Book Review| Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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This book was always part of the Buy 2, Get 1 Free sale at Barnes and Noble, and as many times as I picked it up and thought, “I should get this,” I never did. Don’t ask me why, but I just never picked it up. The last time my husband and I were at the local Barnes and Noble, I picked this book up and said, “Oh this book looks so good!” and my husband said, “You always grab that book, and you never buy it. Just buy it, you obviously want it.” Bought it, and he ended up reading it first. I’m pretty sure he loved this book more than The Alchemist. Before I go any further, let me give you the synopsis.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them. 
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved–that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt–among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life–and love–in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. 
A world at stake. 
A quest for the ultimate prize. 
Are you ready?

 

(Sorry, that was super long).

Emotions While Reading:
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Considering James Halliday, the creator of the OASIS, is pretty much just a long-lost Revenge of the Nerds character, I felt this gif was appropriate. Allow me to begin with what I liked.

**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**

What I Liked

The Players – The Big Five (the first five players to get past the First Gate) were all such great characters. Each was written with their own personality and actually kept that personality throughout the book. This may have been the first book I’ve read where the main characters actually sounded like teenagers. Thank goodness this wasn’t considered a YA book. Most YA books now have these horrible love stories that take away from the story. Though there is some romance in Ready Player One, it doesn’t take away from the story. So many times, an author will throw in some phrase or action that you just feel the character would never do or say, and I didn’t find that in this book at all.

All the 80s References – I’m going to be completely honest: there were some that I didn’t get. I was born after the 80s (I’m a baby, I know), so most of my 80s knowledge comes passed down from my “metal head” parents. My father definitely raised me to carry on his nerd legacy though: I was raised in a household where we had a room dedicated to Godzilla, Speed Racer, Star Wars and comic books (mainly X-Men). With that said, some of the references were too odd for me. Most references were just pure gold. At one point, Wade is trying to get passed one of the gates and the theme music from Conan the Barbarian comes on. My dad literally owns that CD. The last battle is a showdown between Ultraman and Mechagodzilla. Okay, let me show you something.

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See those guys? I OWN THESE. My parents bought it for me to decorate my mini-cubicle at work. My dad owns the whole dang series of Ultraman (that he found at a truck stop). If it’s 80s SciFI, it’s not too dorky for me. Some of the references got to be a little too much at times. For the first few chapters, I just felt like, “Good lord, how many references are we putting in this?” My husband had to tell me over and over that the whole point of the Gunters (short for Egg Hunters) was to memorize everything Halliday loved (which turned out to be 9/10s of the 80s). 
The Ruthlessness of the Sixers – Greed runs most businesses nowadays, so it makes sense that the main villain of the book comes in the form of big business. As ruthless as businesses can be, I did not expect them to actually murder people (even though it is in the synopsis). It kept the story realistic; as a society, we tend to think everything is a conspiracy, and most conspiracies involve big companies. So many stories are about the corporate evils coming after Mom & Pop stores and, in reality, they usually win. It was so nice to have a story that was neck and neck, on the edge until the very end. No lie, at one of the last chapters when it says, “And then we all died,” I was sitting at work ad had to stop from yelling. I was so pissed! Such a good story. 
Ogden Morrow – I loved this man. Absolutely loved him. He was like the Snape of Ready Player One (except not a dick). Also, my husband now has to live up to the expectation of buying me a life-size version of Rivendell. Just saying. I really just enjoyed how he was the crazy uncle, but didn’t overstep his part in the game. He played his part, helped the big Four (since Daito was murdered by the Sixers) by giving them a place to hook into the OASIS, but didn’t help them by giving them cheats or hints. All he did was guide them to their own destiny.
All in all, I am so glad I finally bought and read this book! I may have felt like the biggest dork ever, but I also felt like the biggest badass ever. 
My Rating: 5/5
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