Author: Ernest Cline
One-sentence summary: In a bleak future America, a teenage gamer finds identity and more in a simulated reality game in his search for an elusive easter egg left by the game’s late programmer.
B.A.D. Girls Book Rating: 7
Our favorite thing about it: The plethora of 80’s references!
Our least favorite thing about it: It can lack interest for those not familiar with the gaming world and may be hard to get into at first.
Main Topics of Discussion: Reality, Gaming, Relationships, Escapism, the 80’s
Our favorite quote: “We exist as nothing but raw personality in here.”
Notes: Most of us really enjoyed this easy novel about a massive “treasure hunt” in a world-wide simulated reality game set in the future. The future reality that the author paints does not seem far-fetched to us, nor do some of the simulated school scenarios, etc. Those were interesting ideas to read and think about.
Although the book is about gaming and the majority of the story takes place in the simulated reality, for most of us, this was interesting and fun. A couple of us were not as enchanted with this aspect of the novel, which made a big difference in their reading experience. Even for those of us who do not play video games ourselves, either our husbands or kids to or both, making this world both familiar and at least a little interesting to us. The concept of this book and this aspect of it made it different than anything we’ve ever read.
The second layer of meaning behind the fairly straight forward plot was fascinating…the issue of reality and escaping reality. We discussed how the game created a new “reality” and allowed everyone to create an anonymous persona of their own choosing. Again, not far-fetched at all, but with obvious and interesting relational repercussions, which were discussed in the book. Can you really get to know someone online that you’ve never seen? How much do looks convey about a personality? How much do they get in the way? These were surprisingly interesting topics to discuss.
The riddle and hunt itself were also entertaining, and the 80’s references that made up the clues and challenges were really fun to read about and experience with the main character. Overall, this was a fun and different read.
Memorable Meeting Moments: It took Lindsay less than 1 minute to make a parallel between kids and dogs…again. We drank some nice bottles of wine together and celebrated Lindsay’s birthday with books and cards.
What We Ate: Italian cheese tray with 4 cheeses, olives, grapes, almonds, and fig jam. Then for dinner we had a salad and baked gnocchi with fresh mozzarella. For dessert we had salted caramel butter bars with ice cream.
(I only took one photo the whole night...and it's of the cheese tray.)