Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Ready Player One Review

I bought this book because one of my favourite booktubers raves about it. I saw it on book depository
and thought, "why not". And I did not know how much I needed this book at the time.

After reading The DUFF (don't even talk to me about The DUFF. I will not be reviewing it or seeing the movie, sorry to disappoint, but I don't want to offend anyone, but I will say that it was the singular worst book I've ever read) I didn't feel like facing another contemporary, good or bad. So I gave Ready Player One a shot.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a wonderful geeky paradise. It's all about video games, movies and above all, the 80's.

It's set in a world where everything has gone wrong. The outside is a grim place. And so most people of the world spend their time in the OASIS, a huge virtual reality made be none other than James Donovan Halliday himself. You can do or be anything in the OASIS, and so almost everyone uses it to escape their reality.

And almost everyone dreams of finding Halliday's "easter egg", an egg in the game the finder of which inherits all of Halliday's massive fortune. Dying single with no heir meant that Halliday could do anything with his money. And so he decided to give it to make a contest of it.

But then, unassuming eighteen year old Wade Watts stumbles across the first prize, and the whole world turns their attention to him. Thousands of other hunters join the competition, including some who would be willing to murder to find the egg.

Ready Player One is incredible. It's amazingly crafted and devastatingly addictive. Everything about it is just so real and I really, really liked it. It definitely deserves the 4.31 star rating on goodreads.

I highly recommend it; so read it and come back here so we can discuss!


I thought Ready Player One was fantastic. There are very few things I have to criticize in it.

My favourite thing about Ready Player One was probably the contest, followed very closely by the whole world of the book.

The contest, understandably, was what drove the book. The start dragged on a little, because there was a lot to explain. That was one of the few faults with this book; the amount of information needing to be conveyed at the one time often meant there were pages of info-dumping. It was interesting, and I loved all the back-story and the pop culture from the 80's. But despite the slow start, once the competition started, the book flew past.

The world Ready Player One is set in is terrifyingly like our own. The problems brought up in the start, like running out of energy, fossil fuels and other necessary things, and the statistics about starving, unemployed and homeless people in the world were really realistic to me. I felt like this horrible world that Ernest Cline illustrated wasn't far off from being our own.

And then there was the element of the story where everyone drowned their misery for reality in the OASIS. I felt like that was really relatable and real. Lots of people disappear into worlds like video games, books, movies, career, family and more to distract themselves from the sadness, and I could feel this world and I felt like it was real.

The characters weren't the driving point of this novel, but they were pretty awesome. I didn't really relate to Wade, because I feel like he and his avatar were sort of blurred, and it was hard to distinguish was was real and what was online. Despite making me feel distant from his character, this made the struggle of real world vs. the OASIS even more vibrant. But by the end it was clear that Wade had changed vastly, through the competition and his adoration (and slight obsession) with Art3mis.

Art3mis was awesome. She was smart, her avatar was on a level smashing Wade's and even Aech's, and she wasn't afraid to do whatever to get to the egg. I personally thought she would've found the egg, because she seemed more intelligent than Wade, and even Aech. Her lines were sharp and wonderfully hilarious, and everything she did made me wish I was her, or wish I could have a spin-off staring her.

I did not see the Aech plot twist. I did think she'd (I will refer to her as "she" because I'm talking about her character, not just her avatar) be a person of colour, due to some hints dropped throughout the book. But I did not foresee a girl named Helen as Aech. But the message given by this particular event and basically the whole book was that friendship was about much more than physical appearance, race, gender and etc. I really liked that sort of feel towards the end, when Wade met everyone.

The middle of the book, whilst everyone was looking for the Jade Key, was probably the slowest part, other than the start. Wade seemed to be spiraling out of control after Art3mis "dumped" him, and it was really odd watching him. I think at this point the pressure got too much for him. But I was so glad when Aech gave him the clue to the Jade Key, because I felt like he was back in the game. And despite thinking that Art3mis should win, I was still subconsciously rooting for Wade.

