The Martian by Andy Weir

martianPhew, this one was a long time coming. Its approaching that time of year when, unfortunately, reading begins to take a back seat to a lot of things. I have been doing my last-minute back-to-school shopping and dreading the moment when I have to repack my room once again. Despite my days now filled with doctors appointments and shopping, I have tried to make some time for the beloved reading. This is probably my last book of summer and I’d say it was a good end to a great thing. Goodbye, summer.

Mark Watney is a member of the Ares 3 mission team that is taking a trip to Mars. Unfortunately for Mark, a large dust storm blows in and his crew, thinking he is dead, leaves him behind to return to Earth for safety. Now Mark is the only human on Mars with no way to tell Earth he is alive. The Martian is filled with journal like entires of Marks incredible journey to stay alive on Mars. His brilliance makes him probably the only person who could survive on Mars alone and his humor never fades despite the desolate situation.

I have some super mixed feelings about this book. Overall, I love the plot and I love Mark Watney’s character. His is so funny that I often found myself laughing out loud when reading, which is rare. On the other hand, Watney is brilliant so a lot of the things he said went over my head. Unless you are literally a rocket scientist, you may run into the same problem.Towards the end, the story really began to drag and Watney’s explanation of what was happening really did me in. I skipped around a good amount until it got interesting again. Because of this, I have to give the book a 3.5 of of 5. I think it is a great book but the complex way it read at times made it hard to read for extended periods and I often forgot to pick it back up again. The movie comes out in October or November of this year and I’m super excited for that!

Common Sense Media Rating: 14+ yrs

Flags: Cursing

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

wildI grabbed this book off a shelf at Target after months of looking at it and debating it. I had heard a lot about the book and people seemed to rave about the movie. I was pretty stoked to read it for myself (before the movie, of course) and boy, did I make a good decision.

Wild is the true story of a woman named Cheryl Strayed whose life is falling apart. After the death of her mother, a failed marriage, several one night stands and a new flavor for drugs, Cheryl decides it’s time to reclaim her life. After seeing a guide-book for the Pacific Crest Trail at her local REI, Strayed makes the bold decision to hike a major section of it. Wild is not necessarily Strayed’s book of answers, but instead her tale of journeys that would one day lead her down a new path.

I was in awe of this story. This book made me want to pack up my bag and go on a journey of my own! Strayed’s story is impeccable and will show you the true strength of people who have determination. One thing I loved about this book is you don’t hear Strayed’s tales and stories and then listen to her recant what she learned from this. Instead, you see how people become a part of her journey. The ending, while quick, will make the entire book and her entire journey worth it. I give this book a 5 out of 5. I have never read a book that made me feel quite like this. Whether your looking for a novel that will give you a new perspective on life or perhaps you want to be inspired, this book will not fail you. Pick it up and you won’t regret it.