Reviewed by Carrie Ardoin

Wade Watts lives in 2044 Oklahoma, in an America where poverty is so rampant that the skyscrapers are now stacked trailer homes. Where the only means of escape, education, and work for so many citizens lies within the OASIS, an online world where you can be and do anything.

When the reclusive creator of the OASIS dies, he reveals that he hid an Easter egg within the game, and that the first person to find it will receive his vast fortune, billions of dollars. Wade, like countless others around the world, immediately begins the hunt for a chance to get a ticket out of his horrible existence. After five years of searching, Wade finds the first key that sets him on the path to the egg. Unfortunately for him, that means he is now a target–because very real people are willing to kill for that much money and the power that comes with it. Can Wade make his way through the OASIS’ 80’s pop culture ridden world and find the egg first?

Ready Player One was such an exciting ride! I got sucked into the OASIS just like Wade did. I was born in 1985 but I am a huge pop culture nerd, so I loved all the references in this book. Throw in the gaming aspect, and I couldn’t tear myself away from it.

I instantly felt a connection with Wade and hoped for him to find a way out of his situation. But I loved that he never felt pity for himself. He just did what he could to get by, from scavenging to make extra money, to finding his own little hideaway where he could escape the confines of the tiny trailer where he lived. This is a guy that needed to find the Easter egg badly–not just for the money, but for the feeling of accomplishing something for once in his life.

Wade is 18 and the only real friend he has is online. Although this novel is set 30 years in the future, I think a lot of kids can relate to this even now. I know with the advent of MMORPG’s such as World of Warcraft, kids who are bullied all day in school can’t wait for the second they get home, where they can log into their virtual universe and be a warrior or king.

The action in Ready Player One mainly took place in the game, but the parts that crossed over into the real world were very scary and I could actually imagine them happening. That kind of money makes people do evil things, and when huge corporations get involved, it is a fact that some of them will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. Sadly, this has happened in our world countless times.

As Wade progresses in the game, he goes through changes too. I wish I could say they were all positive, but I will say they all feel very realistic. By the end, however, he is redeemed, although maybe a little crazy!

I did have a couple of issues with the ending. My biggest one was finding out that race and sexuality were still issues 30 years in the future. I would rather have hope that this wouldn’t always be the case, but of course, this is a fictional world. Let us hope the real future turns out better.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Carrie runs the blog Sweet Southern Home, and is a stay at home wife and mom to one little boy. When she’s not reading, she’s usually watching Netflix with her husband, playing outside with her son, or baking. Her family would describe her as sometimes annoyingly sarcastic, but mostly lovable. 

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Wunderkind PR. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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