May Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. 80's pop culture and video game nerds, this one is for you!
Ready Play One
by Ernest Cline
First off, I am extremely saddened by the fact that I did not read this book when it was originally published a couple years ago. My loss, and it was a big one.
When Cline quoted Ghostbusters on page one, I knew I would absolutely love this book. The author's picture on the book jacket has him standing next to a Delorean!
If you are a gamer, pop culture nerd you have to give this book a read! The GoodReads synopsis is as follows;
"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."
This OASIS game is basically what would happen if Facebook became a virtual reality world and combined itself with Second Life and was apparently as addictive as Farmville. Set in the future, 2044, this book is an actual believable dystopia. The world has used up its natural resources and everyone is ignoring that despondent fact by living their lives plugged into a virtual reality video game. To me this could actually happen, unlike the situation in some dystopian books.
But I digress...
The billionaire creator of OASIS has died and hidden an easter egg inside his most famous game. Whoever finds this easter egg will inherit his mass fortune and the control of the company that OASIS is under. Wade, a poor kid from a place called "the stacks" decides to devote his entire existence to finding the fortune, he becomes what is known as a "grunter."
The book chronicles his exciting journey, missteps and all and intertwines pop culture references in an interesting writing style that any self proclaimed nerd would love. I believe that I feel for this book especially hard because of those references. After all, my husband and I watched Back to the Future on our very first date and are very into different fandoms together. This book entertained me, it let me enjoy a dystopia that was not too distracted by romance, and it filled my geeky heart with joy!
I would recommend to any YA fans that are very into video game culture, pop culture, (especially the 80's) and people who are proud fandom banner waivers! Ages 14+ would enjoy this book best!
Sidenote: Spielberg has signed on to direct the big screen picture of this novel! Let me repeat that... STEVEN SPIELBERG!
Extra! Extra! Cline's next novel Armada is coming out this summer in July. It sounds similiar to the plot of the 80's movie The Last StarFighter, which if you haven't seen, you should, pure 80's goodness. GoodRead's description of the novel below!
"It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom - if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer. At first, Zack thinks he's going crazy. A minute later, he's sure of it. Because the UFO he's staring at is straight out of the video game he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada-in which gamers just happen to be protection the earth from alien invaders. But what Zack's seeing is all too real. And his skills - as well as those of millions of gamers across the word - are going to be needed to save the earth from what's about to befall it. Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can't help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn't something about this scenario seem a little too...familiar?"