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 while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he 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 isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Okay, I’ve gotta be honest. My very first impression upon opening the book and reading the first few pages: Wow, I’m not impressed. The author is inserting profanities like a drunken sailor here. Strong profanities. In the first 3 sentences, the “F-bomb” is dropped twice. I will never see the need for that, because I’m pretty sure there are other ways one can get their point across. What can I say? I’m not a lover of strong profanity.
That was my first impression. As I read on, I became more impressed with the writing. There are still more curse words than I could count, but once I was into the STORY, I was able to focus more on that. Andy Weir is a talented author, there’s no doubt about that. The character, Mark Watney, is a very likable one…he’s got a biting sense of humor and loves sarcasm. He is witty and intelligent, and I definitely found myself rooting for him. I figured I would have a good idea about how it would end, because at first it’s written in the first-person. However, it later switches to the third-person, and there are definitely a lot of hints that have you guessing. Once I was able to look past the language, I really enjoyed the book – had a hard time putting it down, in fact! I even had a dream the night I finished it – a dream that I can definitely tell you was based on my high level of emotional investment while reading.
Really well-written novel! Engaging and entertaining. I could easily see this being made into a movie. I’m giving it 4 stars. I really liked it. If I hadn’t had a problem with the strong language, I would have given it 5 stars.
I received The Martian by Andy Weir book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are mine, and mine alone.
About the book:
Want to get your frontal cortex breaking a sweat? Make your blood pump to your cerebellum? Stretch your occipital lobe to its limits?
Then you need to bend your brain! This first book from the team behind Marbles: The Brain Store, a chain devoted to building better brains, offers puzzles and brain teasers to help enhance memory, build problem-solving skills, and reduce stress.
Since Marbles started helping people play their way to a healthier brain, they’ve sold, solved, and been stumped by more than their fair share of puzzles. Along the way, they’ve learned which puzzles tie people in knots (not in a good way) and which ones make the neurons downright giddy. With the help of their in-house team of BrainCoaches and access to cutting-edge neuroscience, they’ve designed these puzzles to keep your mind flexible and fit.
Arranged in five key brain categories—visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory—Bend Your Brain offers a variety of puzzles ranging from mind-warming (easy) to mind-blowing (hard!):
I love this book. Holy cow, I love it! The puzzles in there really make me think…and I’m kinda embarrassed to admit it, but the beginner level ones had me working hard.
As a working, blogging mom of two (one with special needs), I rarely find time to myself, and I often find myself feeling, I don’t know, out of it. Like I can’t process another thing, or like I can’t focus and think straight. I have found myself taking a few minutes (or more) at night after the kids are in bed to do a puzzle. It’s not only ME time, it’s exercise my brain time! I really feel that it will help me to have less of those brain fog moments that I can’t stand. And heck, it’s fun, win-win! I really like how the puzzles aren’t just things to make you think, they are puzzles to make you think DIFFERENTLY than you’re used to – to think creatively and outside the box. I would love it if Marbles-The Brain Store came out with a ton of these. I’d try them all!
5 Stars. I LOVE the book!
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are mine, and mine alone.
It started with a simple question: How can we help them? It became an international movement called NEGU: Never Ever Give Up. When Jessica Joy Rees was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at age 11, she chose to focus not on herself but on bringing joy and hope to other children suffering from cancer.
During the ten months she battled cancer, she and her family worked in the “Joy Factory” (originally their garage) making JoyJars®—packages filled with toys, games, and love for other kids with cancer. Jessie first handed them out personally at the hospital where she was being treated, but the effort blossomed quickly and there were soon thousands of JoyJars® being distributed across the United States and to over fifteen countries. Today, more than 100,000 kids have received JoyJars®, and they continue shipping each week to kids in over 200 children’s hospitals and 175 Ronald McDonald Houses.
Jessie lost her battle with cancer in January 2012, but her message lives on in the Jessie Rees Foundation, which has become a beacon of hope for families fighting pediatric cancer.
Picture of Jessie (middle), JT, and Shaya, shortly after Jessie was diagnosed.
