Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews March 4, 2024
February 26, 2024
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
When the story begins, Wade Watts, who is also known by his avatar name ‘Parzival’ in the OASIS, is a poor high school student living in the stacks in Oklahoma City. He is shy, nerdy, and wholly uncomfortable with life in the real world. His childhood has not been easy. His mother was a drug addict who worked two jobs in the OASIS, constantly leaving him to his own devices in the OASIS so that she could work. When his mother dies of an overdose, he’s taken in by his cruel Aunt Alice who only wants his meal vouchers. The only thing Wade seems to really love is learning, but he feels hopeless when he cannot even afford to continue his education by going to college. When Wade learns about James Halliday’s contest, he sees it as a way to finally improve his life and escape poverty.
Because Wade is a loner, he has plenty of time to spend obsessing over Halliday’s interests, such as 1980s TV shows and movies, and vintage video games. Wade’s focus, obsession, and intellect are some of the qualities that make him a strong contender in the Easter egg hunt. Wade’s knowledge, combined with his perseverance and determination, makes him a true underdog. He surprises the reader throughout the story by accomplishing amazing and unlikely feats as an individual who is competing against IOI, a powerful corporation. While Wade lacks power and money, he is rich in knowledge, which bolsters his underdog status and provides him a chance to compete against IOI. He proves that the little guy can, in fact, take on a corrupt corporation.
Wade begins the story as a selfish and immature boy who undergoes a transformation into a generous, altruistic, and loyal friend. This transformation doesn’t happen easily, however. Wade must suffer through tests and difficulties that strain the relationships he values most. He fixation on Art3mis nearly derails him completely, and he almost alienates Aech to the point of no return. By the end of the novel, he understands the true value of friendship and teamwork. Wade proves himself worthy of Halliday’s prize and the friendships he has developed. Wade grows to be selfless and noble, with true morals and values.