Ready Player One {Book review}

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Published Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pages: 372
Author: Ernest Cline
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy

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.

But 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. – Summary from Amazon

Let me preface by saying that I really…REALLY…reeeeaaaallly wanted to love this book. I mean, really ,like, to the moon and back! It was a super cool concept. Think about a future where everyone basically lives in a virtual reality to escape the shitty conditions of Earth. The creator of said virtual reality called OASIS {James Halliday} dies and leaves behind a video stating that he has hidden an Easter egg somewhere within OASIS and whoever finds it will inherit his 200+ billion dollar fortune. Thus starts the hunt for Halliday’s egg and an all out battle between “gunters” {professional egg hunters} to be the first to crack the code and become rich.

But…. I didn’t love it.

For starters, this book is a computer/gaming meganerd’s dream novel. It’s nothing but cover to cover computer info and game references and jargon and yada yada yada. I am neither computer savvy nor a gamer. I mean, don’t get me wrong I killed it on Excitebike and other fun Nintendo games when I was 11 but past that I wasn’t a gamer, per se. So, the chunk of this book just didn’t interest me. If I played Dungeons and Dragons or Myst {which I did for about 5 minutes before my ADD kicked in and I was off to watch the next episode of “The Babysitter’s Club” on Disney channel}, then I would have looooved this book.

Another thing was I felt that Ernest Cline was just showing off his 80’s knowledge. I mean, I get it. Halliday was a teen in the 80’s and he was obsessed with the pop culture. Halliday incorporated 80’s trivia into the quest for the egg. It was necessary for all of those “gunters” to learn all things 80’s, inside and out, on the off-chance that it would help them become megarich. So, yeah, I get it. BUT the majority of the references were unnecessary and to me, it felt like Cline was just using his novel as a way to prove to the world that he is the biggest fan of the 80s. It was nothing but dumping and name dropping. But hey, who doesn’t love the 80’s?? I was a product of the like, totally best decade EVER! My older sister and cousins made sure that I knew who Duran Duran was, who John Hughes was, and that the best directions were “Go that way really fast. If something gets in your way, turn!”. I love the 80’s! “Hold Me Now” by The Thompson Twins is my jam. So you’d think all the trivia and name dropping would be cool but it wasn’t. It was overkill and it got old.

There wasn’t a lot of dialogue, which is always a challenge for me. I get bored easily and if I’m hit with nothing but info, I zone out. So come the last few chapters or so, I was happy because that’s when the action really picked up and people were talkin and stuff. I was like “finally!” And I liked the ending! It was good, happy, wrapped up in a pretty bow. And it was over, which was nice.

Over all, I give this one a solid 2.5 out of 5 stars. Purely because it just wasn’t my cuppa. But if you’re a gamer/computer nerd, love an abundance of 80’s references, like futuristic virtual realities with a nice ending, then this is your book.

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4 thoughts on “Ready Player One {Book review}

  1. Awww noo..I really really loved this book. But I completely understand where you are coming from. There were times that Wade was so intense with his descriptions and explanations. Great review!

    • Thank you!! It’s so funny, when I wrote this, I thought “I hope Athena doesn’t disown me!!” Haha! I wanted to love it because you loved it and it seemed so popular. But yeah, it was a lot of info. Wade was totally intense. Like a circus. I think this will translate well on the big screen. Definitely will be watching this when it comes out.

  2. I really enjoyed this book but oddly enough not because of the 80s references but just because of the video game aspect- even though I don’t play them often and I suck at them haha

    • This was one where I really wanted to love it but I just couldn’t get into it. I was really sick and really bummed out when I started this book so maybe that all played a part in the end. Ya know? But ultimately, I didn’t love it. However, I will see the movie!! Haha.

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