Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The publisher’s synopsis: 

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.  Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

If within your life you found yourself having an adventure within a book you just could not put down, then you must grab your own copy of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  I can be difficult on books.  They have the chance to grab me within the first page – well, some receive a second chance on page two – and if they don’t then it goes on the shelf to give the illusion that I’ve read every book in existence.  Ready Player One peaked my interest, kept me enthralled, and I needed to know what was going to happen next!

After taking away the sci-fi-y background and the race to win billions, I was left with fond memories of Atari, Pac Man, John Huges, and Mr. Wonka’s chocolaty wonders.  Don’t you remember… you can’t tell me you forgot?

A trip down memory lane…

My sister’s and I would sit around the TV late in the evening getting the chance to play Pac Man or Space Invaders on our new Atari.  We all fought over the one joystick and hated taking turns.  We were not nice to each other over game time and usually ended up getting the entire Atari time taken away.  I love my sisters.

John Hughes just knew how to get teen life right.  I waited until the very end, along with every other teen girl in America, impatiently for the awesome kiss between Sam and Jake in Sixteen Candles.  I was so happy Sam finally got her dream, and instantly pissed that I was not her.

And of course, how could I forget The Breakfast Club.  Teens today even realish in this John Hughes classic.  OMG, did I just really write that?  I think I just took a smack from my past!  Yes, it’s a classic, with a cult following.  Teen angst and coming of age – what teen could not relate to at least one character from TBC – the jock, the princess, the brain, the criminal, and the kook.  I still try to put lipstick on with my boobs – don’t tell me you never tried!

So, as I tuck my DVD of The Breakfast Club back in my stack of teen classics from the 80’s and get ready to have a night of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I think about all the other little treats that Ready Player One has given me.  It’s funny how one book can open you up to the past and possibilites at the same time.

Ready Player One is so much more than the memroies it seemed to yank from within me.  Yes, it’s an enjoyable read that makes you think of Willy Wonka, the internet, and the lottery all at once.  There are so many things to fall in love with – adults will find memories and teens will find the OASIS.

Time to get plugged in!

As a participant in this From Left to Write book blog tour, I received a copy of the book for review. Check out the other stops on the blog tour for a chance to win a copy of Ready Player One. All opinions are my own.