Imagine the 80s reaching out and giving you a warm, hard hug, and never letting go.
A 17/18 year-old teenage boy takes the reader through Ready PlayerImagine the 80s reaching out and giving you a warm, hard hug, and never letting go.
A 17/18 year-old teenage boy takes the reader through Ready Player One, from the slums of a dystopian future to the rich verdant expanse of OASIS, which is an impressively immersive multiplayer online simulation (imagine living a second life in World of Warcraft). Cline explores the consequences of a life that's made the transition from reality to digital, the sincerity of human relationships built through computer screens, and dives straight into the wonders and magic of living out fantasies you could only dream of.
Cline also does a great job of creating a futuristic yet nostalgic world, throwing in page after page of classic video game references, Tolkien, Star Wars, D&D, etc. While it sometimes feels a little ham-fisted and undermines the action at hand, it has a fun, playful charm that eases you into not taking the whole thing too seriously.
Only point I have to make: it's a great journey and universe to be a part of. All you have to do is sit through some cringey teenage dialogue and resist from putting the book down every time the boy says something unbelievably hokey or short-sighted....more
Diaz's characters are colorful and rich, and their distinct voices cut through their tribulations over a variety of topics like identity (racial and gDiaz's characters are colorful and rich, and their distinct voices cut through their tribulations over a variety of topics like identity (racial and gender), displacement, what it means to be an immigrant, and what it means to be Dominican. I don't think it's an overly ambitious novel - nothing like the books that are supposed to teach you about the universal truths of the world or impart a grand wisdom, but it's deeply personal. It takes you through Yunior's, the main character, life and infidelities, making only a brief stop to show us Yasmin, a Dominican woman living as "the other woman," which is an interesting mirror to Yunior's romantic experiences. You get to breathe in the dust of their exasperation and the lingering moments of their failed romances as they try to make it in world (the American world) that is so dark and isolating. It's a surprisingly desperate account. ...more
"I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ [...] it's the Day blood. Something's wrong with it."
It's this darkness and violence that trail behind"I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ [...] it's the Day blood. Something's wrong with it."
It's this darkness and violence that trail behind Libby Day as she navigates through the trials and tribulations of her changed life. The novel’s strongest point is how readers are brought through a winding journey as they unfold the mystery around the death of Libby’s family and the innocence of her brother through recollections strung together in non-chronological order.
Moments take place within other moments, and the logic of each placement is guided by emotional triggers. Libby’s mulling over the public’s fascination with her deceased mother immediately prompts a passage about her mother. This orchestrated succession of time brings the novel’s psychological space to life: the confusion from time jumps, conflicting accounts, and mounting knowledge let the reader indulge and partake in the unraveling almost viscerally.
Yet apart from Flynn’s undeniable penchant for writing engaging mysteries, gruesome text and morbid events come to numb the shock of the novel. The idea of darkness, although initially charming, becomes overplayed and sucks the energy out of jarring, violent events. Whether this is a reflection of the protagonist’s own desensitization to violence or an exercise in the value and consequences of violence in an adulterated space are questions to be entertained.