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review 2018-03-06 12:48
Ready Player One = Nostalgic Fun
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
She had raven hair, styled Joan-of-Arc short...Overall, she seemed to be going for a sort of mid-’80s post apocalyptic cyberpunk girl-next-door look. And it was working for me, in a big way. In a word: hot.

This is light, easy, full of '80s nostalgia and fun. An eighteen year old kid living in rough conditions IRL has essentially retreated completely into an MMG in the US in year 2045. He finds himself in a deathmatch with a huge evil multinational, falling in love, and fighting battles we can only dream of. He's conveniently brilliant, and we feel for him because he's charming despite himself. I once spent an inordinate amount of time playing an online text adventure game called "Kingdom of Loathing" - which is not at all like OASIS, but also very much like OASIS in that it lives on pop-culture nostalgia. That's where I first learned about this book.

Nevermind that. There's nothing amazing about this one beyond pure pleasure. I do wonder, if you're too young to have seen Monty Python or played on your Atari (I played Pong for hours on end b/c my father said we couldn't afford more games) or booted up a Commodore 64, would the book be as interesting or funny? I dunno. I really enjoyed this. It was like taking a bath in my younger life.

If you want to read this, treat yourself to Will Wheaton's performance. It's worth it alone to hear him say the following lines when it's time for the elections:

It was also time to elect the president and VP of the OASIS User Council, but that was a no-brainer. Like most gunters, I voted to reelect Cory Doctorow and Wil Wheaton (again). There were no term limits, and those two geezers had been doing a kick-ass job of protecting user rights for over a decade.

That made me giggle so hard - at work, while running statistics. Normally not a funny task.

While this book tries to broach some larger topics, it's probably best to leave those aside. It won't change your life, it won't make you think super hard. It may, however, delight you.

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text 2018-03-04 23:27
Reading progress update: I've read 33 out of 374 pages.
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

Im enjoying this so far 

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review 2018-02-10 16:37
Ready For Love (Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful, #1) by Stella Starling Review
Ready For Love (Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful Series) (Volume 1) - Stella Starling

Jake Hansen has been crushing on Gabe Byrne for half his life, but since Gabe is a straight, self-proclaimed commitment-phobe who moved away years ago to join the Marines, that crush is strictly a fantasy-best-enjoyed-in-private. And even when Gabe starts to flirt with him like crazy, Jake still knows better than to think it means anything.

Because falling in love with your straight bestie? Not just a cliche, but a guaranteed recipe for disaster.


Growing up, Gabe never saw “Little Jakey” as anything more than the kid who always liked to tag along after him and his brothers, but somehow, being friends with Jake has become the best part of his day. And after a seven-month deployment? Seeing Jake is the one thing he’s looking forward to the most.

He just didn’t expect that hanging out in person again would be so confusing… or keep blurring the lines about how straight he is… or keep making him want things that he never thought he would.

Things that seem a lot like forever.



I liked this book despite myself. 

I adored Jake. I loved his self awareness and fun. 

Gabe is a commitment phobe and a reactor so not my favorite character type. He also is in the I have never felt desire for any other man but you type and not a demisexual so also not my favorite. He does a lot of not self aware stuff. 

And yet it is a sweet romance and I liked Jake enough and he liked Gabe enough that I enjoyed myself. 

A nice circle of friends and family. I have already started the next book in the series which is way sweeter and I like it much more.

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review 2018-02-07 00:03
Review: Ready Player One
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

I wasn't very interested in Ready Player One when it was first published and in the years that followed. I'd known several readers who gave it very high praise, but I wasn't convinced. The reasons they supplied rested primarily on nostalgia. It sounded like the kind of story I'd love to snub, but, I admit, I was curious. I figured I might pick it up if I made it through the books I really wanted to read. (But that day would nevercome.)

One might imagine that the turning point came as a result of the forthcoming film adaptation of Ready Player One. The movie trailer has been quite popular in recent months. Many are picking up the novel for the first time. For me, it wasn't the movie trailer. My reason: my library is currently doing a community read of the novel and as I passed by a table filled with a hundred copies, I went with a whim. (Rather spontaneous of me.) I picked it up and started reading.

And I hated it.

Seriously, I. HATED. IT.

I don't abandon books often, but I was freakishly close to abandoning Ready Player One. I was seventy or eighty pages in. Not only was I bored, but I was angered. This was terrible writing. The plot was contrived. A flurry of action was followed by ten pages of info-dropping. Our protagonist goes on an endless rant about religion that has nothing to do with the plot. Why? Because clearly the author wants us to know how he feels about religion. Irrelevant. The world building was chaotic—oh yeah, it's the future, so much has changed, but only things that relate directly to the plot—everything else has remained the same. Apparently, we as a society have reached the height of interactive virtual reality, but still deal in basic ATMs, message boards, YouTube, laptops, and parcels and pizzas delivered by humans. Lazy. Uninspired. The story was unbelievable. No one could do the things these characters were doing. We're supposed to believe that people in their early twenties could tear through every bit of significant pop entertainment of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and somehow have time to scour over much of it hundreds of more times. No world that is in such desperate need for energy is going to waste such vast amounts of energy playing 8-bit video games. Somehow, this is supposed to save the world? Ready Player One sells itself as some brilliant vision of the future, but in reality it is a preposterous, self-absorbed fantasy by a nostalgic author with a major fetish for the 80s. Ugggghhhh.

