Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

This book…..yeah. Not only is it totally an 80’s movie, but this future is TOTALLY GOING TO HAPPEN!!

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.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

So I feel like a bad bookworm nerd that I have just now discovered this book and how completely awesome it is. It’s one that has been on my to-be-read list for a while, however, just never got around to reading. Then, one fateful day at the library, I found the audiobook for this book…and it was narrated by Wil Wheton. And after that I was sold.
Granted, Wil Wheton narrating did seal the deal for me to check out this book, but from the very beginning, when there is a description of The Stacks located in Oklahoma City, OK off of Portland Ave (which is like a mile away from where I live!) I couldn’t help but fall into Wade Watts’s world head first. The stark contrast of the world turning to crap and the beautiful escape of the OASIS is wonderful and breathtaking. It would make sense for everyone to run away from a world experiencing an full blown Energy Crisis and evil Corporate bastards who can send to you indenture servitude if you are late on a credit card payments (and yes, I totally see this happening!) But the OASIS is a utopia of free intellectual thought and you can be anyone you want to be while inside this fully immersive virtual reality. It seems like a not bad place.
But what about Wade Watts? He’s just a poor kid from the Stacks (which is mobile homes stacked on top of each other….like super high. Wade lives on the top of 23 mobile homes!) who just wants to escape. To find the ultimate prize of Halliday’s Easter Egg: complete access to his mega fortune. Wade is a great character because who cannot relate to being an awkward 17 year old kid? But, he has a passion and a drive that is almost beyond his years. We see him grow out of his big talking ego ways to see the world outside of himself. He makes true friends through his comrades who are also searching for the Grand Prize. He takes down the evil internet corporation IOI for the most part. He is all around a character you can’t help to root for.
Is some of the things predictable? Yeah.
Is some of the situations that he’s thrown into a little too easy for him to get out of? Sure.
But isn’t that like all 80’s movies? Well due.
This book is pure fun. There’s a lot of awesome 70’s and 80’s references to movies and games and music and you can’t help but fall in love. But, what I love most about this book? The little hints of truth in our society. And what’s the truth? We need to pull ourselves away from the internet and the social media and the iPhone and smartphones and look at the world around us.
Until next time!
Remember to be yourself…unless you can be a pirate…then always be a pirate!!