Thursday, April 28, 2016

REVIEW: The Martian (spoiler)

The Martian by Andy Weir
Completed 4/27/16
Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #10: A New York Times bestseller
Rating: 4 out of 5


Another book it took me forever to get through. I didn't love it as much as I expected to, but I did like it.

I saw the movie first, and frankly, it's a toss-up which I like better. Each has its own strengths.

What I wasn't crazy about in the book was all the technical science just isn't my cup of tea. While I appreciate the author's ability to write it, I found it really tedious to read. The only thing that got me through it was Mark's bits of humor. I wish the book had a bit more reflection and personal information about Mark's life instead of quite so much technical description. It was somewhat odd that by the end of the book, I felt I knew Mark's personality very well but very little about his background as a person pre-Mars.

I also thought the book was a little anti-climactic with all the build up about the dust storm being such a major obstacle...and then he just goes around it and hardly loses any time. The rescue mission itself is a little more exciting to read but didn't quite live up to my expectations...or maybe I was just getting sick of the book by then.

What I liked better about the movie was that the super-technical science stuff "moved along" quicker in visual format than having to trudge through reading it. I think Matt Damon was a good choice as Mark Watney; he nailed the sarcastic nerd humor. 

What I didn't like about the movie was that it seemed really obvious all the way along that Hermes should rescue Mark; the book didn't annoy me with foreshadowing in that way.

All this being said, I really appreciate the skill it took to create this book, and I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday Finds

Long time, no type.  At least it feels that way to me.  I've been in a bit of a slump lately, but I did manage to add a bunch of books to my TBR this week.  (Friday Finds is a weekly feature hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat which showcases the books you've added to your TBR over the past week.)

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
This looks like a super-creepy thriller focusing on female characters.  I may try to snag a copy of this book in the fall, when I always gravitate towards chilling reads.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Another thriller, this book follows a man and woman who meet by chance and decide to kill the man's wife, who he thinks is cheating.

As You Wish by Cary Elwes
Tales from the making of the movie of The Princess Bride?  I'm in!

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
This is a February YA fantasy release that I've seen around a bit but didn't really grab my interest.  When I found out it is a Snow White retelling, however, I finally decided to add it to my TBR list.

A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood
15 (fictional) stories of bad-ass female heroines across time and place.

The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller
This is a March YA historical fiction release about a young woman on a journey to China.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
A bit of a wait for this book, since it won't be released until September.  This book is a YA fantasy with a description that reads a little bit like King Lear meets The Hunger Games.  

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
You've probably already heard of this book, but if you haven't, it's the true story of a ill-fated Mount Everest expedition.

In the Blood by Steve Robinson
This mystery/thriller features a genealogist in present-day danger while trying to solve a historical mystery.  I'm a fan of the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown, so I'm thinking this book may help tide me over until the next release (and I SO hope there is one).

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
Pretty sure I've never read a book set in Haiti before.  This is about the kidnapping of a well-to-do resident female and the aftermath.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
I'm also pretty sure I've never read an LGBTQ novel before, but reading more diversely is usually a good thing.  And it's about Victorian London thieves!  :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Bookish People to Follow

Today's Top 10 Tuesday theme over at The Broke and the Bookish is your favorite people to follow on your social media platform of choice!

I'm choosing my 10 favorite Booktubers, since it was Booktube that got me back into reading in a big way.  I know some of these ladies may be everyone's favorites, but I'm giving a shout out anyway.

I'm listing these alphabetically, since I can't "rank" them (and don't want to).

abookutopia (Sasha) - mostly YA

Between Chapters (Trina) - mostly YA/fantasy

Bookables (Heather) - a variety including adult, YA, and children's

BooksandLala (Lala) - a variety including adult, thrillers, YA, contemporary

emmmabooks (Emma) - YA  (I don't always agree with her, but she's crazy fun to watch.)

Novels and Nonsense (Samantha) - a variety including classics

Hails Hearts Nyc (Hailey) - mostly YA

PeruseProject (Regan) - historical, fantasy, and YA

Thoughts on Tomes (Samantha) - mostly YA

readbyzoe (Zoe) - contemporary and YA

As you can see, I watch a lot of YA-oriented channels, and I do love them, but if anyone has suggestions for fun channels with slightly more adult reading tastes, I'd love to hear them!