Oh my goodness. What an incredible, heartbreaking, and inspiring story. I was crying in the very first chapter. My daughter is 11 years old, and I couldn’t help but put myself in the writer’s shoes as I read his story of being told that his sweet 11-year old girl had an inoperable brain tumor. Very well written, this true story tells of Jessie and her battle with cancer. She had an extremely rare form of cancer, and the odds were desperately stacked against her. Instead of wallowing in self-pity because she was sick, she chose to help others, and in doing so, she brought joy to herself, and to thousands of others. She invented the “Joy Jars”, jars filled with gifts and fun stuff. She became well known in her community after a news story was aired about her Joy Jars, and still her story spread. Erik Reese, the author, is Jessie’s father, and he tells the story only the way a parent can. It is heartfelt and heartbreaking. It is inspiring and devastating. He chronicled the last 9 months of his sweet daughter’s life, and it’s just so raw, so tender. The chapter in which he tells of her death haunts me, and yet it reminds me to hug my own children, and to share with them what Jessie taught so many: NEGU, or in other words, Never Ever Give Up. What a message!
I’m giving this book 5 stars. I loved it, and I became inspired to join the movement. If you want to know more of Jessie’s story, or what the foundation in her name does, you can follow the foundation’s page on facebook. The beginning of the timeline on that page is full of notes from Jessie herself. You can GO HERE to like their page.
Many thanks to Handlebar Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book. All opinions are mine and mine alone. No monetary compensation was received, nor was I required to leave a positive review. I received a free copy of the book, Never Ever Give Up in exchange for my honest opinion.
“God told Jonah to obey, said, ‘Go to Nineveh this day.’ But, stubborn Jonah fled instead. Didn’t do just what God said.” Jonah’s disobedience landed him inside a big fish! And there he had time to think and pray. Children will feel the waves and hear the splash as Jonah sinks “down and down and down” into the belly of the fish. This story serves as an excellent reminder of how important it is to listen to God.
If you are the parent of a young child or children, and you want fun and simple ways to share the stories from the Bible with your little ones, I’m betting you’ll like this book. The entire story is told in rhyme, with bright, colorful pictures to accompany it. My son, who didn’t want it read to him, because he already had HIS books picked out to read, ended up asking for this again and again – the first night we read it! He’s enjoyed it many times since. I think it’s a great bedtime story, a simple and gentle reminder to all of us that when we feel that God is pointing us in a direction, it’s where we need to go. It’s also simple enough for the kids to read to themselves.
I’m giving the book Jonah and the Great Big Fish by Rhonda Gowler Greene 4 stars: I really liked it!
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion. Many thanks to BookLookBloggers for providing me a copy to review!.
We’ve got a winner! See below:
The IDENTICAL tells the compelling story of twin brothers unknowingly separated at birth during the Great Depression. DREXEL HEMSLEY becomes an iconic 50’s rock ’n’ roll star, while RYAN WADE (Blake Rayne) struggles to balance his love for music and pleasing his father. The Reverend Wade (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd) are sure their adopted son has been gifted and called by God to be a preacher. But Ryan challenges his parent’s vision for his life, and unflinchingly chooses to launch his own music career with his best friend (Seth Green). Encouraged by his wife (Erin Cottrell) and employer (Joe Pantoliano), Ryan embarks on an unpredictable, provocative path – performing the legendary music of Drecel Hemsley in sold out venues all across the country. As the brothers destinies tragically collide, Ryan discovers that Drexel is his identical twin which leads him to question everything he’s ever believed about God, family, and his own identity.
About the Soundtrack Sampler:
THE IDENTICAL ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK SAMPLER features 12 of the 20 original songs by Jerry Marcellino and Yochanan Marcellino from the film. Including “Your Love’s Keepin’ Me Tonight,” “City Lights,” “Angel of Mine,” “Everybody Knows It” and “Nashville Tonight.”
*If you’re interested in getting some friends together to see THE IDENTICAL, we have a group ticket opportunity HERE!
If you’re looking for a family-friendly, music-filled film, this is it. I absolutely LOVE that there has been a new surge of appropriate, family-friendly movies come out recently. I think it’s so awesome to be able to watch quality entertainment without fear of being bombarded by sex, drugs, and/or violence. I’m definitely excited to see The Identical when it comes out!
I was given a CD sampler of the soundtrack for this film, and I can tell just from the music that this is gonna be a fun, engaging movie to watch! My personal favorite is Angel of Mine. (I love me a good bit of R&B.) The music has that 50’s “Elvis” feel to it, and takes me back to what I imagine the 50’s must have been like. The sampler of the original score is beautiful, and I can imagine that it adds a great richness to the story. I kinda want the full soundtrack now, just so I can get that score!
Propeller Consulting, LLC has been generous enough to provide an extra copy of the soundtrack sampler for one of our lucky readers! You can have the chance to fall in love with the music from this sweet movie!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
CONGRATULATIONS to the winner!! Thank you everyone who entered! Stay tuned for more.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.