I’ll be the first to admit that this book is completely out of my comfort zone. I have never read a book about virtual reality. In fact, I’ve never even played a video game. It’s not like I have avoided these things on purpose. Growing up, my parents bought me a lot of books and dolls. But video games were thought to be for boys only. Plus, they were too expensive for an immigrant family to afford at that time. It didn’t help that I didn’t have many friends so I was always out of the loop on what was “in”. When I heard about this book, I thought it was interesting but also very weird. I mean, who would want to write a book about a video game? Clearly, this author. And clearly, this book has done so well that it is being made into a movie. So, in order to finally catch up with the times, I decided to give this novel a shot. Here is my review:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. There’s not a lot of money and not a lot of food. Most of the population is homeless. The only time teenager 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. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself propelled into popularity. But with his fame comes a great danger: there are some players out there who will stop at nothing to win the ultimate prize – even if it means killing Wade. 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.
When I say this book was un-put-down-able, I mean it. I sat in my bed, thinking that I would read a few chapters and see how I felt about it. Before I knew it, I had finished the whole book and not taken a single break for anything. It was that entertaining! Even though I wasn’t born in the ’80s and have no experience with video games, I found it really easy to follow along. The author does a great job of explaining everything so you can really enjoy the story and understand all of the little references being made. Of course, if you are familiar with all of the cultural references from the ’80s that are made in this book, then you are probably going to enjoy this more! This is a pretty light-hearted story for all intents and purposes: Wade is a loner who finds an escape through the Oasis and this challenge that was presented by the eccentric creator of the Oasis. The adventures and obstacles were really fun to read about and you really see Wade growing up and developing as a character. I loved all of the other characters, as they each had their own unique part. While some people may have wanted a bit more realism and substance to this novel, I liked it because it didn’t have that. It was just such a good fun read! It had me excited, it had me laughing, it had me amped …. it made me feel like I was a part of this world that the author had created. I definitely had a great experience with this novel, and I’m giving it a 5/5 stars.