Book review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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From Goodreads


IN THE YEAR 2044, 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.

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(3.5 stars, rounded to 3)

I finally read it, y’all! And I really enjoyed it!

This is one of those books that’s hard to rate because the entertainment level was very high but I had issues with the main character. So I think I’m giving it three stars.

Like I just said, this book is very entertaining. The plot, the setting, the pacing, and the writing all make this book read like an action movie, which I’m not all that mad about tbh. The plot was really interesting. A little ‘basic’ perhaps in that it’s not really all that original, but still good and entertaining. I love reading about competitions, and this is a competition, so I can only complain so much.

The setting is also really great. I thought the OASIS was really creative, and loved seeing the different aspects of it. You really understand the hardships faced by the characters and why they would turn to something like the OASIS. The OASIS also allowed for the author to have pretty much whatever setting he wanted for that particular scene which, honestly, I wasn’t mad about. It made it fun and interesting.

Like I said, the pacing was pretty good. I never felt like the book dragged, nor did I think anything happened too quickly. Everything tied together in the end and made sense.

I also thought the writing was fine, but nothing special. Definitely not bad by any means, but I also wouldn’t necessarily think of it as a “well-written book”, if that makes sense. It fit the book, though, which is all that really matters.

My biggest complaint with the book is the main character. He is maybe one of the most selfish characters I’ve ever read and I had a really hard time sympathizing with him, particularly later in the book. When he was just a kid, down on his luck, with a shitty home life, I did feel bad for him. But **minor (but predictable) spoilers**, when he became rich and famous, he would complain about things that he really didn’t need? “Oh no, I have to spend thousands of dollars on ammunition every month! I need to do this so I can win! I have to win! I have no other choice!” Actually, man, you don’t need to? You can use fewer bullets when you’re practicing? Also, you don’t have to win? There are actually other options out there. I know, I know, extreme poverty doesn’t really lead to a lot of options, but it would be like if someone was banking on winning the lottery, and that was there career path. Winning the lottery is not a career path! It’s not something you have to do!

All I’m really trying to say is that I found Wade to be whiny, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. Like, man, shut up. You’re actively choosing to do these things. Stop complaining.

I also wasn’t sold on some of the minor details. “I’ve watched The Holy Grail 86 times.” Did you? You spent over 130 hours watching The Holy Grail? Over six years? AND mastered all these video games? AND memorized the other movies/TV shows/comic books? AND went to school and received decent grades?

That aspect was a little unbelievable to me, but that’s a minor thing that I can suspend disbelief for.

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ALSO the token black AND lesbian character spent 95% of the book as a white male. I get what the author was saying. And do I think that it’s believable that women and POC would change their OASIS avatars to white men? Sure. But I wish that our world would advance enough that that doesn’t need to be the case. You know? Also the fact that it was written by a white man just feels,,,,, a little off? I’d have less of an issue with it if a black lesbian wrote it and was trying to make a point, but it was written by a white man, so it felt a little iffy to me.

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ANYWAY all in all my thoughts are this: entertainment = high. Wade = the worst. If you can deal with Wade, you’ll probably enjoy this book. And if you want something fun and easy to read, I’d highly recommend this one.

But have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Let me know!

Ally xx

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20 thoughts on “Book review: Ready Player One

  1. I think I agree with every point you made in this review except that I thought there was a part about 3/5 of the way through where the pace bogged down and got boring. However, 100% agree that this is an entertaining book, but not anything special. It’s like a summer action movie to me. You watch the movie, you eat all the popcorn, you are entertained… and then a couple months later you don’t remember anything about the movie at all.

    I also had major issues with the “diversity” and the way it was handled. But again… summer action movie. I didn’t expect anything better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh so glad you agree! That’s the perfect description for it. And I do agree it got a bit slow in the middle-ish.

      Yes! It was so annoying! Honestly it would’ve just been better if H was another white guy


      1. Right? At that point the diversity was so token that it felt more like an “oops, I just realized everyone’s a white guy” than something which was planned from the start. (If it was planned from the start, it didn’t come across that way. Oh well.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It could have been a really good comment on how the ’80’s only ever seemed to have token representation, but instead it just did exactly what ’80’s pop culture did without poking at it at all. And that makes the token rep seem like it’s perfectly normal and okay to continue into the future.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always held off on reading this book even though I know it’s so hyped (maybe *because* it’s so hyped? 😂) Still unsure whether I should pick it up because whiny characters are also one of my pet peeves! Awesome review Ally, thanks for sharing 😊

    💛 Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

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