Publisher: Random House NY
Summary from Goodreads:
It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
What I thought: I. loved. this. book. It takes place within an MMORPG, but you get to see both the in-game stuff and the people playing them, and it's such a unique and interesting way to tell a story. I liked how both of the storylines fit together and how we were sort of helping to solve the puzzle along with the characters in the novel.
This book was also full of 80s & 90s pop culture references which I really liked a lot and made the book fun to read.
I think what I liked best about this book is that it didn't really fall into tropes or common things that you expect in fiction. It wasn't really YA; this book could have easily fallen into the stereotypical world of a YA novel where a boy and a girl both want the same prize but ~get each other instead~ or whatever, but it doesn't take that path and I am grateful for that.
Read this if: you're a gamer or an internet-type person, if you like puzzle-y type stories or if you want something that's completely original.
Out of 5: 5/5
This book was 122/120 for 2013