I've had my eye on this book for awhile now, and have had it saved to my Amazon wishlist for a few years! I'm not sure why I hadn't purchased it before, but when I saw it available as a free review copy from Blogging For Books, I snagged it right away!
I'm a sucker for easy-to-read, adventure driven books. I love being sucked into a good story written by an author who can skillfully use words and language to transport the reader into another world. Ernest Cline does this so well in Ready Player One!
I read this book in only a few days, it really is easy to read! But not so easy that it becomes boring. The adventure and story are fast-paced and gripping (think Willy Wonka meets Maze Runner and the Triwizard Tournament), and the cultural messages the author sends through it are overall well done and thought through. Even though I'm a 90's baby, the heavy influence of 80's pop culture was well explained in a way that I felt I could understand what was going on in the story. Every reference was described in detail so even readers like me who have little experience with 80's movies, videogames, and tv shows won't feel left in the dark! Although I'm sure readers who are familiar with the 80's have an even deeper love and appreciation of this book.
If I'm rating a book based on the story alone, I feel Ready Player One earns 4.5 stars...it's a great story, but I personally enjoyed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hunger Games, and Maze Runner (which have a similar feel to this book) better. I found the main characters to be kind of annoying and immature, but I think that could be what the author was going for so I won't criticize it for that. I thought the remarks within it related to religion to be unnecessarily critical and those related to masturbation and pornography irrelevant...the story is great without those components, even though they only appear in a few places.
But I did love the way the author immerses the reader into the virtual world of the OASIS. Towards the end of the book especially, the story of the main character in the virtual world is so gripping that I naturally didn't want the story line to switch to what was happening in the character's "real" world...which I'm sure is exactly the point of the author's implied message that we can be so easily consumed by the virtual world that we miss the sweet things life has for us in the real world. Reality can only happen in the real world. It was interesting to read this story while looking around at our own culture where we are encouraged to immerse ourselves in our own type of OASIS through social media, video games, and entertainment, and put forward only our best selves, best vacations, and best photos for the world to see. How easy it is to look at the characters of the book and pity how consumed they become with their virtual identities while neglecting the outside world. Until we realize that maybe this isn't so far from our own world after all.
My rating? 3.5/5
Overall, such a great story! It's a quick read that is easy to be immersed into. A few components where religion, pornography, and masturbation are mentioned within it felt a little unnecessary compared to the adventurous, exciting story the author had already written.
*I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books!*