If you had asked me what prompted me to buy Ready Player One by Ernest Cline a week short of my cruise, I would have said that I needed a fun, affordable read for my vacation. This is half true. The other half of the story is that I also came across this book on a whim one day when I was perusing through Amazon. I wasn’t going to admit this initially, as I’m not usually heedless when it comes to choosing my reads for the week. But I’m all for a risk these days, so in a split second the book was on my Kindle, ready to keep me company on my week-long getaway. Little did I know then that I had chosen a book that was right up my alley.
Ready Player One tells the interactive adventure of a young, indignant man named Wade Watts. Watts physically lives in the 2044 real world, but escapes his rough life in the OASIS, an online virtual utopia created by video game designer James Halliday. After Halliday dies, his will reveals that he has hidden his fortune in the form of an Easter Egg in the OASIS system. For five years, the virtual world obsesses over searching for it, until Watts (a.k.a Parzival) finds the first series of keys that lead to the egg. From that moment on, the real and the virtual world as Watts knows it, changes forever.
If you look at the book’s GoodReads page, you’ll see that a lot of fans couldn’t get over the many pop culture and video game references mentioned throughout the book. These were great to catch and everything, but I didn’t come away with them as much as I did the adventure itself. Cline really does an impeccable job of taking his readers through every twist and turn of Parzival’s journey, both in the real and virtual world. I found myself glued to my Kindle, anxiously awaiting the next twist and turn of the story, which is something that doesn’t happen often, if at all.
As for the most significant part of the adventure, I think what really made this reading experience fun for me was the characters. Throughout most of the different books I’ve read this year, there’s always been at least one really flat character that just brought a good portion of the book down. With this one, I was interested in all of the players, including the “villains” of the story. I think my all time favorite character was Parzival’s love interest, Art3mis. I loved how she was so strong and independent in the virtual world, but so insecure in real life. My inner teenage internet nerd was able to relate to that on some level. I also thought her behavior was a great way to keep the reader guessing. I have to admit, for the majority of the story, I really thought she was working for the Sixers (the company associated with the villian, Sorrento) in real life. Needless to say, I’m very happy that she was not catfishing Watts.
Ready Player One was a thrilling roller coaster ride that I’d endure again in a heartbeat. I’m so glad I randomly came across this book and I’m even more excited at the possibility of this becoming a movie. If the script and casting is in the right hands, I definitely think it has great potential to do as well as The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and any other famous YA film adaptions.
As the Managing Editor, Lauren Stern is responsible for curating Pop-Break.com’s content. This includes managing the editorial staff, coordinating the content calendar, and assigning publishing dates and deadlines. She graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Philosophy. She spends her free time searching for the best gluten-free food in the Tri-State area, playing with her dogs, and reading an insane amount of books. She tweets constantly about pop culture and social issues and hopes you follow her musings @laurenpstern.