I am easily distracted by books and shiny things, like stars.
I don't get it. I don't understand why this was such a hit book. I don't understand why so many fangirls (which I am definitely one of) swoon for this book. Okay - that's not true, I understand why some fangirls in the right age group swoon for this book. I definitely went through my very own M/M fanfiction phase when Fellowship of the Ring came out in theaters, but that was Freshman (maybe?) year of high school. And maybe if I had read this book then I would have thought it was the bees knees.
But, adult Aryn sees a very formulaic young adult romance novel. Girl - who is antisocial and unique in some way - has a major change in her life that she does not know if she can handle. Girl meets boy. Does he? Doesn't he? He does! He doesn't!? He does!? Toss in another boy just for shits and giggles. Everything is resolved and what makes her awkward and antisocial now just makes her unique!
Sorry - I don't see it.
Sure, it was entertaining. And easy to read. But really, I just don't get it.
Six days into a mission on Mars, Mark Watney is left behind by his crew during an emergency evacuation. He is left with the Hab, in which to live, an assortment of research vehicles and materials, enough food for 6 people to live on the surface of Mars for another 50 days, and absolutely no way to communicate to Earth that he is still alive. Mark was part of Ares 3; Ares 4 will be coming to Mars in about four years.
Thus begins on seriously bad ass botanist's struggle for survival on an alien wasteland. The Martian is mostly told from the first person perspective of Mark, in his personal logs while he attempts to survive for as long as humanly possible. What I didn't realize from the descriptions of this book before reading it, is that it is fucking hilarious. After many many days alone on Mars, Mark starts to get punchy. His sense of humor is dry and sort of not-funny funny, which is perfectly on point for my sense of humor. I was literally laughing out loud as I read, and I don't do that when I'm reading Terry Pratchett.
Here's a taste of the ridiculousness that comes in between the science, which this novel is chock full of.
"LOG ENRTY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They're mammals! Makes no sense."
Speaking of, this book is definitely full of science. I had to go back and re-read passages numerous times to really understand certain things that Mark was doing to a) fix equipment b) create water/oxygen c) make his vehicles go further and faster and with enough power to go for days. Surprisingly, this was not a detriment. Far on the other side, in fact, it called to mind classic science fiction pulled from my father's shelves when I was too young to really understand the science, that once I opened, I could never put back down. It brought back Asimov and Anthony - even though their science was ... less scientific by the time I read them, it still brought back that feeling of science being totally epic.
AND MARK'S ONLY A BOTANIST!
Seriously, Andy Weir - thank you so much for writing this book. I laughed out loud, I sat on the edge of my seat, I cheered for the characters. I burned dinner the night I finished it because I could not put it down long enough to take the shit out of the oven. Okay, I didn't burn dinner, but I would have, if the boyfriend hadn't taken it out of the oven because I sure as hell wasn't doing it.
So why are you all still reading this? GO READ THE MARTIAN.
PS. I'm super excited for the movie, but I don't know how I feel about Matt Damon playing Mark.
I don't do this often, post about non-book related things on here, but I simply cannot help it! I'M SO EXCITED. AND I JUST CAN'T HIDE IT.
In the real world, I'm a nurse aide at a senior living community. I love my job - but I hate hate hate the people I work for. I got a job offer today at substantially more than I make now doing what I do now, but with the proper resources and support from management! And these people don't put how much the residents pay first, they actually put THEM first!!!!!!!! AND I'm going to actually get a lunch break for the first time in a goddamn year!
I'm torn. For the first three quarters of my book my instincts were correct and this was a godawful stupid book. Andrianna is a girl who was born with some birth mark that makes her one of the chosen Ailith; Ronan is her protector knight - who also has this mark. The novel starts on the day of their Calling and suddenly they are on the run towards their other chosen one counterparts. Knights and Remnants (what they call the Ailith) are not allowed to have relationships. So what do you think so much of this book feels like? Impossible and yet reciprocal love between, guess who (?), Ronan and Andrianna. It's rather annoying. "I'm so jealous that you have male friends! But I cannot love you! But I obviously do!" Shoot me now.
And then suddenly when that stops being the focus of the whole damn novel the action starts to actually be interesting. The universe is obviously some parallel future/dystopia after our culture disappears. Getting around is either by horse or by what's left of our technology. Nothing's really progressed.
I still don't really understand the whole chosen one crap - since it seems that anyone can have "high gifts," they're just not allowed to use them. But the quest to topple a dictator across the sea and rescue the rightful heir, the dictator's brother, which sounds cliche and horrible is actually pretty fascinating - especially since when you meet the dictator he's actually complicated and torn and seems to fight within himself about what's truly right.
So, cards on the table? I'm not a Wonder Woman fan. I think she was a big step forward for women in comics during her first appearances, but I don't think she's done enough developing for me to be ZOMG a Wonder Woman fan. She usually sort of pisses me off.
But my comic book shop was having an after Christmas sale, and I loved this.
I worry it's going to be a little sitcom between Diana, Hermes, and Zola - but basically I really really enjoyed this one.
So for this year I WILL GET BACK INTO READING, if it kills me. Which it might. But I figure I'm off to a good start, completely immersing myself in the DC Universes's New 52.
So here's some quick thoughts:
Batman/Superman, Vol. 1: Cross World : Holy fucking awesome. I loved this so damn much.
Justice League 1: Origin : Also pretty damn awesome.
Birds of Prey, Vol. 1: Trouble in Mind : Ehhh, action movie fun!
Batwoman Vol. 5: Webs : Yeah, DC, you are special. I love the new Batwoman. DC's direction with her? Not as much.
Batman and Robin, Vol. 1: Born to Kill : When did Robin become awesome? Really?
Superman, Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow? : I read this after Batman/Superman and Justice League because Superman actually seemed ... hardcore. But this? He's back to whitebread Superman.
OH MY GODS.
I am a DC girl, through and through, I just am, I find I don't care for most of Marvel's superheroes and they're just too goofy. I like my comics to read a little more seriously. Of course goofy isn't always a bad thing - like in this reboot of Ms. Marvel.
The point of that little tirade up there being: I am a DC girl, but a few days after this trade came out, I started hearing that the new Ms. Marvel was a Muslim American woman. So, I more or less sprinted to Comic Relief (my local comic shop), and was told they had sold their last copy less than an hour before I arrived. Gorramit, I had still been at work an hour previous.
THREE WEEKS LATER.
I finally got the call that my ordered copy had arrived. I got home and sucked it down in a half hour. The characters are vivid, real, hilarious, and lovable. The family is true to any American family with strong cultural ties. The girl is a confused teen caught in the throes of growing up and accepting herself.
This isn't a superhero story, so much as a story of a girl coming to terms with herself and her culture and her history and learning who she is within those confines as well as without. This is the story of a teenage girl accepting herself. This is a coming of age story if I ever did read one, and I cannot fucking wait for the next installment.
I guess I just don't know enough about Flash and the villains and allies specific to him to really understand a lot of those story lines?
I did like Kid Flash Lost, though. That last one was interesting.
Oh, and the one about the President Gorilla? That was intriguing.
But all that about Heatwave and Citizen Cold? Yeah, I didn't care and the story wasn't interesting enough on it's own to make me care. I felt like I was just missing something.