December 2020 Wrap-Up/TBR Update

More romance for me this month! We were also in the process of moving/buying a house, so I really couldn’t handle anything too intense.

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 11
Books currently reading:

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 296
TBR at the beginning of December = 331
Books added to TBR = 6
Books read/deleted from TBR = 2
Total on TBR now = 335

How did your reading go this month?

BOOK VS MOVIE | Ready Player One

Let me start off by saying that I fell in love with Ready Player One from the first time that I read it back in 2011. Then I read it again more recently in 2015 and thought that it still held up really well. Then I made my husband and brothers-in-law read it and they all liked it too.

Some time between my first and second read, it was announced that the book had been optioned for a movie–this was VERY exciting to me. But then years passed and nothing came of it until…something did. When they finally started casting, I was ecstatic and thought that almost all of the actors/actresses casted were perfect (with the exception of Art3mis). When they announced that Spielberg would be directing I thought, “OF COURSE. THIS IS PERFECT.” And then when the first teaser trailer came out, I swear I actually died and came back to life. Needless to say, this weekend when my husband and I went to go see the movie, my expectations were high. Very high.

Well…I liked the book better. But, that’s not to say that I didn’t like the movie too. To be honest, I almost always like the book better than the movie. A lot of the time, I feel like the movie changes or completely omits too many things and that makes me mad. Why did they have to change the story? The book was PERFECT and there was no reason to get rid of that character or change that plot point or whatever.

And then there’s Ready Player One. RPO changed quite a few things from the book while maintaining the overall storyline. Despite all of these changes, I still really enjoyed the movie! I actually understood why things were different from the book–to be honest, it just would not have been as interesting to watch as it was to read. Another big difference is that the movie is not so saturated with 80s pop culture. So if that’s what you love from the book, you’ll be disappointed. There are definitely some 80s references, but the movie also references more current pop culture things like Halo and Minecraft (which I actually think is reasonable considering the OASIS is set in the future where all of those things would exist). It’s just not quite so much of an homage to the 80s as the book is.

Overall, the movie was good–a little slower than I expected? But still good. Depending on why you like the book, you may or may not like the movie, but I would still recommend it.

Have you guys seen Ready Player One yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

TRAILER: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I loved this book the first time I read it 6 years ago and it definitely held up when I reread it last year. I’ve recommended it to my husband and his brothers who have all loved it as well and I cannot tell you how PUMPED I am for this movie.

Warner Brother’s just released a featurette which may or may not have given me goosebumps:

Doesn’t it look AMAZING??? Here’s the original trailer too for anyone who hasn’t already seen it:

I’m usually pretty hesitant when my favorite books are made into movies, but I feel really good about this one. Just the fact that Spielberg is doing it (obviously) and it sounds like Cline was really involved with the process as well.

What do you guys think? Can the movie possibly live up to the book? Are you going to be at this movie opening weekend like me?

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors That I’d Like to Read More From


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is:  Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

I can’t think of too many of those off the top of my head, but I’ll also include some authors that I personally have only read one book from but would like to read more (links are to my reviews).

Debut Authors

1) Nicola Yoon – Everything, Everything
2) TA Maclagan – They Call Me Alexandra Gastone
3) Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus

New to Me Authors

4) Ryan Graudin – Wolf by Wolf
5) Tamara Ireland Stone – Every Last Word
6) Ernest Cline – Ready Player One
7) Claudia Gray – A Thousand Pieces of You
8) Liz Czukas – Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless
9) Lindsey Leavitt – Going Vintage
10) Delilah S Dawson – Hit

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

James Halliday was the richest man on Earth and when he died, he left his entire legacy and fortune at the end of an elaborate Easter Egg Hunt. With the only hint being a mysterious riddle, the egg goes undisturbed for five years. Until one day, Wade Watts–just your average teenage boy–makes a connection and is the first to find the Copper Key, the starting point of the Egg Race. When his name appears on the long empty scoreboard, the world goes into a frenzy. Wade will have to use his knowledge of all things 80’s and battle against friends and an evil corporation if he wants to win.A1bCf-Xhe4L

This book is great. I first read it a few years ago and what immediately drew me to it was the title. “Ready Player One”. I just feel like it’s a REALLY good title. It makes you want to read it while at the same time telling you exactly what this book is going to be about: video games. The beginning of the book (one of the few scenes where we’re in the real world) is a little boring as we’re being introduced to this version of the future. There’s a lot of background on Halliday and GSS and OASIS and all of that. It gets a little wordy and too much (but you can obviously tell the the author knows his video games). Other than that, the action is pretty non-stop. It only really slows down when the author is going into more technical things (he does this a few times, but it’s not too bad).

I’m not really a video game person, but this book almost makes me want to be. The games all sound fun and the passion that Wade has for them makes them seem even MORE fun. The book is fast-paced and it’s easy to get caught up in the various quests and challenges. I liked the timing between the first and second keys, but once they got through the second gate, it was like boom, boom, boom. With how much trouble they had figuring out the first and second keys and the second gate, it seemed too easy to find the Crystal Key and then it was also pretty obvious where the Crystal Gate was even if it was more difficult to open. One thing I did really like, though, was that this is a standalone novel. He could have split it up into a series if he wanted to (book 1=copper key/gate, book 2=jade key/gate, book 3=crystal key/gate, book 4=taking down IOI, book 5=book that only abstractly relates to the original concept, book 6=book that does not relate to the original concept but still makes it into the series.) There you go, he could have easily had six books out of this story.

Overall, a good read even if you don’t like video games. I felt special every time I recognized something that Wade referenced. Dig Dug? Totally used to play that. Rumor has it that this is going to be turned into a movie sometime directed by Spielberg. We’ll see!

Overall Rating: 4
Violence: Moderate. A lot of fighting/slaying of monsters (like a video game), but no explicit gore.
Sexual Content: Moderate
Language: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking: Mild. Some drug references, but nothing explicit, nothing used by the main characters.

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

VirtNet has taken over the world. It’s a Virtual Reality forum where you can play games, hang out with friends, and basically live another life. Michael spends most of his time online with his two Virt-friends Sarah and Bryson. When a cyber terrorist named Kaine starts killing people in real life, the government comes to Michael and his friends to hunt him down.51YpOI+BGHL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

I am a big fan of The Maze Runner by the same author and I also really liked Ready Player One which has a similar premise, so I thought I’d like this series, but I didn’t end up thinking it was that great. I didn’t like the characters very much or the plot. I liked “Ready Player One” because it felt like I was playing the game while I was reading, but this book didn’t feel like that and I struggled with caring about what was happening to the characters.

The characters didn’t feel developed or important. More often than not I was annoyed with them and the decisions they were making. Some of the book felt muddy and hard to understand as well. I just didn’t like it–not my thing I guess.

I do seem to be in the minority, however. The book has a lot of good reviews on Amazon, so if you do end up liking it, the second book is The Rule of Thoughts and the third book, The Game of Lives, comes out November 17th.

Overall Rating: 2
Violence: Heavy. A lot of fighting, moderate gore.
Sexual Content: Mild (maybe)
Language: Mild (if that)
Smoking/Drinking: None