I was so close to abandoning this novel. Why didn't I? One reason: I didn't have anything readily available to read in its place. I told myself I'd pick up another book next chance I got, but in the meantime I'd read another chapter to two, just to have something to read.

And then the bastard of a book pulled me in.

How sucked in was I? I'm almost embarrassed to say that I tore through this book. Like the next 300 pages in 24 hours. Does this mean the story became more plausible? That some deep meaning was unearthed in the OASIS? The juvenile writing improved? No. It means that I, a literary snob, was pulled into the... the... action of the story. Dare I say, the action was riveting. The story was... fun.

But it was fun the same way eating an entire package of pre-packaged cookies is. You know you can do better as far as taste. You know you should do better in regards to nutrition. But you can't stop. Your fat cells are screaming for more and it's all you have in the way of sweets. Okay, maybe that's a bad analogy. A more apt analogy might be... it's like a video game. Or binge watching your favorite series. You know there are a million ways you can better spend your time. You know that when you reach the end of your life, you're probably not going to say, “Dang, I wish I'd played more Dig Dug.” But you're enjoying yourself; what's the harm in that, right? Maybe.

That's what it is to read Ready Player One. It's low on substance, but it's a good action story. I wanted more from it and, had I known how it would turn out, I probably wouldn't have read it in the first place. But I don't regret reading it. It was enjoyable in its own way (but now I need to go on a reading diet).

Before I close, I'd like to take a moment to address one final thing about Ready Player One. While Cline may have had the best intentions in heart, his inclusion of a “heavyset African American” lesbian left me very uncomfortable. Why? It felt horribly, horribly forced. To me, this seems an example of someone trying to be inclusive who just doesn't get it. Whether the author was trying to be all-embracing out of the goodness of his own heart, or merely satisfying political correctness hoping it would find him readers, I cannot say for sure, but the portrayal is insensitive at best. The attempted message seems to be “look at the character, not the skin,” but how it's delivered is more of a message of “isn't technology great? Finally, everyone can be a thin straight white male!” Ugh. Like I said earlier in my review, the future is completely different, but it sure does look an awfully lot like 2011 to me: people live in stacked trailers, the world has run out of fuel, virtual reality reigns in the OASIS, there are only six Star Wars movies, one Blade Runner movie, and too many people just don't get it.

Ready Player One is a novel that I would normally award no more than two stars to. It failed in regards to the characters, the setting, the plot, and the prose—all lacked exceptionality. But I had so much fun. And I guess that should count as something.

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text 2018-01-31 15:53
Books I Read This Month: January 2018
Faithful Place - Tana French
Not Ready for Mom Jeans - Maureen Lipinski

Hmm, well hopefully Booklikes let's me get my book covers in this post. I was having issues sizing them down the other day.

So far this year, I read 33 books. I only decided to have 50 books for my challenge this year, so if I hit a slump (it happens) I can just ride it out without pushing myself to read.


I also have to say that Ann Rule's book covers are atrocious. Glad I got that off my chest. 


5 stars


The Prize by Julie GarwoodBut I Trusted You by Ann RuleNo Regrets by Ann RuleDear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Fifth Witness by Michael ConnellyBitter Harvest by Ann RuleConfessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie KinsellaAshes to Ashes by Tami Hoag

We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle UnionFaithful Place by Tana French




4 stars


Worth More Dead and Other True Cases by Ann RuleThe Hanging Tree by Ben AaronovitchA Rage To Kill And Other True Cases by Ann RuleThe Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

Too Late to Say Goodbye by Ann RuleThe Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble


3 stars


A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaughtSmoke, Mirrors, and Murder by Ann RuleMidnight Curse by Melissa F. OlsonStrange Weather by Joe Hill

Mortal Danger and Other True Cases by Ann RuleRemember Me? by Sophie Kinsella'Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda QuickTesting Kate by Whitney Gaskell

True Love by Whitney GaskellA Bump in the Road by Maureen LipinskiSecrets in Death by J.D. RobbAn Irish Country Love Story by Patrick Taylor


2 stars


The Lying Game by Ruth Ware


1 star


Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaughtHow the Light Gets In by Louise PennyThe Burial Hour by Jeffery DeaverNot Ready for Mom Jeans by Maureen Lipinski


I did read one book for the Horror Aficionados group read. So glad to be back with them.

Strange Weather by Joe Hill


And I also read one book for the (Mostly) Dead Writers Society 52 weeks challenge. 


Faithful Place by Tana French


My favorite book this month was "Faithful Place" my least favorite was "Not Ready for Mom Jeans."

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