Once Wade found the "test", things picked up again the rest of the book flied by. I was totally hooked and there was no way I was putting the book down until I finished. The end was enthralling, fast-paced and I loved it. It was probably the best part of the book, especially when the four best gunters (Aech, Art3mis, Wade and Shoto) met up.

You're probably thinking, "what sets this book apart from all the other books like it? All the latest young adult sci-fi dystopians that are being pumped out faster than new versions of the iPhone?" and I can answer that for you. This book had a feel of professionalism I haven't read in a young adult for a while. It was sharp, edgy, perfect for young adults, but at the same time, really well thought out and very smart. The whole thing was crafted perfectly and it was clear all the research on the 80's paid off.

All in all, this book was really fantastic. I would highly recommend you read it; I've given it a solid five stars on goodreads.

If you have read Ready Player One and would like to share your feels, post a comment below, send a tweet to me at @lilypherondale or an ask to my tumblr, sherlockcrumpets. If you want to send me an email for business reasons or even just to say hi, feel free to! My email address is mywordsarearrows@gmail.com; I'd love to hear from you! All the contact details you could ever wish for are also up in the "contact me" page in the bar just below the title of my blog. My twitter, tumblr and facebook are also all linked there :)

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See you next week with another post!

Lily xoxo


  1. Hi Lily,

    Let me begin by saying thanks for your reviews and recs every week - huge fan!

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience with The DUFF... I'm not going to say I told you so (because I did not, in fact, 'tell you so'), but I would have if given the chance - it truly sounds awful from the Goodreads summary.

    I picked up Ready Player One from the library after having read your review in March - and immediately fell in love with the 'wonderful geeky paradise' of the 1980s and virtual reality gaming.

    While the start may have dragged on compared to the rest of the novel (in order to set up the world and the contest) I never felt that took away from the story at all.

    In fact, the amount of information given in the first few chapters really allowed the rest of the story to be driven. Where would we have been without having established Wade as the lone gamer and 80s culture geek?

    However, I must acknowledge that the success of the 'info-dump' was the brilliant first chapter of the novel detailing how the contest was started, the initial race, and the creation of the gunters.

    Forgive me if my chronology is wrong - it's been a few weeks since I've read the book. But that amazing first chapter carried the reader through the next few chapters of exposition.

    I agree with you on Art3mis' awesomeness - there's no denying that. The only issue I had with her 'relationship' with Wade was it's one-sidedness: yes, it was adorable, but we never really get a glimpse into the mindset of Art3mis during the novel.

    Although I do think it was beneficial to the story that their subtle romance didn't obstruct the plot (other than the 2 or so chapters in Part 2)., and was mostly secondary to the contest and geeky 80s pop culture references.

    Overall, I too found the contest to be the most enjoyable aspect of the book. Not once did I find myself bored or swamped by the amount of information from the 1980s - but quite the opposite. I felt myself wanting more as time went on. More of Pac-Man, more of Mechagodzilla, and more of OASIS.

    I could write so much more about how much I love Ready Player One - and I truly do love it. The book has become one of my all-time favourites, and it is well-deserved among the list.

    I'm terribly excited for the film adaptation, and hope, hope, hope, it is as good as the novel. And with Steven Spielberg signed on to direct, I think it's in safe hands.

    Thanks again for the review - I wouldn't have known about this amazing book otherwise! I'd like to think of myself as the target to your arrow, seeing as every book I've picked up that you've reviewed/rec'd has been absolutely amazing.

    Jordan (Of Ex Libris and GM 451 fame)

    1. wow, jordan, thank you so so much for your extensive comment!! i'm so glad you enjoyed RPO, it's one of my favourites and it makes me very happy to know that someone else enjoyed it just as much as i did.
      i'm ecstatic to know that my reviews and recs are helping other booklovers to find books!!
      if you want to chat more, contact me via any of my socials... and if you have goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend!!! i'm @lilypherondale :))))
      thanks so much once again,
      lily xoxo