Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline+ a discussion of hype

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I was so ecstatic with how this book ended that as soon as I finished it  I went straight to my personal tumblr to rave about it. Sometimes I get a little overexcited about books and then later realize maybe that book wasn’t as great as I just made it appear. Ready Player One is definitely an awesome, fantastic book for both YA and adult readers alike, but does it deserve the amount of hype it has been given?

My Synopsis
It’s the year 2044. Nowadays, there’s two “worlds”; the real one, which kind of sucks, and the virtual world, the OASIS. The OASIS is not just a game; there are real schools with real classes and diplomas, a stable currency with physical monetary equivalence, and a social hierarchy. Really, you’ve got to be careful you don’t start replacing your real life with the virtual one you have. But there is one big thing that draws more and more people into the OASIS. Its creator, James Halliday, dies and leaves his (huge) fortune to nobody. It is designated for the first person who can find his easter egg in the OASIS. But this is no easy egg to find, of course, and people will do anything to get at it. This egg will change someone’s life in a big, big way. And that’s when you meet our protagonist, Wade Watts.

To address some critics of this novel..
– One critical reviewer said this book gets hype because of the nostalgia, but that the author just name drops everything. For one, I’m not an eighties child. I know almost nothing about the eighties, so nostalgia is not what won me over about the novel. I can see how some things were kind of name dropped, but it didn’t seem like the author put a conscious effort into trying to make himself look smart or something. Those “name drops” are descriptions and are part of the experience of reading this book. Obviously, those of you who haven’t read it are probably thinking, whaa?? The novel is enriched by the loves of James Halliday, like his favorite music and movies. Cline references these things plus other “nerdy” tidbits such as animes like Gundam. But you don’t need to get these references to enjoy the novel.

At first, I almost wanted to kick someone because the book begins by telling you Wade wins the egg. I was like, are you kidding me? You just spoiled the whole book! What’s the point of reading if I know who got the egg? Then I realized that the main point of the story is not that he finds the egg. So no, that’s not spoiling anything.

Back to enjoying the novel, RPO is a nice blend of sci-fi with modern times. After all, it isn’t too hard to imagine a future like this one.

I think the hype around the novel is justified. I’m not a gamer, but if you are, I can totally see you loving this book. You’ll feel like you’re playing a game too, yet your brain is actually learning from it. Ha! (Although I love video games, lol)

Ready Player One is on a bridge between YA and Adult fiction, or what I am going to call part of the “lower level” adult fiction category. When I say that, I don’t mean low quality. I just mean that this is a novel YA readers can easily read and enjoy, although it is elevated from YA fiction.

So here’s the question of the day; would you want to live in a virtual world? How would it benefit you?

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

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8 thoughts on “Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline+ a discussion of hype

  1. I think Cline has a fantastic writing style. I’d like to see him branch away from that, but it doesn’t look like he will any time soon with Armada coming out next year. It has that same video game content (honestly, I loved it, so I’ll definitely pick up his next one), but I’d like to see if he can write about something else as well. Either way I’m a fan. 🙂

    Definitely would be in the OASIS all the time. Being able to do things I may not be physically able to in reality is incredibly appealing.

    • I totally agree, I think it’d be interesting to see what else he can write. I love the video game stuff but maybe if he wrote a book outside of that we would really see his talent. And oh yes, it’d be terrible for my health but I would definitely be in the OASIS all the time. Seems like after a while you would begin mixing up the virtual world with reality! I like how it gives even those who are disadvantaged opportunities they wouldn’t get in the real world, like the ability to attend a public school/ a good public school and to make a living.

      • I might be like a year late, but I couldn’t resist the urge to comment 😀
        While it is true that the OASIS would level the playing field for those who are less privileged, there are also negative impacts that it would bring. For starters, the fact that everyone would look almost the same in the OASIS, since when people are given the choice of creating an avatar for themselves it’s really unlikely that one would actually stick to their physical characteristics when making their avatar rather than just making their avatar the “most pretty” or “most attractive”. This is even brought up in RPO when Aech turns out to be a girl and Art3mis has a birthmark on her face. Don’t get me wrong, having the choice to be anything you want to be is great, but I feel like some people could abuse that power.
        Anyways, just some thoughts I had that I really wanted to get out of my system and share with someone. 🙂
        —Aditi

      • Hey Aditi, thanks for commenting! I love comments and discussions like this. You bring up a really good point.

        Even in video games today, you’re most likely not going to put all your “imperfections” into your avatar/character. And besides that, you could make yourself seem like someone completely different than who you are. In the case of Aech and Art3mis it was virtually harmless, but obviously someone could take advantage of this freedom and abuse it, like you said. That could be especially dangerous in the OASIS, because the OASIS isn’t just a game.

        However, I think the situation with Art3mis was kind of empowering. Art3mis in real life is still considered likeable and attractive, even though she may have thought she needed to hide her “flaws” when she was making her character.

        Glad you shared with me! Have you heard Ready Player One is being made into a movie?

      • Wow, didn’t know that it was going to be made into a movie. Super excited now! 😀 I think if the directors are talented enough to pull it off then it’ll be a great movie. I’m sure it’ll open the eyes of a lot of people and show them where exactly we are heading as a civilization.
        —Aditi

      • Steven Spielberg is going to direct it, so I do have high hopes. He’s a really well known, award winning and respected director. But a lot of times the books are better than the movie so who knows. I’m still quite excited to see it whenever it comes out!

      • Wow, if Spielberg is directing it then it’s very likely that It’s going to be an amazing movie. I can’t wait for them to announce the cast, although the actors in movies that were inspired by books always seem to be different then how I pictured the character in my head. I’m sure it’ll be filled with tons of special effects which’ll be really cool. I just hope it stays true to the book…
        —Aditi

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