Published: August 16, 2011Publisher: Random HousePages: 374Received: borrowed audiobook from libraryIn 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.
OMG! What was I waiting for? How did I not read this before now? I LOVED IT! I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Wil Wheaton, which was just the icing on the cake. Not only is this book about all things pop culture and video game related, but it's narrated by an iconic 80s kid. Perfect match!
I was immediately pulled into the story by Wheaton's narration, the dystopian reality and the pop culture from my childhood. At every turn there is a new reference to some movie, video game, TV show or piece of music that I can't help but smile while thinking of. From the Family Ties opening theme to the references of RUSH, from the mention of John Hughes' movies to reenacting War Games and from good old Atari to Xbox - there are so many references.
I loved the premise of the book - playing a virtual game to find a hidden Easter egg and win a ton of money! Wade is a great hero and I was cheering him on from the beginning. You want him to succeed and have a better life than what was dealt to him. You want to see him change the world, to make things better and save it from the 6s (the bad guys who will try anything, even murder to get to the prize).
I loved being a part of OASIS through Wade's eyes - seeing him attend virtual school, chilling with his friends, and crushing on a girl. Interesting to see it all happen virtually. I really grew to like Wade and wanted to be one of his virtual friends, I wanted to be on his side and be a part of this craziness. I honestly think that listening to the audiobook version was great in that respect as well, because it gave me that chance feel and hear the tone and feeling behind everything happening in the book and getting to know Wade more.
I don't even know what else to say about this book except that if you like a good nerdy book about 80s pop culture and dystopian stories, then this is your book! What are you waiting for.... go grab a copy! I'm off to listen to the soundtrack made by Ernest Cline!
Looking forward to Armada!
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