Saturday, January 5, 2013

December Book Club: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The world is falling apart, but humanity has found an escape: the OASIS. Designed as a fully integrated virtual experience the OASIS allows anyone who enters to play games, build worlds, and live inside their favorite geekdom. When the creator of OASIS, James Halliday, dies he sets up a massive, OASIS-wide treasure hunt: whoever finds the keys and clears the gates first becomes his heir with full control over the company. Wade Watts never had much growing up: his Mom and the OASIS were the only things that kept him sane. Now that his Mom is dead, he's alone and he spends every possible moment searching for the first key. He's got virtually no money, no clout, and only one friend - so when Wade manages to find the key he's stunned. Now he's got to try to keep things good with his best friend, figure out how he feels about the new girl who almost beat him to the key, and survive the unscrupulous business men striving to claim the keys first so they can commercialize the OASIS. Can he manage to navigate the mix of real world and virtual reality to save the OASIS for everyone?

Flooded with 80's pop-culture references, movie plots, music lyrics, fantasy and science fiction worlds, and every other geeky thing you can imagine, Ready Player One will speak to the nerd in everyone.

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What we thought (no major spoilers, but we do talk about it as people who have read it :)

Jenn N: I loved this book for several reasons. The first being that I really loved Wade. He was adorably geeky, but he used his awkwardness to his advantage by fighting to find the keys/treasure. I also loved all the references to 80's pop-culture, especially the music. I can't help but love a novel that name checks Duran Duran and Oingo Boingo while giving a nod to Lloyd Dobler and Alex P. Keaton. This book has it all: adventure, nostalgia, and a touch of romance.

Jess B: This book speaks to everyone's inner nerd. Wade's perseverance and taking what little he has and making it into so much more is inspiring. I can't seem to stop reading this book. I find myself turning back to it over and over again to find all those little Easter eggs that I have missed each time before. I found myself squealing with each video game reference which brought me back to my childhood in front of my television spending countless hours with my NES controller. (side note: I don't know if you guys were aware of this. Buuuuuuuut the author actually put an Easter Egg in the book itself. It was a website that lead to its own gates. If you made it past the same tests that Wade went through first ... you got a Delorean... AMAZING!!!!)

Rachelyons: This was my favorite book of 2012! The Beard read it before me and it was all he could talk about. I was instantly hooked because I'm a sucker for any story set in a post-apocalyptic world. Combine that with the 80's pop culture and it was like this book was made for me. The world was vivid and unique and I loved the concept. Like Jess B I also loved Wade's perseverance and ingenuity. I recommend this book to everyone and I will definitely read it again!

Rebecca T: Like Jess B, I agree that this speaks to the reader's inner nerd. I really appreciated the way the author incorporated so many different aspects. So if you don't really know video games, there are music or movie or sci-fi or anime references. I geeked out over Wade and Aech's Ladyhawke argument and I think I about died when Wade took over the Firefly class ship. I found it a bit of a slow starter, but once it got into the actual quest part of the novel I was completely hooked. I loved the High Five and the mix of personalities. Wade is a main character who is flawed, but who you root for wholeheartedly.

Next month we're moving back to our YA roots, but taking a twist away from dystopian with a contemporary novel by Janet Gurtler: I'm Not Her. Rebecca T got to meet Janet at a book signing this year and recommended her newest book. Hope you'll join us!

And don't forget you still have time to enter our Blogoversary contest! Lots of lovely books up for grabs :)

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