Ready Player One

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is a Willy Wonka-esque story set in 2044. The creator of the OASIS, a virtual reality online gaming system, has recently died and left clues as to the whereabouts of a mysteriously hidden Easter egg that, if found, provides that individual with ultimate power in the gaming world, and an enormous fortune in the real world. The story follows the hunt as a few individuals successfully discover the first clue, and battle against an evil corporation, IOI, to find the egg.

What I really loved about this book was the adventure and how much fun it was to read! I never knew what was coming next, and each task was more epic than the last. At times, the threat of IOI came into the real world and we were confronted with just how high the stakes were. 

The book is absolutely full of eighties pop culture references and that was so much fun to read about. I understood some, but others would’ve gone right over my head, but Cline does a good job of explaining the references without feeling patronising. 

I highly recommend reading this book. It’s a quick read and a lot of fun. A solid five star book for enjoyment level.

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#Diverseathon TBR

I know none of us like to admit to it, but the reality is that we are all ignorant. We all know our own lives and our own stories, and of course the stories of our friends and family too, but how many of us can say their friends and family can accurately represent the lives and experiences of every race out there, or gender, or class, or anything else for that matter? None of us. That’s why it’s important to look for those stories, seek out those stories and learn. 

The Diverseathon runs from today (Monday, 12th September) until next week (Monday, 19th September) and encourages readers to read more diversely, whether that be a novel by a person of colour, or a coming out memoir.

Here are some of the books I have that I’m going to choose from this week:

  • The Help, Katherine Stocket
  • The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  • Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
  • The Color Purple, Alice Walker
  • The Life of Pi, Yann Martel

Book Tropes I Hate

Here are some of the tropes I am sick of seeing that frequently appear in YA literature. 

Unnecessary Romance

I enjoy romantic stories, but I also enjoy adventure stories, and mystery stories, and fantasy stories, and many other stories that don’t need a romance. The most recent example of this I read was in Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf. It’s a story about a plot to overthrow Hitler in an alternate timeline. Surely our main character has more important things on her mind than kissing the attractive boy!
The Chosen One

You know the one. Ordinary girl gets swept up into a life she didn’t know anything about. And is expected to save the world. At least give readers a solid reason why that particular character is destined to save the world. (Ahem, Clary)
Manic Pixie Dream Girls

Are there any characters more annoying? These characters are often created in order to develop the main male character. She exists to push forward someone else’s plot. She is therefore rarely well developed or anything more than a plot devise. And really annoying. 


Instalove

There is no trope more annoying than instalove. In real life people do not instantly fall in love with each other. Of course they can be instantly attracted to each other. But fall in love? No chance. Stories with the worst cases of instalove often skip the ‘getting to know you’ phase of a romantic relationship, and I cannot feel invested in a relationship without those roots.

Lair of Dreams: Book Review

Libba Brays’s story of The Diviners continues with the sequel, Lair of Dreams. Is the sequel as good as the first book? Absolutely. 

The reason why I’ve been enjoying this series so much can be summed up with just one word: atmosphere. Libba Bray’s writing is some of the most atmospheric I’ve ever read. Bray provides everything you could want from a 1920s historical fiction novel: flappers, moonshine, jazz, unfamiliar slang, and speakeasies, whilst also encompassing supernatural and mystery elements in the story. 

We are introduced to more characters in this book and I really liked the parts of the story from their perspectives, particularly Henry’s. The dreamwalking was the most interesting aspect of the story, though I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet! The novel also touches on many different themes, the most prominent being race and racism. The story was slow throughout the whole novel, but the setting and characters were so incredible that I didn’t really care.

Again I listened to the audiobook version, and it was excellent. January LeVoy makes the creepy tunes even creepier.

A solid five star read.