Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Spoiler Free Book Review

ready player oneRating: 5/5

Genre: Sci-fi, YA

First published: 2011?

Author: Ernest Cline

Synopsis: In 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.

Book Depository | Goodreads


This book was so much fun. I kept putting off for some reason. I felt like I wouldn’t enjoy it if I didn’t get all the references or that I simply wouldn’t enjoy it at all. I don’t know why, but I was so wrong. I torpedoed through this book. I think it took me 2 days to read even though I spent most of those two days travelling.

The story was so fun and action packed and engaging. It was really immersive as well, I loved it. I felt like I was actually in OASIS as I was reading it and wishing OASIS was real when I wasn’t. And I loved all the references, I didn’t get all of them to be fair, but that didn’t get in the way of enjoying the story, instead I just learnt more things about 80s pop culture. I loved the scavenger hunt/puzzle solving element to it, I really love puzzles and figuring things out and there aren’t that many books that feature riddles and puzzles, so I had so much fun.

The characters were great. Wade’s perspective was so fun to read because he was such a teenage boy. And I’ve never been a teenage boy, so it was a bit bemusing but really interesting and fun to read the thought processes behind the typical teenage boy behaviour. I also loved the friendship between Wade and Aech, which is an uncommon one for reasons I can’t say due to spoilers. And of course, I loved Wade and Art3mis, they’re so cute afglhskjfa.

Okay, I’m okay. Yeah, this book is awesome. I wish I could erase it from my brain and re-read it for the first time. Read it people, you will not be disappointed. It will sing to the geek in you and make you happy.

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The Bookshelf Book Tag

I saw this over at Thrice Read and decided to steal it.

Now, I have several bookshelves, but only one is accessible to me at this moment so I’ll just do that tag about that one.


1. DESCRIBE YOUR BOOKSHELF AND WHERE YOU GOT IT FROM.

It’s white and narrow. It came with the flat I’m currently renting, but I’m pretty sure it’s from Ikea.

2. DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL OR DIFFERENT WAY OF ORGANIZING YOUR BOOKS?

Nah, not really. I rearrange them quite often because it relaxes me and also I buy new books all the time. I generally just arrange them in whatever way I find most satisfying or aesthetically pleasing, but I do always try to keep series together and if possible, authors together as well.

3. IS THERE A BOOK YOU RECEIVED AS A GIFT?

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I just got it for my birthday the other week.

4. IS THERE A BOOK FROM A FRIEND ON YOUR SHELF?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. A friend just lent it to me. I should probably read it.

5. WHAT’S THE THICKEST (MOST AMOUNT OF PAGES) BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?

If I include my textbooks, then those. If not, then The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.

6. WHAT’S THE THINNEST (LEAST AMOUNT OF PAGES) BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?

Hmm… I reckon it’s my Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic.

7. WHAT’S THE SMALLEST (HEIGHT AND WIDTH WISE) BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?

Probably this little pocket edition of The New Testament + Psalms that I got for free somewhere.

8. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST (HEIGHT AND WIDTH WISE) BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?

Again, if I include my textbooks, then those. If not, then I think it’s my adult colouring book.

9. THE LAST BOOK YOU READ ON YOUR SHELF?

Miracles by C. S. Lewis

10. OF ALL THE BOOKS ON YOUR SHELF, WHICH WAS THE FIRST YOU READ?

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien most likely.

11. MOST EXPENSIVE BOOK?

Once again, it depends whether or not I include my textbooks. If not, then I’m pretty sure I paid the same amount for my hardback editions of Nevernight, Godsgrave and Turtles All the Way Down.

12. DO YOU HAVE THE COMPLETE SERIES OF ANY BOOK SERIES?

On this shelf, I have the complete LotR series, the ACOTAR series, all the Kingkiller Chronicle books published to date (don’t know if that counts as a complete series?) and also all the Nevernight books published to date.

On my shelves back home, I have many other complete series.

13. WHAT’S THE NEWEST ADDITION TO YOUR SHELF?

Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Or Turtles All the Way Down by John Green if you go by purchase date. I bought Uprooted online and it only arrived yesterday.

14. WHAT BOOK HAS BEEN ON YOUR SHELF FOREVER?

On this particular shelf, most of them were placed on it at the same time (when I moved). But in terms of which one I’ve owned for the longest, that’s definitely the LotR series by J.R.R. Tolkien.

