Rating: 6.6 out of 10.0
Author: Ernest Cline
Review: Ugh. This book sort of makes me want to cry (for multiple reasons). Don’t judge a book by its premise, but also don’t judge a book by the low rating I give it. This book makes me want to cry because it was so darn good, but had SO many negative elements. Cyber-prostitution, sexual references (fairly explicit in one location), and SO. MUCH. LANGUAGE.
Literally, I dare you to find a page in this book with no profanity on it. The book was so full of it that my mind almost started to miss when it happened. Getting numbed to something like that was not an experience I particularly thought was helpful. Beyond that, I cringed at several throwaway sexual remarks. There were also a handful of drug references throughout this book. For more conservative readers, I would note that homosexuality was brought into the story towards the end. As a reviewer, I make a great effort to be as unbiased and not impose my views upon anything. I’m not the most conservative person nor am I the most liberal person; I fall somewhere in-between. So I say all of these “negatives” to simply caution those to whom it may pose a problem. This is particularly for younger or teenage readers, conservative readers, or others to whom it may concern.
All of that being said, the premise for this book was freaking amazing. The execution? Even better. I have never been more immersed in any book before; several hours passed where I said not a word, even though a conversation was going on around me. In a word, this book was an intensely creative masterpiece. Though I have listed the genre as “dystopian”, this book was set in a dystopian-like future, but focused far less on dystopia and far more on the actual story. The setting just provided a medium by which this amazing story could be told.
In spite of all the negative elements, I truly must tip my hat to Mr. Cline. He latched on to my heart in the first 20 pages and flung me on to the end of the book. The characters are complex, well-written, realistic characters who are not the beauty queens, but are rather misfits with a purpose. The plot is worthy of better praise than my poor writing can communicate. Were it not for all the negative things listed above, I would say to drive to your nearest library, check out this book, and read it in the next two days.
Unfortunately, as sad as it is to say, I cannot recommend this book in good conscience. If you are a discerning reader who is old enough to withstand these negative elements or if these are issues you are not bothered by, then by all means read this book. Take into account the good and the bad and make a decision for yourself. A great piece of literature marred by profanity, sexual elements, and other negative elements.
Book Length: 374 pages
Favorite Character: Art3mis
Suggested Age: 16+
Plot- 1.8 out of 2.0
Characters- 1.5 out of 2.0
Setting- 1.8 out of 2.0
Unfavorable content/other- 0.2 out of 1.0
Themes- 0.4 out of 1.0
Dialogue- 0.2 out of 1.0
Quality of writing 0.7 out of 1.0
= 6.6 out of 10.0