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I wish I could say that I loved this story and it entertained me. I can't. The premise was an interesting concept but, in the end, not much different from your average love story. Very little was explained about the time travel and its possibilities. Nothing very scientific to it at all. I'm not big on romance unless there's an interesting plot line. Lots of potential here but I couldn't take much more of the undying love confessions. I never understand stories where lovers fall madly in love in a week or shortly after their first encounter and profess undying love forever and ever. Even weirder here is a young girl madly, obsessively in love with a movie star she has fantasized over her entire life and upon meeting, both feel an otherworldly pull to each other. That meeting occurs when she's twenty three and movie star guy is EIGHTY FIVE. Nah. I don't buy it. Not one moment of it. I'm sorry. It was just kind of icky. The entirety of the book was spent trying to convince me otherwise. Nope. I'm over it. Mildly entertaining.
*I was provided with a DRC from indieBRAG. www.bragmedallion.com
Finally finished this book...again. I was just about finished when I received an email from publisher asking if I'd be interested in reading a newer version. I was promised a better story. Well, I gotta say, I was a little frustrated but I was also at that point in book where all was about to be revealed. I quit the first copy and began again. I wanted this story to explain itself. I had so many questions with the first version. I hoped the second time would be a charm. Was it? Not bad. I appreciate the re-write and the extra attention the book was given to make the story one readers would enjoy. Yes! Much better second go-round. However, this book was a bad fit for me. When I initially saw it on NetGalley the blurb intrigued me. Sounded like an interesting concept, living in virtual reality. It was defined as YA, which is cool with me. I read a bit of YA but there are those stories that really age me when reading YA. This was one of those age-defining moments. Would I recommend this book? Probably not. Did I enjoy this book? Obviously or I wouldn't have read it twice. Wasn't what I expected though.
**Received a DRC from NetGalley. Opinions are my own.
Ok. Let me begin by saying WOW! Mad, crazy scientist props to Andy Weir, a self proclaimed "space nerd and devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned space flight." Geez. My hobbies consist of reading, collecting Louisiana Festival posters, and Nutcrackers. Um. Obviously, Weir is extremely brilliant. His bio says he was hired by a national laboratory at the age of fifteen. Weir was a programmer at fifteen!! I was just getting my driving license. His debut novel, The Martian, is now a major motion picture. Of course, as popular as both are, you didn't need me to tell you any of this. I haven't seen the movie yet but it's easy to picture Matt Damon as the book's hero, Mark Watney. I can easily imagine Damon doing the character of Watney a great, sarcastic-comedic turn. Well played, Hollywood!
Now, on to my short and sweet review. Because I'm a bit behind in reading, this book has already been widely read and reviewed. I can't think of much I can add to opinion and therefore, I will keep it simple. If you're a fan of sci-fi, NASA, physics, science, and chemistry, by all means, run to your local bookstore or library and grab a copy. Liking math is also a plus. There's lots of all these things mentioned many, many times. Math, science, and chemistry...not exactly my thing. Once Watney started calculations my mind began to spin. Watney describes it best when he says,
"Remember those old math questions you had in algebra class? Where water is entering a container at a certain rate and leaving at a different rate and you need to figure out when it'll empty? Well, that concept is critical to the "Mark Watney doesn't die" project I'm working on."
Watney cleverly narrates the story from Mars by making daily log entries. Well, actually it's "sol" entries. One sol on Mars is equal to one Earth day. Watney will be spending lots of sols on Mars. Alone. He's clever, though. Reminds me of Macgyver, if Macgyver had been an astronaut and a botanist. On Earth, the story revolves around mission control and those in charge. In space, we get a feel for things from Watney's surviving crew members from the aborted, failed mission that has stranded Watney on Mars. The entire world holds their breath and actually works together to save a human life. Every effort is made to return Mark Watney to Earth. All in all, it's really an incredible story. Kudos to Weir for the highly scientific aspect of everything. I mean, he had to do some serious thinking to put this story, with all the pieces in the right place, together. Some of Watney's explanations become tediously boring. Have patience. Once the story gets in gear, it's a nail bighter. Exciting stuff! I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone. And I'm just going to come out and say it, something I rarely say, this is probably much better as a movie. *ducks to avoid flying debris being thrown by other readers* What?! I said I liked this book. I really did!
**Received an ARC from Blogging for Books in exchange for review.
I was almost finished with Nirvana when I got an email from the publicist informing me of a new, updated version. *sigh* A teeny tiny bit annoyed that I was going to wrap up another NetGalley read, adding to my much needed completion ratio, and now I'll have to read another version of a book I found so-so to begin with. But, and it's a positive but, the good news is that the reviews for the newer version appear to be much better. The first copy of Nirvana wasn't horrible, it just doesn't explain things I need to know to make this story complete. So, I'm going to put this copy aside and move forward with the new copy now available on NetGalley. Is it worth another read? The answer will undoubtedly vary widely amongst readers. I'm in favor of a reread because I think the story had promise and perhaps Stewart made the necessary tweaks the book needed to excel. I'm all about second chances.