last went to Disneyland. The 80s music references were also great and honestly had me singing those songs in my head after they were mentioned. I've read some reviews that say they hated all the constant references and found it took away from the story, but I found them to be rather pleasant!

After around the search for the second clue is where my interest faded. I found the chapters to go from amazing and holding my attention, to me skipping through them hoping it would get better. I don't know why this sudden change happened; it almost felt like two different authors wrote this book from this point. The writing was inflated and this was when the constant references felt they brought the story down and slowed the pace.

I found our main character Wade grew super annoying as the book went on. he at first seemed like the guy next door you can side with and want to be friends with; he then slowly turned into this, I don't even know how to describe it, almost like that guy at school you want to avoid at all costs because he's some massive annoying jerk.

Artemis was my favorite character, both in the movie and book. She had this whole level I could relate to going for her. Being the only female character in a male driven story has that going for her. She wasn't some weak character, but was kick ass at everything.

What I did discover was the massive differences between the movie and the book. I actually had to check with my sister at times if what had happened in the book was portrayed in the movie (most times being nope. My sister has only seen the movie, keep in mind). I eventually got to the point of telling her all of the differences between the two, just to show her how different they are.

I felt that the movie was better; unpopular opinion I'm sure, but don't hate.The movie's first scene was epic in 3D and the plot had me completely engrossed, especially for a 2 hour and 20 minute movie. Even my sister liked it and she hates long movies (with the exception of Harry Potter).

So if I had to choose between the book or movie, this is the rare time the book wasn't better. A couple of the people I've spoken to since finishing both are pretty shocked at by opinion, but hey, can't impress everyone.

I'll find myself probably re-watching the movie and I was curious about reading Cline's second book, also sci-fi, but I'm not sure. I don't want it to start off so amazingly to end with disappointment.

I'll be off trying to figure out book to read next. I still can't believe that this took me so long to get through...

Until my next review,



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sara's Recent Reads

Hello Friends,

A Mini Update: It has been another hot minute since I posted anything. I think the last time you've seen anything from me was back in March for my February/March wrap up. To be honest, I just didn't feel like blogging. I didn't want to sit down and write a review - no one seems to read them anyways, and I didn't have any other clever content ideas. I just didn't have anything, which was really discouraging. So, I took a break. Which was good. I kind of removed myself from all things bookish and blogging and just read! I haven't even been tracking my "stats" in my bookish bullet journal. I just read what I wanted, when I wanted. I didn't focus on my lists or goals or any of that stuff. It was glorifying and freeing. This made me SO excited to read, and boy did I: I read/listened to 25 books in the last six weeks. For me, that's a lot of books.

So here I am, all fired up again, and ready to slowly start blogging again. I wasn't sure what I would come back with, so I thought that instead of doing my monthly recap, I  would just share what I have been reading, and what's stood out to me. This is a start. I still have thoughts about blogging, and how much I have to give, but I am not gone yet.

Then She was Gone by Lisa Jewell

This one I have 4.5 stars on Goodreads. I had read Jewell's previous book some time last year and really enjoyed it. I had heard really good things about this one from a friend who read it in the UK. She adored it. I was pretty eager to get my hands on this newest thriller. So, I was pretty stoked to have won this one from Goodreads. I read it pretty quickly after receiving it, and boy did it live up to the hype. It's not a complicated story, and in all honesty, it's pretty predictable. But somehow, Jewell sucks you in and keeps you there. She writes characters that you care about it.

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Last year, Zevin's book, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was one my top five books of the year. It absolutely blew me away. I was pretty excited to get my little hands on this.  While I enjoyed it. I was kind of surprised with how little actually happens in this story. Don't let that keep you from checking this one out though. The characters are delightful and the writing is sweet and easy to read. I flew through this, and was completely charmed by it. I gave it four stars.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This was our most recent book club read. It was a random choice for us, I absolutely loved it. This book says so much, and I really appreciated it. It sort of reminded me of The Little Prince- it gave me the same feels. I am sure a good number of you have already read this book, and are very familiar with it, so I don't need to go on and on about it. But I would recommend this to every one- particularly those who are in the process of making any kind of  decision. It really puts things into perspective.

 A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

This- I had been waiting for this. And I have to say, I was royally disappointed. I know this wasn't supposed to be an epic tale. I knew it was supposed to be a fun story that kind of filled space. What I did expect though, was a story. And that didn't really exist. ACOFAS was just kind of boring. However, I did enjoy spending time with characters I loved, and experiencing the light banter. But that was about it. To be honest, this certainly felt a little like a cash grab. But I am trash for this series and I'll probably read it forever.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

This is my most recent read. and another one I rated highly: 4.5 Stars. The writing in this one was beautiful. The story itself was heavy and heart breaking. Leigh's mother has taken her life, and she now finds herself revisiting her mother's life. This story addresses grief, and it's painful and it was an incredible novel. 

I wasn't expecting to list five books, but it just happened that way. But those are the five books that have stuck out to me in the last number of weeks. I have some pretty exciting (to me) reading plans. But, I am not putting any pressure on myself. I don't want reading to feel like a chore (otherwise I won't do it).

I hope you enjoyed, share with me what you've been reading and enjoying. I would love to know.

~Happy Reading Everyone

"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl