For gamers especially, Ready Player One is a good read
Book Review: Must Reads For Youth
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (13+)
This spellbinding virtual reality adventure (also a major motion picture!) will dazzle ‘80s fans and engross video game lovers. Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One tells the story of society in 2045, a world dominated by a virtual reality simulator: the Oasis.
In 2045, war-torn Earth is scarred by climate change, conflict, and poverty. As such, Oasis offers an escape from the real world.
James Halliday, the Oasis’s creator, has developed a contest to find an Easter egg that he has hidden in the virtual world in exchange for ownership of the Oasis company.
Wade Watts, the main character, is an 18-year-old orphan addicted to video games. Wade and his allies try to win the contest before an evil corporation can beat them to it and take away the joy of virtual reality.
The competition contains many 1980s pop culture references, as this made up the majority of Halliday’s clues to win Oasis.
Ready Player One is split into three parts: Level One, Level Two, and Level Three. As Watts progresses through his years-long quest for the Easter egg, his emotions fluctuate from elated to despaired, to hopeful.
Between Wade falling in love with his online crush, who plays on the Oasis under the name Art3mis, and life-and-death conflicts with evil corporations vying for control of the Oasis, the virtual world is dynamic and unpredictable.
An important theme in Ready Player One is the struggle of finding happiness; Wade’s reality as a poor orphan is depressing, stressful, and lonely. As such, he finds refuge in the Oasis.
This escapism persists throughout the novel until Wade begins to experience different sources of cheerfulness and develops into a generous and altruistic adult.
If you found Ready Player One entertaining, you might also enjoy virtual reality cautionary tales such as Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, or intense competition like Warcross by Marie Lu and Nyxia by Scott Reintgen.
Especially for youth who love video games, exciting books like Ready Player One tend to be great gateways into the world of reading.
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