In a word: Nerdy.
If you know anything about this book, it should not surprise you that this book is pretty nerd-tastic. The story takes place in not-too-far-in-the-future dystopian America. Natural resources have run low, war and violence are rampant, and governments are basically powerless. The one redeeming aspect of people’s lives is free access to a virtual world called OASIS. In OASIS, everyone can escape the desolate world they live in and participate in a beautiful, fun, adventurous (if you want it to be) new world. People all over the world go to school, shop, battle, travel, and entertain themselves in OASIS.
When the creator of OASIS dies, he leaves a final challenge: whoever finds three hidden keys in the game (found through a series of challenges, battles, and trivia knowledge) will inherit the rights to OASIS and his huge fortune. Game on.
Just to clarify, this is NOT my normal type of book to pick up, but I kept hearing it recommended by non-gamer-type people, so I decided to give it a try. I have never really played video games, so there was a lot in the book that I think I probably missed (also, I learned that Dungeons and Dragons is not even a video game–who knew?), but it still was really interesting and fun. The creator of OASIS was really into 80’s culture, so there are tons of references to movies, music, games, and celebrities from that time throughout the book. Once again, that is not something I have a ton of knowledge of, but it added a lot of fun details.
The main character is an 18 year old boy, so there were a couple of things that went along with that that were kind of annoying (name calling, gross humor, etc.), but none of it was so extreme or frequent that it ruined the book.
Overall, I really did enjoy this book more than I expected to. Once the world was set up and I got to know some of the characters, I got really into the story! I would definitely recommend Ready Player One, especially if you enjoy dystopian YA, video games, or the 80’s.