Yes. I know I'm beyond late to the Ready Player One party. It has over 16,000 reviews on Amazon and a movie coming out THIS WEEK! (Insert excited squeal here—then worried emoji because I'm afraid they're going to screw it up.)
I am not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination. Exhibit A: Until Dawn: My Ill-Fated Venture Into Video Gaming. So I didn't think this book was for me.
Until I picked it up...and read it nonstop in three days, could not stop talking about it, and basically demanded my fourteen year-old read it immediately. She will be joining this review in a bit.
Just in case you were living in a cave like I was, here's the blurb:
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.
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.
Ready Player One is so much better than that!
Please welcome, my youngest daughter and resident teen gamer, Allie.
Allie will be chiming in with her opinions as the target audience for this book.
First, the writing is fantastic. Allie opinion: "This is written like how my friends and I talk, not like some guy trying to sound like a teenager. And he gets the gaming vernacular* right as well. Most times when people are writing dialogue between gamers, it sounds like something they found in a 2005 chatroom. His isn't like that." *yes, her mother was a language teacher for a long time. She uses words like "vernacular" appropriately.
I know that she particularly enjoyed the cyber-high school scene where Wade is able to mute the classmates who are annoying him. She'd totally be down for that.
Allie also appreciated the way the dystopian society was handled. "It was like, well, this I how live is now. And people still do normal stuff. They still go to school and hang out with friends. The world kind of sucks, but that isn't their whole existence."
Second, while the gaming is a HUGE part of the plot, it doesn't overwhelm the non-gamer. I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions and imagery of the old mall arcades and Atari games. It is also packed with 80s and 90s pop references, like War Games (which I made Allie watch before she read the book.)
Last, it is a fast-moving, intriguing story. It is one fo the few books that I've read as an adult that I would be likely to read again just for fun.
And both of us can't wait for the movie to release this weekend (although since it is Easter, we won't be seeing it until the next weekend.)
We have already had several discussions about what it looks like they've changed, but we're trying to keep an open mind. We might be back with our first movie review later!