Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Technically I started this book way before my summer reading challenge, but I muscled through the last half of it this week so I’m counting it. Especially because of how painful this was to finish.
I have no idea how this has such a high rating on GoodReads. It’s slow, monotone, and boring. The action of this book could be condensed to a fourth of the length, if you removed all the 80s movie, TV show, music and video game explanations. I know kids today don’t know about tape players and whatever but it was like a grandfather trying to cram “back in my day” disjointed stories down your throat and expecting you care. Or a grandchild to trying to explain Instagram to a grandparents. It’s just not the same experience unless you live it.
Then there are the characters. Wade Watts is the main character. He has almost zero character development. He is shallow and doesn’t understand having personal relationships which is almost understandable but when he does have the chance, doesn’t face any problems that someone that hasn’t had personal connections with other people would have. For example: when his girlfriend leaves him, he doesn’t display any sort of trust issues.
The other characters including said girlfriend are about as flat as a piece of paper. Two do good philanthropists, a token girlfriend, a best friend that has social justice issues, and a dark, evil corporate executive. Wade the MC, suffers from being good at everything. It’s such a burden. Of course he is poor so that is challenge enough I suppose. Wade can play a perfect game of PacMan, escape from slavery, has endless time to relive the entirety of the 80s multiple times, super polished hacking skills, and never has to worry about conflicts with his friends. (He says he doesn’t have friends but he has has at least 4 which isn’t awful.)
There were some good things about this book, the idea of the Oasis is fun. Traveling through it was great. The contest concept was interesting. I can totally imagine being in the Oasis and how addicting it would be. Final ruling: 80s Fanfiction.
Rating: Two out of Five Extra Lives.