Unlike my eating habits, I’m not a picky reader. I love all genres, storylines, and interesting settings. While I do read in mass quantity, I’m always looking for that quality story that sticks with me long after the final sentence.
I’ve read some truly amazing books in the last year, but one of my new all-time favorites has been Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Since I first read it in 2017, I have reread it 8 other times and listened to the audiobook, narrated by none other than the fantastic Wil Wheaton, 3 times.
Folks, I love this book.
The story has everything I want when I crack open a spine. Characters you feel like jump off the page and burrow themselves into your very essence, a fast-paced plot line that gives you paper cuts because you can’t turn the page fast enough, consequences and never easy challenges to overcome (although they always end up being triumphant, just in surprising ways), and the nostalgia of the 80s.
If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a summary from Goodreads:
In the year 2044, 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.
But 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.
The story is so good, they even made it into a movie. And yes I am one of those snobs who will ALWAYS say the book is better than the movie (unless Keanu Reeves is playing the hero), and Ready Player One is no exception. The movie changed a lot of the really great details and storylines of the book, even though it came to the same ending. Do I understand why Hollywood made the changes? Yes. Did I like the changes? Ummmmm, no. BUT! After being sorely disappointed after the first viewing, I did watch it again and could appreciate the liberties they took with the plot, even if silently in my head I was matching all the inaccuracies on the screen to what was written in my beloved pages.
Enough about the movie because it wasn’t amazing, but the book! THE BOOK is seriously, close to near-perfect. And the best part is, the sequel is coming out in November!
Ready Player Two is a continuation of the first story. Thanks again to Goodreads for the summary:
An unexpected quest. Two worlds at stake. Are you ready?
Days after Oasis founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday’s vault, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis a thousand times more wondrous, and addictive, than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle and a new quest. A last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who will kill millions to get what he wants. Wade’s life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.
You best believe I’ve preordered my copy of Ready Player Two and will be incommunicado the second it arrives. There’s no shame in finding stories that resonate with you and being unable to contain your excitement. Call it an obsession. Call it being part of the fandom. Whatever its label, I’m grateful for stories that make me feel seen and less alone in the world, even if they take place in the virtual world with impossible obstacles.