Hey there bookworms!
For those of you that follow my Instagram account ( @busycollegebookworm ), you know I firmly belief in reading the book before seeing its movie adaptation. For whatever reason, it’s more fun and satisfying when I can watch the movie and connect details from the novel to the widescreen. So when I heard that Ready Player One was coming to theaters, I knew I had to read it. Also side note: it’s been getting a lot of hype on bookstagram and I wanted to check it out for myself and see: Did it live up to the hype?
The short answer: Kind of…?
Here’s the blurb on the back cover:
“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.”
And here are my thoughts!
2 Things I liked about this book:
The Concept of OASIS
I absolutely loved how Cline went into the history of OASIS and its many features. He really honed in on how life changed post-OASIS without making it feel like exposition. I also feel like a got a sense of the context in which OASIS was created: fraught with war, poverty, and environmental issues, the OASIS became a sanctuary for all to escape reality. And who doesn’t want a machine where you can literally teleport to any practically reality for a small fee? I thought that the way in which Cline addressed the impact the OASIS had on humanity is both realistic and layered. Definitely a great backstory and conceptual explanation for the creation and context of OASIS.
I think that the characters may have been my favorite part of the book. Aech is easily my favorite character by far (though I won’t give any spoilers why!). I loved that each character was essentially two characters: their online profiles and their real world existence. The duality really made for an interesting read.
Two Things I didn’t Like
The Sheer Number of 80s References
Ok, so I know that this is unavoidable. The book is based on an era that embraces 80s culture, and I get that. But I felt like this book bombarded you with 80s references, often with no explanation or reason whatsoever. I loved how the references would tie into the Hunt, but it felt a little over the top for me. The amount of references came off as cheesy and annoying.
The “Can-Do” attitude within OASIS
So this one was harder for me to name. I really couldn’t stand that you could do anything in the OASIS. And I mean anything. It became a major scapegoat in so many parts of this book, and I felt like Cline continually used the fact that the OASIS could do or be anything as an excuse for potential plot holes or gaps. EVERYTHING has it’s limits. I got really sick of hearing “the OASIS has a world for that” or “there was an artifact for that, which was very rare” and so on. It felt too unrealistic for me.
In the end, I give this book 3.5/5 Stars!! Worth a read, but not worth the hype!!