Monday, June 29, 2015

June Mini-Reviews

Title: From a Distant Star
Author: Karen McQuestion
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Out of Ten: 4/10
Review: I think that this book is probably good for what it is, but sadly, what it is isn't for me. I went into it know that there would be a romantic element, as it is primarily about Emma trying to save her boyfriend. That said, I really didn't like how her life seemed to completely rely on their relationship, to the point of neglecting school, and not really having friends. It just seemed... unhealthy, and that aspect was never really examined. It didn't help that I didn't particularly care much about Lucas. The other thing that really got to me was how forced elements of the plot felt, with much of it feeling too convenient. 

The part I liked most about this story was Emma's friendship with Scout, the alien who has taken over Lucas's body. It was fun to watch Scout learn about the world, and reminds you how strange a lot of customs are when viewed from the outside. I found I liked reading Scout's view more than Emma's, which isn't that common for me, I often get pretty attached to the main narrator. Overall, this novel had its weaknesses, and what ultimately got me through it was the friendship that develops between Emma and Scout.

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Release Date: Feb. 11, 2014
Out of Ten: 7/10
Review: This story hit a lot of points that I really enjoyed. For one thing, MARS. Mars rates pretty high on my solar system interests list. Its a scientifically minded survival story in what is genuinely the most hostile environment humans have ever been exposed to. I am a huge fan of survival stories like that. The science in this book is very detailed, and doesn't miss a beat, it always feels plausible. I didn't quite feel connected to Mark, though I was still invested in the story, and there was something that didn't quite work in the action-y bits.

In a lot of ways this book is a love letter to humanity. It highlights the best parts of the human race and really is unfailing optimistic. Both human ingenuity, as well as everyone on Earth working together to find a way to keep a single human alive. It shows a lot of faith in the human race on a whole, and ended up being a really enjoyable read.

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