A Brief Review – Book #13-14

art, planet, and drawing image

I recently read two books about people trying to survive on different planets. One was Little Bee, about a Nigerian refugee who fled her war-torn country to find peace in London, a place so different from home it might as well have been another world. The other was The Martian, and the guy was literally on another planet.

I was surprised by these stories, both in how captivated I was with the writing and by how much I enjoyed them! I’m checking two boxes off of my reading challenge list:

A funny book – The Martian
A book you own but have never read – Little Bee

Little Bee was at times dark and depressing, but had so many uplifting moments of hope and determination that it didn’t feel like a generally sad book. The title character was a Nigerian refugee who ends up in London. You can’t tell much from the back cover, so it’s best to dive in and let the plot unfold as you go. Sad things happened, as did scary and heartbreaking things. But through it all, Little Bee’s sweet, innocent voice narrated as though everything would be okay. When she wasn’t narrating, the other main character (also female) took over. She was a funny, successful English mother who provided comic relief and sometimes hard truths. Her son, Batman, was my favorite character. Their stories are very much intertwined, and I loved watching them unfold. I would highly recommend this one – it was moving and smartly written!

The Martian was the first book in a long time to keep me on the edge of my seat. If you’ve completely missed previews for the blockbuster movie, it’s about a man who is left for dead on Mars. Spoiler alert: he’s alive. And trying to get back to Earth! I read this book on the train while biting my nails from worry. Who would’ve known that space exploration would be such a thriller for me? I did skim a majority (read: all) of the heavy science and math portions. They didn’t make sense and I assumed they never would, so I continued on to the bits that did. The main character, Mark Watney, is the smartest fictional character I have ever encountered, and had a great sense of humor. When I wasn’t nervously reading as fast as I could, I was laughing at his outrageous statements. It was the perfect recipe for me, a very non-scientific mind. I loved this book. Time to see the movie!

 

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