“It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.”
Before I get to my review, I should probably acknowledge the fact that I haven’t posted since April. And April was a long time ago. I was by no means absent (I was definitely still on tumblr every day), but I had no time to blog since I’m doing this thing called college, and sometimes I have to be responsible.
But now it’s summer! And I have twenty something book reviews to write (I was obviously still reading too). So here goes nothing!
Do you love video games, movies, music, and/or 80s pop culture? Do you consider yourself a geek? Ready Player One will be a heartwarming, smile catalyzing, satisfying book if you answered yes to at least one of those questions. I wouldn’t say that it’s necessary for you to be a geek in order to enjoy the novel, but you’ll certainly enjoy it more if you are. If you recognize some of Cline’s many (and I do mean many) allusions, Ready Player One won’t just be a pretty good science fiction dystopian novel. You’ll welcome it into your heart the way you would a person that you’ve discovered is a part of the same fandom.That’s serious stuff.
Cline transports readers to the year 2044, where Earth is host to human bodies, but not to human minds. People plug into a computer program called OASIS, which is where they live out their lives. Kids create an avatar and attend school in OASIS. It’s an education system. It’s a library of everything ever. It’s a video game. It’s a world.
OASIS is technically an MMO (massive multiplayer online), but it soars above and beyond the definition of a typical “game.” It was created by James Halliday and his partner at Gregarious Simulation Systems, Ogden Morrow. When Halliday died, he left a video explaining that he had hidden various “easter eggs” within OASIS. “Easter eggs” is a gaming term used to refer to special items, bonuses, etc. in a game that are usually hidden by their creators. The person who discovered all of Halliday’s easter eggs would get all his money (he had a lot of it) and control of OASIS.
Enter Wade Watts. He’s the main character of the book. He’s a teenage boy, and a “gunter.” Gunters are people that have dedicated their lives to discovering Halliday’s easter eggs. The guy didn’t make it easy. Readers follow Watts on his journey to discover these eggs, and immerse themselves in a story that provokes nauseatingly potent nostalgia and characters so likable you’ll be questioning the value of face to face contact (enhanced by the wonderful digital friendships of the characters in the book).
I don’t want to give too much away, but I want to give you a preview of the geek level of this book. Wil Wheaton is a politician who protects user rights. A husband builds a replica of Rivendell for his wife (what?!). World of Warcraft. Plus a lot of other stuff that I don’t remember because I should’ve done this book review way earlier.
2044 is around the corner. Prepare yourself by reading this book.
A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie poster I made for my Illustrator/Photoshop class!
Thank you to ifyougaveagirlabook for presenting me with the Liebster Blog Award!
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator and create 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less (though personally I will just send it to whomever I think deserves it, because I have no idea how many followers you guys have) that you feel deserve to be noticed. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen (no tag backs).
4. Copy and paste the blog award onto your blog.
1. If you were trapped on an island, what three book characters would you bring to life to take with you?
- Well, I don’t want to ruin the spirit of the question, but I’d probably just ask Gandalf or Dumbledore to come and get me off the island. On second thought, just Dumbledore. Magic’s much less difficult to use in Rowling’s world than in Middle Earth, and Gandalf already used his favor from the eagles. If we’re talking non-magical characters, I’d probably bring Aragorn, Katniss Everdeen and Pi Patel to life.
2. Favorite antagonist?
- Even though she isn’t the primary antagonist, I love to hate Professor Umbridge. Don’t we all?
3. Favorite protagonist?
- This is a terrible question! I can’t pick one, so here’s a list of some main characters that I love: Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice), Reneé (The Elegance of the Hedgehog), Harry Potter (obvious), Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility), Colin Singleton (An Abundance of Katherines) and Wade Watts (Ready Player One). This doesn’t include authors of memoirs.
- I can’t do this without giving a shout-out to supporting characters that are some of my favorite characters of all time: Hermione Granger, Sam Gangee, Levin, Arwen, Jane Bennet and Augustus Waters.
4. Which literary world would you NOT want to go to?
- I think the worlds of The Hunger Games and Brave New World would be particularly awful compared to other literary dystopias like Divergent and Matched. The Giver’s or Anthem's worlds wouldn't be ideal either… But I think that Brave New World is my final answer. Oh, I don’t even want to think about that.
5. What does your bookmark look like?
- Currently, I’m using a Downton Abbey bookmark. It has that long horizontal picture of the cast on it. I might have to change it because it kind of just makes me want to cry.
6. Most inspirational book?
- This is a difficult question, because there are multiple books that have inspired me in different ways, one way not being clearly superior to the others. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt I think top the list for me. But in reality, every book inspires me.
7. Books that made you cry?
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Fault in Our Stars, Little Bee (this one was really inspirational too), The Two Princesses of Bamarre, The Sweet Far Thing…there’s probably more, but I can’t remember them off the top of my head.
8. Favorite authors of all time?
- Frank McCourt, J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Gail Carson Levine, Leo Tolstoy, and Chris Cleave.
9. If you could write a children’s book, what message would you provide?
- I’ve been sitting here for around fifteen minutes trying to think of something original, but it seems that I’m not meant to be a children’s book author. Maybe something along the lines of “it’s cool to be smart”? But cuter, with a lot of rhyming.
10. Do you judge a book by its cover?
- If I’m not already looking for a specific book (just browsing), yes.
11. Describe your favorite place to read.
- On a bench in my home library adorned with pillows and a navy and white striped cushion tucked into the concave created by a large bay window framed with white molding. It doesn’t exist yet, but it will. For now, my bed’s pretty nice.
To continue this wonderful train of book appreciation, I’d like to nominate the following book blogs for the Liebster Blog Award:
Here are my questions:
1. Who do you think is the most under-appreciated literary character?
2. What is the longest book that you’ve ever read?
3. What was your favorite childhood book?
4. What are you currently reading?
5. Where is your favorite place to get books (library, bookstore, etc.)?
6. What’s one of your favorite quotes from a book?
7. What is your least favorite book? Why?
8. Who are your favorite authors?
9. Who are your favorite protagonists?
10. If you could create a character for yourself in any book, which book would it be and what role would you play?
11. List three of your favorite books. If you had to choose one of those stories to erase (as if it had never been written), which one would you choose (sorry…)?
“It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.” (Photo: Actress Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen; a scene from the film “Becoming Jane”)
Thank you so much, I really appreciate that! :)