Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

8:00 AM

Title: Ready Player One 
Author: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Broadway Books 
Release: August 16, 2011
Pages: 374
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.

Have you ever read a book just for the hype? I'll admit, I was hardcore jumping on the bandwagon when I decided to read this book. Was the hype worth it? Absolutely.

In Ready Player One's version of the 2040's, people no longer interact in person: life happens in the OASIS. Enter Wade Watts: a teenager who has lived his entire life online. He lives in the stacks of trailers outside of Oklahoma City with his aunt and her sketchy boyfriend, attending school online and trying to explore the online world with his exceptionally limited funds. Wade is part of the hordes of users on the OASIS trying to solve a seemingly unsolvable puzzle with the highest of stakes: ownership of the OASIS. When Wade is the first player to make progress in solving the high stakes puzzle, we see him pushed into the spotlight and the danger that accompanies it.

Because everything is online, Wade doesn't know or understand the true value of real-life, in person interactions. Throughout this book we see him stumble through relationships with his friends, family, people of power, and the girl he's admired for years. I love how this book tackled the social anxiety of removing oneself from their 'safety blanket'. We got to see Wade in the real world: where he couldn't micromanage his appearance and environment and the vulnerability and discomfort that exposed him to. The author didn't sugar coat how challenging being in the real world was for Wade, he was clearly vastly more comfortable in the game where he was idolized and a celebrity.

I'm not an 80s kid, but I'll be damned if this book didn't make me feel nostalgic for that era/ make me want to track down the nearest arcade to me. Ernest Cline's world building was spectacular: it took a while for the OASIS to be fully fleshed out, but once it was, I couldn't put the book down. The amount of detail was astounding, everything from the hardware that runs the game to the layout of the game to the pseudo-politics and mannerisms of different classes of players was described. By the end, I felt like an expert on all things 1980s.

This is a perfect book to get someone into the sci-fi genre. Ready Player One also has the added bonus of not being some grandiose series starter- it's a genre defying stand alone novel. Having a perfectly delivered sci-fi tale in a single book is a rare find, one I would highly recommend to anyone looking for their next read.

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  1. I have definitely read books just for the hype - glad this one lived up to it! I have heard such great things all over but haven't read it myself. Hope the blog is going well for you so far!

  2. "Ready Player One" is a science fiction novel written by Ernest Cline and published in 2011. The novel is set in a dystopian future where most people spend their time in a virtual reality world called the OASIS. The book follows the story of Wade Watts, a young man who competes in a virtual treasure hunt to find the hidden fortune of the OASIS' creator, James Halliday. The hunt involves solving various puzzles and riddles based on Halliday's knowledge and interests, including classic video games, movies, and pop culture of the 1980s. The novel has been well received for its fast-paced action, nostalgic references, and commentary on the role of technology in society.

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