Author: Ernest Cline
When I saw this book surface on the internet a few years ago, of course I wanted to read it. But the more I saw it being raved about by bookstagrammers and critics alike, the more I hesitated. I didn’t want to see if it would live up to my expectations. But, wow. I finally picked it up because I knew the movie is going to be out soon (March 29th!), and I wanted to be able to write a good movie review about it. So, I read it. And, to say the least, I loved it.
Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads)
This is my review of Ready Player One.
Okay, I really liked it. I loved it, actually.
It was non-stop action from start to finish, and the stakes were high the second you read the first page. I wanted to know more. I wanted to see how it would end, especially considering the fact that one of the most obvious ‘mysteries’ were explained within 50 pages. Still that mystery became another mystery, and to put it lightly, it didn’t end there.
The book is engaging, well-written, but honestly, I wouldn’t read it again. It’s one of those books where you’re constantly wow-ed by the amazing world-building, and you’re so immersed that you’re actually part of it while reading it. But I wouldn’t go back. Because I feel like that high I experienced while my nose was in between its pages cannot be replicated. It can’t be repeated. I loved it while reading it, and I still love it while not reading it. But I don’t feel the need to feel it all over again.
The attention to detail and the endless references to 80s pop culture is staggering. I didn’t understand most of it, but that’s okay because I enjoyed the book nonetheless. I definitely can’t wait to see how it’s translated into a visual masterpiece (as I’m sure Spielberg will make it), even though the trailers don’t look anything like what the book is.
Side note: Did you know Ernest Cline mentioned Spielberg as one of Halliday’s favourite directors of all time? And to think Spielberg actually directs this movie. Dreams really do come true.
Still, there was one thing I didn’t like about this book: the character development. When I’m reading, I expect the character to grow and change with me. I expect him to adapt and have something different about himself at the end because I feel like humans are fickle beings. We don’t stay completely the same forever, and I think that Wade (the protagonist) doesn’t really change much internally. We’re in his head the whole time, and I’m not surprised by anything that goes on in there. I think that’s what held back the emotional influence of the story.
The plot twists, however, more than make up for it. That’s why I gave it such a nice rating. The plot is highly engaging, and although it’s somewhat predictable, the surprises are still surprising.
There’s a lot of mixed reviews about the ending, but I’m personally okay with it. I expected it. What else did I think was gonna happen?
This is the end of the non-spoiler section!
EVERYTHING BEYOND THIS POINT CONTAINS SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION!!!
I only have a few things to say in terms of spoilers.
I didn’t see the whole Aech plot twist happening. I genuinely thought it was gonna be a generic, good-looking white guy who actually has a small fortune due to something or other. But nope. He turns out to be a spunky, sarcastic, funny black woman and I am honestly floored. I don’t mean to be offensive in any way, but damn, that plot twist.
And honestly, Wade winning the egg hunt was so predictable. I mean, if he had lost, and that bad guy had actually won, that would’ve been really stupid. What would’ve happened after that? The OASIS becomes all the horrible things the books says it would be, and all of our protagonists are left unhappy? Yeah. No. The ending is what it was always going to be.
Art3mis is from Vancouver. I’m dying on the inside. I don’t even think we have a Greenleaf Street. But it’s okay, I’ll pretend there’s one here. (I was hoping she’d say something totally Canadian, but I guess that would be a bit stereotypical). And I hoped she would be an Asian girl. But no dice.
Something I didn’t like about this book was Wade’s reaction to the bombing of the Stacks. I mean, yeah sure his family wasn’t all that nice to him, but they’re family. He didn’t even really have an emotional reaction to that. He doesn’t have a lot of emotional reactions to a lot of things in general, actually, which is why I docked .5 marks off my rating. The emotional department was sorely lacking.
I’m so excited for this movie because it looks so cool! The tech and the art and the world building is sure to make this novel come to life. It’s a little darker than what I imagined the OASIS to be, but I guess I can’t have everything. Let’s see how loyal it stays to the book. I think the OASIS works differently in the film, but maybe that’s just for visual effect? I hope they don’t change the plot too much.
If you’ve read through that jumbled mess of thoughts, I thank you. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments down below!