Parent reviews for Ready Player One

Common Sense says

Exciting, funny, futuristic thriller about online games.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 22 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 52 reviews
Parent of a 5, 8, and 12 year old Written byEmily55555 November 21, 2015

Tech nerds will absolutely love it

I read this and it has a lot of language that is inappropriate for most tweens. Also has sexual content not described in this review. Masturbation and other references. Who will love this book: people who lived in the 80's or want to learn about video game and pop culture history. Nice friendship message at end.
Adult Written bymellypie76 August 20, 2017

Far too much language, even for older teens

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byKateM 4 January 4, 2016

80s geek fest that appeals to teens too

All of our family enjoyed this book a lot, it's a fun read with a good plot and engaging characters. Maybe British people swear more than those in the US, but I can't imagine any UK child of secondary age (11/12 upwards) being in the least disturbed by the language used in this book.
Adult Written by December 31, 2017

Language That'd Make "The Martian" Jealous, But Not Much Else

Yes, this book has a lot of language, and CSM is just wrong about many of the other things in this review (which isn't surprising, considering). The murder of the above mentioned secondary character is mentioned multiple times (in video form and by that character's "brother"). There is a small snippet of text about "Pleasureland," which is about as bad as it sounds, but it is only barely mentioned. I say that because CSM doesn't say it the way it is, and the bombing (also mentioned above in the review) kills many people, and (of course) there is violence in the virtual reality, but that isn't that bad. While a lot of these things aren't exactly overt, I still think it should at least be mentioned, because language on it's own honestly shouldn't be enough to cause the age rating to be 15+. Sorry, but it's the truth.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byHUGOMANHD October 6, 2015

Great For geeky kids who love technology.

A great story my son tells me, it dose have some Curseing here and there But I think it's ok because I read half-way until I got a bit board but overall a great Story, just tell your child to NEVER reapeat the language.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Language
Adult Written byRonnie B. March 5, 2018

Things that need to be known

First, the author felt it necessary to establish that their is no "God" in a long drawn out rant. I guess base upon his personal views. I understand doing so if it was relative to the story. But, it wasn't. Second, could have done without masturbation. Still, not relative to the story. Third, the author also addresses racial inequality and lesbian excommunication. Now that was relative to character development. Lot to digest for a young mind.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byT L February 15, 2018

Great Fun! w/ Language and some Sexual ideas

Great for Teens, but NOT tweens by themselves. Your TWEENS will LOVE this **IF YOU READ IT TO THEM** Reasons here:There are isolated times w/ language that is what many 17-19 yo boys use in their own time. :( But it is NOT throughout the book this way. Some sexual themes are touched on in heavy ways in some VERY isolated moments in the book, such as masturbation in a virtual environment. These moments can be skipped w/o impact to story by a studious parent-reader. Your 8th grader and up will enjoy and handle the moments quite well. As a parent, I loved it. Some really great themes on what it means to be Human, Friendship, Integrity, and Love!!!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byseequinn April 2, 2016

Thought provoking and nostalgic.

Entertaining read with themes that reminded me of 1984 (Orwell). Very rich in popular culture from the 1980's (music, film, video games and more). A wonderful book that has made me and everyone I've recommended it to remember why I/they love reading and makes you what to immediately read more like it (great for someone who hasn't picked up a book in a while) There is a small section that discusses masturbation, but it's quite educational. The audio book - voiced by Wil Wheaton - is also fantastic.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive role models
Parent of a 9, 12, and 13 year old Written byLadyVet March 20, 2018

One of my all-time favorites, but for kids, save it for high school

As an adult, I loved this book. It has a lot of nostalgic references that were fun but also dives into the concepts of leaving real life behind in favor of the virtual world, loyalty to friends, and sacrificing for something you believe in. For kids though, I think 15 would be a good age. There is some content that could have been left out with no change to the story (sex/masturbation with VR characters, virtual prostitution, comparing avatars to porn stars, etc.). I do let my tweens/teen read some pretty language-heavy books (they read The Martian, for example), but with this one, I think if you wait until they can really "get" the concepts in the book, they will enjoy it more.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byjohnc15 February 2, 2018

Amazing, filled with 80’s pop culture references.