15. WHAT’S THE MOST RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

16. THE OLDEST BOOK ON YOUR SHELF (AS IN, THE ACTUAL COPY IS OLD)?

I think my copy of The Hobbit. I think this edition was published in the 90s. Maybe even earlier. I’m not sure. But it’s pretty old.

17. A BOOK YOU WON?

None of the ones that are currently on this shelf. But on my shelves back home, I have a few.

18. A BOOK YOU’D HATE TO LET OUT OF YOUR SIGHT (AKA A BOOK YOU NEVER LET SOMEONE BORROW)?

All of them? There are very few people I would lend any of my books to.

19. MOST BEAT UP BOOK?

Either The Hobbit of The Fellowship of the Ring. I can’t decide which one of them is more beat up.

20. MOST PRISTINE BOOK?

Well, I have several that haven’t even been opened yet. I recently bought a box set of C.S. Lewis books and most of those I’ve yet to open.

21. A BOOK FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD?

LotR.

22. A BOOK THAT’S NOT ACTUALLY YOUR BOOK?

Once again, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

23. A BOOK WITH A SPECIAL/DIFFERENT COVER (E.G. LEATHER BOUND, SOFT FUZZY COVER ETC.)?

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. My copy has a canvass cover. I mean, the cover is covered in canvass. It’s a hardback.

24. A BOOK THAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?

For this one, have to say Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor because LOOK AT IT!

strange the dreamer

25. BOOK THAT’S BEEN ON YOUR SHELF THE LONGEST THAT YOU STILL HAVEN’T READ?

Probably The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve had it for years and I read the first half of it like 3 times, but I never managed to read the whole thing.

26. DO YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE COPY OF A BOOK?

Not on this shelf. I do back home.

27. ANY SIGNED BOOKS?

On the shelf here, I’ve only got ACOMAF and Godsgrave. But I have several more back home.

 

Books I Own But Haven’t Read #2

Previous part

Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Curie

I won this book in a giveaway and quite frankly I don’t have a lot of interest in reading it. As far as I recall, it’s a contemp about unrequited love. Which doesn’t really appeal to me.

Opere (Works) Barbu Stefanescu Delavrancea

I honestly don’t even know which of the author’s works are contained in this volume. This is an assigned reading in school type of book and I never got assigned it, so I never read it. But I do own it.

The Double & Notes From the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

This book was given to me by a friend who studies literature at uni because she had accidentally bought two copies. I haven’t read it yet, but I do really want to read Dostoyevsky and I feel like this is a good place to start, because these are two relatively short works, so they’re not as intimidating.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle (4 vol)

I’ve read a portion of the Sherlock Holmes stories. I haven’t read all of them yet, so I still class these as unread. But I have them. Four glorious volumes of Sherlockness and I will read them entirely… eventually.

Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein

I actually just got this book. I got it as a birthday present from my parents (well, I bought it but with my parents’ money). So I feel no guilt about this.

The Novel of the Nearsighted Teen by Mircea Eliade

I’ve actually almost finished reading this book. I have like 50 pages left or something. I don’t know why I stopped, because I actually really enjoyed it. I think it was just that I moved away to uni as I was reading it and for some reason I didn’t bring it with me. And then too much time went by and I just ended up not finishing it. But I will. I plan to.

Poezii (Poems) by Mihai Eminescu

I’ve read some of the poems. But to be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of this guy. Like, he’s supposedly the greatest Romanian poet but… there are several others I much prefer to him.

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Estes Pinkola

This is another book that I only just got. I received it as a birthday present from a friend. So I don’t feel super guilty about it, but I would like to get to it soon, because it’s one of my friend’s favourite books.

Le Bossu (The Hunchback) by Paul Feval

I started reading this book as a sort of nod to my years of reading French cape and sword type adventures. But they just don’t grip me like they used to anymore. So I actually never got too far with this one. It is technically my grandmother’s book. But as with most books that I “borrow” from her, it just sort of became mine.

Spiral by Roderick Gordon and Bryan Williams

This is the 5th book I believe, in the Tunnels series. I’ve read the first 4 books I think a long time ago, and then stopped. Actually, I think at the time, only 4 had come out. In any case, my brother recently acquired the 5th one. I’m probably not going to read it though, to be fair because I don’t remember that much of the first 4 books and I don’t really feel like re-reading them.

