A Novel by Ernest Cline
Age Rating: 15+
Addictive Rating: Immeasurable. Probably somewhere around 9,842.
Review by Quinn S., 8th Grade
“Going outside is highly overrated.”
Nerdy. Nerdy and fantastic. Marvelous, awesome, nostalgic, fantastically nerdy. Everything about this book can only be defined by the word yes. I’ve read this book approximately 4.5 times, and I still laugh, smile, and love this book just as much as I did the first time. Indubitably my favorite book, this literary masterpiece is pleasing in so many ways. But enough of me emptying my feelings out over this book. Let’s review it.
Since this is my favorite book, this should be my favorite book review. Ernest Cline has assembled a book of action, despair, an escape from reality, love, and at the same times, it all revolves around videogames. What more could a teenage reader ask for? This book references music, movies, games, and other things from the 80’s/early 90’s era, and while I may not have been able to get all of them, I still love this book. It’s packed full of nostalgic goodness that can satisfy even this 14 year-old.
So imagine every book ever written in one place. Good. Now imagine every song and movie in one place. Now put every single piece of information ever found on the internet, every website, archive, you name it, all in one spot. All the videogames ever made are in there. It’s an online simulation called the OASIS. And its creator and founder, James Halliday, has just passed away. When he died, a message was sent out to the whole world. He left an in game puzzle; the most elaborate Easter egg ever made to the players. And the individual that happens to find the puzzle first wins the prize. The $247 billion dollar prize, to be exact. Nobody has solved the puzzle for years and years, but that all changes when one high school senior Wade Watts makes his breakthrough. When he does, his whole world is rocked. But this is in the OASIS. The real world has problems of its own. People in every country all over the world are living in poverty, thousands go without food, homes, and the basic needs that you need to survive. For most, the OASIS is the only way to escape the hell that they live. For instance, Wade lives on the 16th level on a facility of stacked RV’s and trailers. But for Wade, the only thing that matters to him is finding the egg. He is what you would call a “Gunter” (Egg Hunter). This is the term for people who devote all their time into finding the egg and researching everything they can find about the puzzle, but most importantly, James Halliday. You see, the puzzle revolves around the life of Halliday. Nothing will get in the way of Wade. Not the fascist SIS workers, not the ever-worsening reality around him. The only thing that matters to Wade is finding the egg.
What rocked: Honestly, what didn’t? This book really had it all. Action, comedy, love, hope, hopelessness, video games, and to sum it all up, it’s a nerd’s dream. With such a strong, courageous plot, it would be easy for Cline to screw it up. But he doesn’t. In fact, he is able to make it perfect, exactly what you would want. This part of the review could be a lot longer, but I don’t want to spend too much time on it.
What didn’t rock: I almost debated even putting this part here. Oh well.
I would recommend this book to anyone. Yep, anyone. I literally though this book was good enough that I think anyone would like it. I know that isn’t exactly true, but I would hope that it is. Anyone that likes action, love, hope, mystery (the whole puzzle solving part), despair, comedy, you name it. Just try it, please. It rocks.