Two more books have been read in the last week. Well one and a half. I had read the majority of “The Martian” a month ago, but it was removed from my iPad and i never got around to finishing it until just now. But thats a technicality. Lets get to my thoughts on the books! These books are very different, though coincidently both featured numbers and counting in some way or another….

So the first book i am going to write about is “The Martian”. I absolutely loved this book. This is actually one my favourite books i have ever read- close behind the Thomas Harris ‘Hannibal’ books. I had heard multiple times on the Roosterteeth podcast that this is an amazing book and that i should read it- and so i did.

The Martian was written by Andy Weird and follows Mark Watney, an astronaut who was left behind on an exhibition to Mars as the rest of the crew had to leave due to dangerous conditions. The world and the NASA headquarters thought he was dead. Even he himself was surprised he survived. His only problem was that he was stranded on Mars with limited food, water and general supplies. But Mark survives. He grows food and engineers many ways to survive and give himself the best chance of getting saved- while avoiding death multiple multiple times. And we see how he survives, his mindset and emotional state during his isolation,  and what happens down on earth in the meantime.

While i am not normally a fan of first person in novels- this didn’t bug me so much as it was in the form of journal entries. For me personally this made all the difference, as it was not seeing someones thoughts and emotions directly like normal first person writing. It was how the character expressed their feeling, thoughts and what was happening it in their writing- which worked really well in this novel. The plot was amazing, with so many twists and turns and i enjoyed how it switched between Mark and the people working down on earth to bring him back. There also was a lot of math in the book- i mean a lot of maths. And i love maths. There are calculations that Mark does on how much he needs to grow to sustain himself, how much oxygen and water is left. it also features science as well- which also appealed to me throughout the book.

‘The Martian’ is a must read. Dare i say a modern classic. I can’t really put into words how much i enjoyed this book. Please may the movie do it justice.

The second book i read was ‘Shatter Me’. A story about Juliette, who was institutionalised for years because of her ‘disease’- whenever she touches someone they are in extreme pain. If she remains in contact with them for long enough they die. She ends up leaving the hospital and is taken to work for Warner- a crazy leader who wants to use her powers for evil (mwahahaha). She befriends a solider named Adam, who was sent undercover into the hospital to spy on her and who went to school with here when she was younger. They fight and rebel against Warner and the Reestablishment-a group who seeks to gain power in the world and restore order after everything went downhill. There is little food, water, shelter, power and the world is a war zone. They also fall in love.

While i enjoyed the plot of the books and some aspects of the world created- the powers that people have had (sort of like the mutants in the marvel world), the establishment and the revelation at the end, as well as the author Tahereh Mafi’s writing style (numbers and counting, synbolism, repeating words etc.) there were many things i did not like.

It was very ‘romance’. Yes i know it is a young adult book, and i don’t always have a problem with romance in books (i read a lot of fan-fiction) but in this book i felt it was a bit overdone for me. How they loved each other ever since they were children, and every since the moment she disappeared Adam had been looking for her to save here because she is so good and kind and perfect. To me it was overdone, and i just did not like the fact they fell in love so easily and decided to escape together and do all these things together without really learning anything about each other.

Though i understand it may be showing how in a world where everything seems to be bad that people find comfort in each other and as Juliette was so removed from human contact to finally have someone touch her and care for her is important for her development and is pretty much the first real relationship and contact with a person emotionally- to me at times it was a bit extreme and ‘blunt’. However I did really love the way Tahereh explored Juliette’s isolation, and the effects psychologically on her- her self esteem, confidence and learning to trust herself.

If you are looking for a quick read with romance and a dystopian world,’Shatter Me’ fits all these criteria. I’ll see how i am going with my other reading and whether i will read the next books in the series in the next couple of weeks.

So there we go my (poorly written) reviews. Trust me, i will get better at this. 

Let me know what you think about the books and what i should read next!

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