Down the TBR Hole #13

his meme was created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

Stats:

Previous post

Books: #121-130

Last week’s final number: 357 | Current number: 366 | This week’s final number: 362 | Total books removed so far: 48 | Total books kept so far: 80 | Books added since I began: 84 | Books read from my TBR: 15


Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

This sounds like a very cutsey contemp romance collection that I feel like sooner or later around one Christmas, I’ll be in the right mood to read.

Verdict: Stays

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

This is a book that I am interested in reading, however I haven’t yet read To Kill a Mockingbird, and since this is a sequel to that, I don’t see the point of crowding my TBR with it until I’ve read the first book.

Verdict: Goes

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

This book has very mixed reviews and I was never really that bothered about it anyway. So I don’t think I’ll be reading it.

Verdict: Goes

Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis by Michael Ward

I think I just added this book because I saw Narnia and C.S. Lewis. But it’s literary analysis, which is not something that I’m particularly interested in. So I doubt I’ll read this book anytime soon.

Verdict: Goes

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

This sounds pretty cool.

Verdict: Stays

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I feel like I won’t pick this up anytime soon, but I do want to read it at some point.

Verdict: Stays

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

I don’t know. I’ve read some of the reviews for it and as far as I can tell, people either hate it or love it. I kinda want to make my own mind about it, and it’s not very long. So I’ll give it a try at some point.

Verdict: Stays

Ice Study by Maria V. Snyder

I kind of want to re-read the entire study series because I feel like it’s really underrated and even I didn’t appreciate it as much when I first read it as I would now.

Verdict: Stays

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

As I said before, I don want to re-read this entire series before continuing on.

Verdict: Stays

Night Study by Maria V. Snyder

Although as I said, I intend to continue with this series, I think I’ll only leave the next one to be read on my TBR list, just for decluttering purposes and then subsequently add the books one at a time, as I read.

Verdict: Goes

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge – Book Review

the lie treeRating: 4/5 stars

Genre: Historical, mystery, fantasy, YA

First published: 2015

Author: Frances Hardinge

Synopsis: Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy – a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.

In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder – or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.

Book Depository | Goodreads


This was a strange and interesting book. It had a very Agatha Christie-y vibe to it, but at the same time, it had this very dark element of fantasy to it. I did enjoy  it quite a bit though.

My main complaint about it is that it was quite slow to start. It took a good 100 pages for things to really start happening. I feel like if the setting isn’t a complex fantasy world, there is no justification for such a long exposition. Even with a fantasy world 100 pages of exposition might be pushing it, especially if your book isn’t very long. Like, I get that we needed a sort of background of how the characters got to where they were at, but it could have been done better. It could have started off with the death of Faith’s father, which is in the synopsis, and then give some background info in flashbacks or something.

Another objection, a much more minor one though, is that the whole thing with the tree was very confusing. Even after reading the whole book, I’m not sure I quite understand what the tree was and how it worked. But on the other hand, that could have just been done intentionally to increase the air of mystery, especially since I don’t think that Faith really understood the tree either, so I guess it could get away with it. Though personally, because the tree was such a pivotal element of Faith’s investigation, and therefore of the entire plot, I think it should have been explained better.

Something that I think was done very well was the setting and the atmosphere. The book takes place in Victorian England. Though technically, it mostly takes place on one of the small British isles. I forget which one. Anyway, it felt really authentic and the author managed to create a very dark and mysterious atmosphere that really made me want to keep reading.

I also enjoyed Faith as a character. She reminded me of myself a little, with her curiosity and love for science. And while the general attitude of everyone else that women (let alone girls) shouldn’t and don’t have the ability to be clever, was really, really frustrating, it did reflect the general thinking of the time and it gave Faith a subversive air that worked really well.

It’s very hard to find things to say about it without giving anything away, so I’ll finish off by saying that I did enjoy the book and I’m curious to try some of Hardinge’s other novels.

Books I Own but Have Not Read – Part 1

I own a lot of books. And because I’m just a wee bit obsessive, I actually have an index of (most) of the books that I own. So I’m going to go through that and see which books I have read and which I haven’t. It’ll probably take more than one post to go through all of them, to be honest.


