Ready Player One

9969571Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Genre: Science Fiction

Published: August 16, 2011

Rating: 5/5

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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. 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.

I was given this book during Big-Little week by my wonderful Little, and it took me a while afterward to finally pick it up. I cannot believe it took me so long! This book combined my love of digital stories with their paper brethren in a wonderful ride that brought into question what will happen to the world when computers become the main sensory experience.

Wade Watts proves to be the super hero he was named to be, representing the dream of gamers across the world; to become famous and rich by playing video games. He also represents a self-taught computer genius who is a programmer and tech guy in one. In short, I am incredibly jealous of his innate computer literacy, and now consider him one of my multitude of book boyfriends.

This isn’t just a story about a quest for money and fame, it is a wonderful exploration of how the world can change when you can look however you want. The ability to work and play all occurs in the same web for (nearly) free. A world completely digitized still has “castes” of a sort; only the wealthy can move freely and have the best equipment. This facet of the world brings to mind current issues such as net neutrality, as Wade battles the evil corporation hell bent on privatizing entry into this magical universe of binary.

Do you really know your friends if you’ve never met them face-to-face? In a world now full of social media, and sharing sites, it can be harder than ever to tell your real friends from those just hiding behind a screen. The evolution of Wade and his friendships with those online made me evaluate how I view online friendships (I really don’t have any friends as awesome as Ach).

The classics will always come back. I’ll admit a few of the 80’s references in this book went over my head (I’m a 90’s kid), but I found the nostalgia present throughout the book charming and interesting. After finishing, I did go searching out a few of the movies referenced to get a little more context, and I will likely reread again soon so I can experience the book with a bit more background.

In summary, Ready Player One is an action packed sci-fi thriller and is high on my list of favorite books ever. I absolutely love and felt connected to all the characters, and can’t wait to see them adapted on the big screen next year (please, Steven Spielberg, don’t mess them up). I highly recommend it to anyone who loves 80’s references, classic video games, and explorations of what is to come in all of our futures.

Check out my Etsy for a Ready Player One inspired bracelet!

Thank you all for reading!

emily

Wanderlove Saga by Belle Malory

I’ve decided to take this time on #throwbackthursday to write a review of one of my favorite series of 2011 and 2012. Without further ado, here is my review of the wonderful, extraordinary Indie Series, The Wanderlove Saga!

12698959

Wanderlove by Belle Malory

Genre: Magical realism/science fiction

Published: September 20, 2011

Rating: 4.5/5

Blurb: Lola Moori is hiding a secret she doesn’t know she’s keeping.

She begins to remember someone.

Someone important.

His name is Gabe. . .and whatever they shared, she could feel that it was epic.

Yet it seems Gabe wanted her to forget him. Forever.

The curse that repressed Lola’s memories for the span of several lifetimes is coming undone. But unfortunately, she discovers that some secrets are better left buried.

Review:

The world that Malory creates in Wanderlove is absolutely enchanting. The idea of a somewhat secret society of Gypsy’s, as well as long lost and forgotten love pulled in my middle-school-aged heart. It’s also refreshing to read a mystery love story without a love triangle. And that’s the awesome thing about this book, while it is a wonderful love story, it is also a fantastical mystery based in magic.

I especially love the flashback to Lola’s life so many lifetimes before. I have to admit I cried a few times reading this book, and have gone back to read it multiple times.

Gabe is also the perfect love interest, a compassionate and hard-working man who wants nothing but the best for his love. The way he treats her is some portions of the book is somewhat reminiscent of Daniel Grigori in the Fallen series by Lauren Kate, however I believe it is a tad more relatable in this instance.

While Wanderlove is an amazing book, it was really the second one in the series that really blew me away. Remember how I said that it was a mystery mixed in with a love story? Well that mystery doesn’t get resolved in the first one; for that you have to read on….

13506975Fortell by Belle Malory

Published: June 24, 2012

Rating: 5/5

Blurb: If you could provide anyone with the path to their deepest, darkest desires, would you?

Estelle Spencer has no choice.

With just a simple touch of her hand, wishes and dreams are instantly fulfilled. Her voice speaks of its own accord, lighting the way to good fortune.

But not everyone’s fortunes are desirable.

For most of her life Estelle hides in fear, living as a recluse in her sister’s shadow. Until the day comes when her existence is remembered.

Forced into running, Estelle meets Rex, a Romanian gypsy, and the only person who can help her hide. Together they search for a way to end the curse that controls Estelle’s life.

Before she destroys the world.

Review:

While Wanderlove was a sweet story of eternal love, this story focuses on Rex, the brother of Gabe, who is hung up on a past love of lifetimes past. Insert Estelle, a charming a cursed individual who has always done what is best for everyone else, until she becomes hunted for her gift.

It is not really necessary to read the first book to understand this storyline, but if you choose to skip it, some of the people and other background info might be a bit confusing. Lola and Gabe show up again, as I said this book is basically the resolution of that mystery from Wanderlove, and it’s great to be able to revisit certain aspects of their past that remain unanswered as well as see them find happiness. While they do show up and are instrumental in beginning the events of the book, they are not really seen throughout. Instead, it focuses on the characters mentioned earlier, Rex and Estelle.

Rex is a cynical person, and somewhat of a bad boy (and artist) which is always appealing to me. I mean, who doesn’t want to root for the bad boy? I also loved how this book was not about a first, eternal love, but in many ways overcoming an old one to welcome the new. There still isn’t a real love triangle though, as the book is told in Estelle’s view, and she is only ever interested in Rex. The only real thing holding them back is the curse, and to defeat that Estelle cannot rely on anyone else.

I will have to say that I sobbed multiple times during this book, but I am also a complete sop for love stories. Especially ones where the female finds herself and comes into her powers.

As always, feel free to comment with your thoughts. Happy reading!

Emily