Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What We're Reading #4

After last month's sorry turn out I am pleased to report that I read three (THREE!) books in March! Not going to lie, it felt g-o-o-d. 

Fiction Reads for March

Goodreads Synopsis:
A mission to Mars.
A freak accident.
One man's struggle to survive.
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, Mark won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.
As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.
But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.
My thoughts:
Stars: 5 out of 5! So G-O-O-D!!
Goodreads Synopsis:
A lush, raw, thrilling novel of the senses about a year in the life of a uniquely beguiling young woman, set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant.

"Let's say I was born when I came over the George Washington Bridge..." 

This is how we meet unforgettable Tess, the twenty-two-year-old at the heart of this stunning first novel. Shot from a mundane, provincial past, she's come to New York to look for a life she can't define, except as a burning drive to become someone, to belong somewhere. After she stumbles into a coveted job at a renowned Union Square restaurant, we spend the year with her as she learns the chaotic, punishing, privileged life of a "backwaiter," on duty and off. Her appetites—for food, wine, knowledge, and every kind of experience—are awakened. And she's pulled into the magnetic thrall of two other servers—a handsome bartender she falls hard for, and an older woman she latches onto with an orphan's ardor. 

These two and their enigmatic connection to each other will prove to be Tess's hardest lesson of all. Sweetbitter is a story of discovery, enchantment, and the power of what remains after disillusionment.

My thoughts: This was a random Free Little Library book and I was drawn to it because I have a deep appreciation for food. This did not satisfy my appetite. Maybe if I was still in my "wandering twenties" it would have resonated more but really, all of Tess's decisions were horrible ones and I had no sympathy for her whatsoever. And it didn't help that I didn't even know her name until the end of the book, that was unsettling.

Characters: I don't think I truly liked anyone in this book. Even the main character was a bore. From self-destructing, drug and alcohol addicts to creepy co-dependent relationships, I would probably say this is a "don't do this" example more than being entertaining. But maybe I don't "get it" because I never waited in a restaurant before?

Stars: 1 out of 2

Goodreads Synopsis:
When Elizabeth Bennet first met Mr. Darcy, she found him proud, distant, and rude—despite the other ladies' admiration of his estate in Derbyshire and ten thousand pounds a year. But what was Mr. Darcy thinking?
Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice has long stood among the most beloved novels of all time. The story of Elizabeth Bennet's blossoming romance with "haughty, reserved, and fastidious" Fitzwilliam Darcy has enchanted readers for nearly two centuries.
Now author Janet Aylmer loving retells Pride and Prejudice from a bold new perspective: seeing events as they transpire through the eyes of Darcy himself. One of world's great love stories takes on breathtaking new life, and one of fiction's greatest romantic heroes becomes even more sympathetic, compelling, attractive, and accessible, all through the imagination and artistry of a truly gifted storyteller.

This edition includes many prints by the Victorian artist Hugh Thomson, which were used in an edition of Pride and Prejudice in 1894.
My thoughts: I wanted to love this retelling of Austen's (because she is one of my ultimate favorites, naturally) Pride and Prejudice as it was written in the point of view of Mr. Darcy but it was so boring. It was one of those books I just finished because I started it but really didn't enjoy it.
Characters: All the beloved and not so adored characters from Pride and Prejudice.
Stars: 2 out of 5

Now it's your turn! Add your book-related link below. Thanks for joining StephanieKeriWhitneyJustineCrystalJohannahHeather and me for What We're Reading Wednesday on the first Wednesday of every month!

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  1. On out of three is not bad! It is hard for me to really get into a twenty something book since I'm kind of out of that time myself!

  2. Just by coincidence, I happened to post my books lately this month today. Going to have to link up!! Good to know about Darcy's story!

  3. I have never ready Pride and Prejudice yet I call myself a bookworm!

  4. I just added The Martian to my list. FIVE OUT OF FIVE?!! How does one pass that up?
    I've contemplated Sweetbitter, but per your recommendation, nope. I've never waited a table (unless you count the small dictators in my house), so I don't think I'll get it either.

    A Map of the World! Oh my goodness. I read that in high school at the same time my lit teacher was reading it. I remember she and I would hash it over during our homeroom. I can't remember specifics about the book, but I do remember absolutely loving it. I'm really excited to hear your thoughts once you read it. And, I just may have to pick it up again.

  5. The book about Mars sounds really good!

  6. I thought I was the only person in the world that didn't like Sweetbitter, but seriously - I did not enjoy that book at all. Ugh.

    1. Ugh is right! What a depressing book and most likely pretty close to the author's real experiences which is just sad.

  7. The cover of Sweetbitter looks so fun! Too bad you didn't like it!!

  8. I've never read Pride and Prejudice. Oops! Can we still be friends? :)

  9. I have heard so many great things about The Martian! I really need to read that one. I've never read Pride and Predjudice. Eek!

  10. Great job on reading three books, but sorry two were a bit of a let down. I hear good things about The Martian!


    p.s. I'm a new consultant for Usborne Books if you're looking for any new titles! I need FB party hosts too and you can earn free books. Shop:

  11. Three books in one month is impressive! I used to read a book every 2 days but now I'm lucky if I finish two in a month.

  12. Definitely adding the Martian to my list after reading your review. Yay on three books! A very productive reading month.


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