Inferno, Purgatorio & Paradiso by Dante Aligheri

I own these in a two volume edition and I’ve started reading Inferno, but I never finished it because it’s in verse and I just find it very hard to read for some reason.

Cismigiu & Comp and Buna Dimineata Baieti (Good Morning Boys) by Grigore Bajeanu

I don’t actually know anything about this book, other than that it’s a bind-up of two different stories and I’m not entirely sure how I came to own it. I just have it. I think it might have been a gift or a prize that I won or something like that.

The Secret History of Tom Trueheart by Ian Beck

I actually think this book belongs to my brother, but since I am the main bookkeeper in our house, it lives on my shelves and therefore, it got indexed.

Letters From A Skeptic by Gregory Boyd

I’ve actually recently acquired this book, so I don’t feel that guilty about not having read it yet.

Agentul Secret al lui Altin-Bey (The Secret Agent of Altin Bey) by Rodica Ojog Brasoveanu

Honestly, I haven’t the faintest what this book is or how I came to own it. Most likely, it’s my dad’s or my grandmother’s or something like that. But again, it lives on my shelves, so it’s mine.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

miniaturist

I’ve been meaning to read this for ages. Though to be fair, I’ve only had it for a few months. So it’s not too bad. Some of these books I’ve had for years.

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

This is like a daily devotional type books. I’ve read some of them, but I never managed to keep up with it.

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper

Erm… I haven’t read this and I quite frankly have no intention of reading it. Even though I actually own two copies of it. I mean, technically one of them was my grandmother’s… but it’s pretty much mine now. And I think I got the other copy from school. I can’t remember. But I now own two copies.

The Deerslayer by James Fennimore Cooper

Another one that I don’t really have any intention of reading anytime soon. But I own it. I didn’t buy it, to be fair. I’m pretty sure it’s actually my dad’s book.


I’ll stop here for now. I’m not even close to being done yet, but I feel like 10 books per post is enough.

Dow the TBR Hole #12

This meme was created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

Stats:

Previous post

Books: #111-120

Last week’s final number: 355 | Current number: 360 | This week’s final number: 357 | Total books removed so far: 44 | Total books kept so far: 74 | Books added since I began: 73 | Books read from my TBR: 13


Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

While I feel like I might want to read this book at some point, I don’t see myself doing so anytime soon, so I think for now I’ll remove it for decluttering purposes.

Verdict: Goes

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I find the themes of this novel to be interesting, but I don’t think I would have the patience to read it just because it feels like the kind of book that doesn’t have much of a story. It’s more a presentation of what society was like then. Which is interesting, but personally I get really bored reading those kinds of books. I assimilate this kind of story much better in a film format, which is visual and also doesn’t take as much time. Im sure there must be film based on the book which I might check out, but I doubt I’ll ever read the book.

Verdict: Goes

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

This is one of those books that I’m either going to really love or I’m not going to like it at all. But I do want to give it a go and see which one it’ll be.

Verdict: Stays

Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas de Quincey

This is a book that really interests me. I’m very interested in addiction and the psychology behind it and this sounds like a very candid snapshot into the psyche of an addict.

Verdict: Stays

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I want to read this one. You probably already know that I love Pride and Prejudice, but I haven’t actually read any other of Austen’s books. So I would like to.

Verdict: Stays

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I’ve said it before that Dostoyevsky intimidates the heck out of me. But at the same time, his books seem so insightful and interesting, I really do want to read them. It’s just a matter of me getting over the intimidation. So I’m going to keep it.

Verdict: Stays

Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Erm… I was a bit on the fence with this one. It has a pretty cover. And involves archery, which are bonuses. Also, it’s a standalone YA dystopia which is not something you really see. Buuut… it is YA dystopia, and I have very low tolerance for that genre these days and top two reviews on Goodreads are 1 star reviews… which isn’t a good sign. If the top reviews were all good, I might have kept it, but I don’t think I will.

Verdict: Goes

The Odyssey by Homer

I do want to read this at some point. I actually own it, I don’t know why I haven’t read it yet. But I’m gonna. Eventually.

Verdict: Stays

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Definitely want to read.

Verdict: Stays

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I’ve actually started reading this book and the only reason I haven’t finished it is because I don’t actually own it. I should really remedy that situation.

Verdict: Stays