Author: Ernest Cline
Published: August 16, 2011
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
In the year 2045, 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. But 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.
I loved this book SO much! I listened to it on audio and Wil Wheaton was the narrator . . . the ultimate nerd for the ultimate nerd book! I wasn’t born until the very end of the 80’s, 1988. I was more a 90’s kid than an 80’s kid, but I’ve seen enough movies and TV shows, listened to enough music, and experimented with enough fashion that I know a bit about the 80’s.
Unfortunately, I didn’t start with gaming until the Nintendo 64 came out, and I got into serious gaming when Ivan and I started dating. The thing that I love about this book is that you can be someone who never once watched an 80’s movie, never heard a single 80’s song, and never played a game one day in your life, and you would still feel like you knew exactly what Cline was talking about.
This book is so nostalgic, even if you never lived during the time described, even though this book is set in the future. I couldn’t wait to get into the car just so I could listen more. Wade/Parzival is a likeable character that you root for from the very first page. James Halladay may be a computer geek recluse, but you can feel his brilliance leap off the page. The OASIS is a place that I would totally love to immerse myself in! I doubt I’d have made a very good hunter, but the hunt for Halladay’s easter egg was so amazing!!!! And if I had friends like Art3mis and Aech, I’d just live my life in a constant state of geeked out.
There were some places near the beginning where Cline skirted the line of being too political, but he managed to bring the story back so it wasn’t a problem. There was language, but it didn’t ruin the book at all for me. I would absolutely recommend this book to any gamer. And even those who don’t game, I think they’d still like it a lot!
Jessica here: The movie comes out Friday and here is the trailer. I have not read the book, but the beginning of this trailer has a creepiness with that Willy Wonka song! OMG!!! And did I see The Iron Giant and King Kong!?!?!
Author: Marie Lu
Published: September 12, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 11-27, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.
In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.
Kim recently reviewed Warcross and her review is here. Her review piqued my interest in the novel. I would have never picked it up on my own. I’m not a gamer and the only game I have recently played is a mobile game called Ingress which is a location based, augmented reality game. I played it with my husband. It is a great way to get out and learn the area where you live or wherever you may go. I’m ‘retired’ from Ingress now, as I have a new pastime: this site!
I listened to the audio version of Warcross. I liked Emika (Emi) who is totally relatable: She is a regular girl with real struggles we all face. She does what she has to do to survive. She’s a bounty hunter too!
Warcross is a beyond popular game worldwide and people live for this game. It is all some people live and breathe. There is a ‘Hunger Games-ish’ feel to it with the popularity of Warcross. To summarize the description Emi finds herself in Tokyo with the creator of Warcross. She is offered a job that could earn her a lot of money, more than enough to take care of herself. Emi finds herself in the game’s final tournament and she makes discoveries: Things are not what they seem.
There is a romantic subplot that occurs that I cannot go into details about,as it involves, but I felt it was inappropriate, though you knew it was coming. But, for the YA audience that this novel is geared towards, it was hot!
As I am not a gamer, I did find myself losing interest in the novel when Emi was playing Warcross. Everything else had me pulled in! I wanted to know what was going to happen next! I did figure out the twist as to who Zero was: To me it was obvious. But then Lu had that final twist that I did NOT see coming! OMG, I need the next book now!!!!
Warcross could be read as a standalone and it may make you wonder if our world is heading toward this as reality: Will the virtual world become more important than the real world? It seems like we are heading that way as we are all attached semi permanently to our phones.
Warcross is very highly recommended and I am very much anticipating the sequel![Top]
Today Kim reviews The UnWind series by Neal Schusterman. I am sure you all know by now how much she loves him! He is becoming a favorite author of hers.
The UnWind Series by Neal Shusterman
Books in the Series:
Series Summary Description:
After the Second Civil War, the Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. However, a loophole allows parents to retroactively get rid of a teenager through a process called “unwinding.”
Three teens defy the system and run away from their unwinding: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents’ tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing.
As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Connor, Risa, and Lev must work together to survive—and they may change the fate of America in the process.
Published: June 2, 2009
In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them. Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.
Published: August 28, 2012
Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed organs for transplanting might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished. Cam is made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds; he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles to find identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.
Published: October 15, 2013
Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running towards answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to ending the unwinding process forever. Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. He knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human. With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, their paths will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed.
Published: October 14, 2014
Proactive Citizenry, the company that created Cam from the parts of unwound teens, has a plan: to mass produce rewound teens like Cam for military purposes. And below the surface of that horror lies another shocking level of intrigue: Proactive Citizenry has been suppressing technology that could make unwinding completely unnecessary. As Conner, Risa, and Lev uncover these startling secrets, enraged teens begin to march on Washington to demand justice and a better future. But more trouble is brewing. Starkey’s group of storked teens is growing more powerful and militant with each new recruit. And if they have their way, they’ll burn the harvest camps to the ground and put every adult in them before a firing squad—which could destroy any chance America has for a peaceful future.
Published: December 15, 2015
Find out what happens to Connor, Risa, and Lev now that they’ve finally destroyed the Proactive Citizenry in this collection of short stories set in the world of the New York Timesbestselling Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman. Connor Lassiter’s fight to bring down Proactive Citizenry and find a suitable alternative to unwinding concluded in UnDivided. Now Connor, Risa, and Lev are free to live in a peaceful future—or are they? Neal Shusterman brings back his beloved Unwind characters for his fans to see what’s left for those who were destined to be unwound.
Kim’s Rating of the Series: 4.8 stars
Kim’s Review of the Series:
This series blew me away! Neal Shusterman is easily becoming one of my all time favorite authors. He manages to bring in philosophy without being pompous and boring. He takes controversial issues, keeps to neutral ground, and shows the reasoning behind both sides. You start out knowing exactly which side of the issue that you’re on, but then find yourself agreeing with some of the reasoning behind the other side. I didn’t think anything could top the Scythe series, but this one did.
I love Connor, Risa, and Lev so much. They are teens who start out with narrow viewpoints, as regular annoying teens and then are thrown into very adult situations, and they shine! The supporting characters are believable and fit the story perfectly. There are several rabbit trails that branched off of each story, but they were simple and easy to follow and keep track of. And as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that there’s a decimal up top in the rating. This was a difficult one to rate, mostly because I wanted so badly to give 5 stars. There were very small things that I didn’t like, a little teenage drama within the series, and some weaker short stories in UnBound that kept me from giving a perfect score. But overall, I loved this series, and I think this is the perfect series for teens. I might even be giving this series out as Christmas and birthday gifts this year! I would absolutely recommend this series to everybody![Top]