In the near dystopian future (according to almost all of the recent literature we are not going to get a different kind of future) people are practically gave up on their real lives and spend most of the time in a giant computer-simulated virtual reality called OASIS. The person responsible for its creation died after he made billions from it. He left an unusual will: all of his money would go to a person who can solve a series of puzzles left in OASIS. Its creator also happened to be a huge fan of everything related to eighties, so the puzzles are based on movies/video games/songs, etc. of that time.
Obviously everybody and their brother became obsessed with the eighties trying to find the hidden keys which would unlock the ultimate prize. Enter Wade Watts who like the majority of the world's population spends five years without making any progress on the puzzles, and then suddenly he stumbled upon a clue. Now he realized his life (virtual and real) might be in danger as some of the people would not think twice about removing everything which stands between them and the super-fortune.
The book starts with a big info dump which - while being acceptable - is still fairly boring and slow, like any other such dumps. As soon as it is done and Wade became clued in - so to speak - the pace rapidly increases and does not stop with some minor exceptions. If you ever felt satisfied with beating a particularly difficult video game, if you still like somewhat cheesy music of eighties, if you ever watched and loved the movies from the decade (a special bonus for those who can quote the whole movie, any one will do): you will feel right at home with the book, inside and outside of OASIS.
I keep mentioning a particular time period. Its knowledge is nice to have, but is not essential. I found quite a few 5-star reviews from people, who were born later and missed this time, but they still felt the book deserved an excellent rating; I completely agree with such views. If for some reason you really hate everything related to eighties, avoid this book; otherwise grab it right now - it is worth it.
This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/907641/avoid-this-book-if-you-really-hate-everything-related-to-eighties-go-for-it-otherwise