Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This book surprised me by how much I enjoyed it. Not the biggest video game connoisseur, I was a bit nervous about relating to the overall plot but this book sucked me in so quickly and had me finishing it within a day because I just had to keep reading.
Wade Watts is a poor teenager who has had a very hard life and lives with an aunt who doesn’t care about him. But, there’s something Wade loves, the Oasis. A virtual reality, where you can do and be anything you want, the Oasis goes a step further and actually offers you things in your real life. Money you earn playing games in the Oasis converts to the real world. Wade even goes to school by putting on his virtual goggles. But he also is obsessed with finding the creator of Oasis’s “Easter Egg” a hidden object within the virtual world that gives the holder full control over the Oasis. Thus begins the journey of Wade and everything that happens to him and his friends during the hunt.
There are a lot of references to 80s movies and games, some of which I didn’t understand since it was before my time as a child, but I loved the fact that the story was centered on returning to the past and seeing what great things others have achieved.
At first, it was slightly depressing, realizing that America could very much fall into this virtual world where people don’t spend time with their loved ones in the real world. But Cline is such a great story teller, you end up feeling as if you’re in this world with Wade. Cline also captures the bad and good of this world, and the importance of balance and made for a great feel-good storyline along with intense action and thrilling situations.
I highly recommend the book, even to those that aren’t the biggest Sci-Fi fans as I feel it’s a great balance and very interesting story that doesn’t go completely out of the realm of possibility.
Synopsis: In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage 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 beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. 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.