The Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Oh, thank God I finally finished this book! I put this on my tbr, back in October, when a favorite youtuber of mine, clothesencounters, described what it was about and how much she loved this. Then my sister read it and raved about it. Well, I finally got my own hands on it.
My first reaction to the book was shock at the overly simplistic writing style. And the cussing threw me as well. As the story progressed however, I got used to it and just realized that was Watney's character. The book is written as a log, Watney's journal entries from his incredible experience being the first man stranded on Mars. Thus, I guess it was meant to represent how he would actually write/talk. But right away, this diminished my interest in the book.
Then came my irritation at how repetitive things got. I mean, the situation of the story is pretty stellar: guy stuck on Mars. Needs to survive. Comes up with cool ways to do so. But I felt that some chapters started off reiterating what was mentioned in previous chapters.
What I loved about the story was how it was all about problem solving. Watney runs into one problem after another and comes up with creative solutions. Of course, my poor heart didn't like all the suspense! Watney goes through a lot and just can't seem to catch a break! But again the repetitiveness of this grated on my nerves after a while.
I've heard some people are afraid to dive into this book because it has lots of science. But honestly, all of it is pretty dumbed down so no problems grasping what is going on in the story. I liked all the mad scientist scenes. How he grew those potatoes? I wonder if that's really legit and if it is, that's so cool! I loved telling people about his crazy botany.
The reason I started this off with a sense of relief at having finished this book is because I really regretted committing to this book because it didn't turn out to be what I'd hoped at all. Everyone I know who's read it said they had moments where they laughed right out loud at how hilarious this book was. Uh, yeah, I didn't experience that. I chuckled at some pretty standard crude jokes and okay, maybe once I laughed at some crazy situation Watney got himself into. My relief is to the fact that I didn't DNF this, because I want this to be the year I finish whatever books I start (haha, I have several in progress books already that are in danger of being DNFed).
Overall, my experience of this book was that it was the equivalent of an action movie, packed with suspense at certain parts, had lots of redundant scenes, and was just basically a zero calorie ride. Of course, the idea is so cool. Hello, Mars and NASA and big science and stuff. But there was no character depth. There was this cardboard figure called Watney who had a lot of shit happen to him. I don't know what it is with me and reading so much plot-driven stuff this year! All I know is I'm staying away from any more 'popular' books. I also felt a lot of resentment to this book because not finishing it for so long was blocking me from reading other books I really wanted to get to. Yup, this one's out of my hair!
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