Amazing book. A few scenes in the book aren’t appropriate. Grades 12+.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byaustinmama March 16, 2018

Engaging geeky novel for older teens

I wish the trash-talking scenes with “dirty word” name calling and gratuitous virtual sex/masturbation discussion had been left out of the book, as they added absolutely nothing to the storyline and the intended objective could have been accomplished in a manner suitable for all kids. There is also discussion of virtual brothels and some swearing throughout the book. The main character also goes on a rant saying that God is not real. I was hoping he would work through that during the course of the novel and come to the realization that there is a Creator but he didn’t. Disappointing. Parents should also know that one of the characters is gay. The other characters accept this, and the book carries on. The book sends a great message about spending too much time online without being preachy. It has an eerily prescient quality to it, similar to Hunger Games. Fascinating plot and satisfying ending.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byKatie F. April 6, 2018

Inappropriate sexual content

CSM put only one star for sexual content. That is totally inaccurate and should be much higher. Yes, it is only in one section, but parents should know it has the main character choosing his sex doll, and describes the availability of all kinds of sex dolls, even ones with both male and female parts; he misses a whole week of work due to constant sex at a virtual brothel, and then goes back to "spanking the monkey the old-fashioned way."

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent Written byTracy B. March 12, 2018

Great book, but language and violence puts it at high school level at the very least

Fantastic book, great characters and story, especially if you are a product of the 80's or really into the 80's history and/or video games and VR. I also happen to believe it might even be prophetic, and this kind of world is exactly where we are headed. However, there is a lot of bad language and it's very heavy on the VR violence, although some RL violence too. I would not let my children read this until high school AT LEAST, and definitely not for kids that may be sensitive to violence.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byXXXTomiTubeXXX T. April 29, 2018

Great book

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byTeacherRave February 12, 2018

Don't Over React

The book is very well written, focusing on a VR Utopian society. Cline has amassed cultural references from the wide-known to more obscure encompassing all that is the 1980's. There is a bit of language, which is to be expected given the situations the main character faces. There are also a few instances of death and sexual suggestion, but nothing that would be outrageous for the age range. The novel is divided into three "levels" and the first two flow smoothly, the last level left a bit to be desired for me. Ready Player One was engaging enough to encourage even the least interested of readers to follow through to the end. Would recommend for apprehensive readers. Significantly points out the detriment to greed and consumerism.

This title contains:

Consumerism
Parent of a 7 year old Written byBobby G. March 26, 2018

Really creative and fun

Ready Player One is a REALLY good book. However it contains strong language in a couple of chapters, e.g. c--k, s--t, f--k, motherf--ker. Language is not in close to overwhelming, though strong at times. Violence is mostly just sci-fi though in one chapter a boy is thrown off a balcony. Light references to masturbation, virtual sex.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byjackson D. January 28, 2018

Great Book

It is a great book for those going into adulthood but does have some language and sexual references. But still you should read it!
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byBookNerdMom March 30, 2018

Fun premise, but . . .

The premise of this book is promising, and it's easy to see the appeal--a techy twist on the classic quest narrative, 80s nostalgia, an unabashed embrace of all things 'Geek' . . . what' s not to love? Well, the writing, for one. The book's interesting premise gets bogged down by pages of exposition that makes reference to 80s geek trivia, then spends time explaining that trivia. This gets boring pretty quickly. The writing is pretty clunky in other ways, too, although this has been described in more detail in many other reviews, so if you want to read more about that, head to Google. The other thing that grated on me while reading the book is Cline's way of writing about women and race. I think this is particularly irritating because Cline seems to think he's a feminist, or at least pro-female. (Google "nerd porn auteur"). This has also been parsed out in many other reviews, and I trust those who want to know more will head to Gizmodo, Vox, the Huffington Post, or wired, among other sources. As a parent, I'd be fine with my teen reading this. As a teacher, I keep it in my classroom library. I do engage the teens who read it in discussions about how women and race are represented. If you are an adult whose child or student is interested in this book, hand it to them--but also read it yourself and encourage critical discussion. I think an important note here is that it's very possible (and ok!) to both enjoy this book and critique its (significant) weaknesses. Commonsensemedia, I'm a little surprised at your extremely positive review that doesn't even make note of these issues!
Parent of a 8 year old Written bydn808 April 28, 2018

Fantastic Futuristic Tale

I have read this book twice, and really enjoyed it. There are some mature themes, really just in one chapter, along with some bad language throughout, which makes it unsuitable for younger kids. It is suspenseful and original.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byCameron M. April 13, 2018

Ready Player, One Heck Of A Book

From the beginning, I thought "Oh god, it's one of these books where they're trying to be cool.." but I kept reading. This revealed a great story about life and death, success and failure, and most importantly, love and hate.

This title contains:

Positive Messages

Pages