Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Publication Date: August 16, 2011
Publisher: Random House Audio
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?


I know what you’re thinking. Deanna read a YA science fiction novel??? Yes, yes I did. Well, actually I listened to it, but same difference. And I had so much fun doing it, too. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are.

One of the problems I have reading science fiction is that I’m just not interested in the topics many of them contain. I’m not into stories about science or the future of technology. I’m definitely not into aliens, zombies, or any of the other things that cross between fantasy, horror and science fiction. I don’t like reading about the world ending. So, why would I want to read Ready Player One? First, I saw the cover and was drawn to it. Second, I read a lot of great reviews. Third, I heard about the multitude of 1980’s references. Fourth, Will Wheaton narrates the audio version. It was pretty much the 80’s and Will Wheaton thing that made me give it a try.

Ready Player One was a fantastic book. I was obsessed with the story from the minute I began listening to it in my car. I would find myself sitting in my drive way long after I had returned home. I’m very happy I chose the audio version of Ready Player One. By listening to it I wasn’t overwhelmed by the amount of information I was being given. There was so much to take in, and I think I would have been easily overwhelmed by everything if I was reading it. All the information would have slowed down the pace of the story, but it didn’t in this format. Plus, Will Wheaton did an amazing job narrating. I actually pictured a younger version of him as Wade while listening.

As for the story, it’s really something you need to experience for yourself. It’s wrapped around a future video game called the OASIS and Wade’s quest to win its creator’s fortune. I loved how the story progressed and how action packed it was. The amazing number of references to classic video games and 80’s pop culture were really cool. I wasn’t a teenager like Halliday was in the 1980’s, but I was alive, and I absolutely loved every reference to the decade I got.

I’m not sure what else to say about this marvelous book other than I think you should listen to it, too. Rumor has it a Ready Player One movie is coming, and I’m excited to see what they do with it.

Review: Bossed by Sloane Howell

Bossed
Author: Sloane Howell
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He’s the boss. But she’s ready to take charge.

In this provocative and sexy* office romance, a cheeky new hire tempts a hotshot sports agent to mix business with pleasure.

Jenny: Job interviews are a bitch under the best of circumstances, but when your potential boss is the world’s biggest prick, that’s when you should simply walk away. It’s just that I need this job so badly—and I’m mesmerized by Ethan Mason’s piercing gaze. Men like him aren’t supposed to exist in real life. But under the tailored suits and GQ looks, Ethan simmers with barely restrained ambition. And no matter how hard I work to fight the attraction, I’m going to get burned.

Ethan: You don’t become a top agent without learning how to close a deal. I always get what—or who—I want, by staying cool and in command. Then Jenny Jackson walks into my office with her lush curves and “screw you” attitude and blows away my intentions of keeping things professional. All I can think about is exploring the perfect body hidden beneath those conservative clothes or shutting her saucy mouth with one hot kiss. Jenny’s worth breaking the rules over—if I can convince her to break the rules for me.

*By sexy, we mean sexy. Like, 18+ sexy.


Sloane Howell has been in my Twitter feed a lot since I started book blogging, but until Bossed, I had never had the pleasure of reading one of his books. I was really missing out!

Bossed is an office romance about two strong-willed people who have very different ways of doing things. Ethan is a hard-nosed boss who expects a lot from his employees. He’s not always the nicest guy, but he has their best interests at heart. Jenny is a new employee who thinks her co-workers deserve to be treated better. Ethan’s tactics infuriate her, and she has no problem letting him know. Their constant facing off has them both hot and bothered.

I was so impressed with Bossed and Howell’s writing. He rocked the first person, dual point of view narration. I’ve read many contemporary romances by women where they write from a male point of view, but I don’t know that I’ve read many of a female one written by a man. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell if a man or woman wrote this book. Hopefully, that doesn’t sound bad. It’s meant to be a compliment. I was super impressed with how he wrote a female character.

Every single character and moment in this story was amazing. Jenny and Ethan both had tough pasts to deal with. Jenny also had a tough present. Their problems didn’t stop the chemistry from flowing between them from the moment they met. The push and pull of their relationship was very fun. It made the dialog between them incredibly witty and entertaining. I also loved the ups and downs of their relationship.

While I loved Jenny and Ethan’s relationship, there was something I loved even more about this book. There was great mixture of sports, family, and friendship involved in it. I loved how they both went to their friends for advice, and the strength of Jenny’s relationship with her dad. I also loved that Jenny and Ethan had more than great sex in common. Their shared love of baseball was cool. I felt like if they were a real life couple, they would make it because it wasn’t all about the sex — even if that was off the charts sexy!

Bossed was as close to contemporary romance perfection as it could get. It was witty, sexy and had just the right amount of drama. It even made me tear up a bit. It’s one of the best office romances I’ve read in a while. Contemporary romances readers are sure to love it.

Blog Tour Review: The Cad and the Co-Ed by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

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The Cad and The Co-Ed, a quirky and sexy romantic comedy from Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway is available now!!

thecadandco-edcoverSynopsis:

THE CAD

Bryan Leech is a cad.

Or, he *was* a cad.

No one is quite certain.

Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.

The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-ED

Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.

The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

THE PLAN

Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.

Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.

But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: I received an ARC from the authors and Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

I’ve been waiting for The Cad and the Co-Ed to be released ever since I finished The Player and the Pixie. I adored Eilish and her relationship with her cousin, Sean, in it. I was excited she was getting her own book because she was so much fun. She had definitely changed a bit, but I loved the little moments when her personality popped out with Sean or Bryan.

One of my favorite things about this series is the men in them. They always start out as jerks, but by the end they’ve proved what amazing men they really are. Bryan did exactly that. He was definitely a cad at the beginning. I didn’t blame Eilish for any of her decisions. I would have run for my life, too. Who Bryan became by the time Eilish had to face him again was pretty awesome. He still had that bad boy vibe, but he was almost nerdy! It was adorable.

Bryan and Eilish’s relationship developed perfectly. I loved that it wasn’t an instant relationship, but that Bryan really had to prove himself to her. I do have to admit that I’m surprised that Bryan wasn’t hesitant to believe Eilish’s secret, but it did fit with his newfound lifestyle and attitude. I also loved the chemistry they had. The sex in this book was hot!!!

The Cad and the Co-Ed was a delightful read. It was everything I’ve come to expect from Cosway and Reid. Fans of the Rugby series will love it!

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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

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Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret

music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Connect with L.H. Cosway:

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