Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Martian by Andy Weir

Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Crown
Pages: 369
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Science Fiction
Synopsis: 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.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Publication Date: July 31, 2007
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 643
Series: Mistborn #1
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land. He failed. For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably. Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Postcards from May

Summer is finally so close I can almost taste it...or feel it?  Smell it?  Who came up with these expressions anyway?  But in all seriousness, May has been a whirlwind of end of the school year insanity and I'm a little shocked I made it through all in one piece.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Pages: 352
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Horror
Synopsis: When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

On Turning 17 (And Becoming a Dancing Queen)

One month and one day ago, I turned 17.  In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it isn't the most exhilarating or eventful age.  To me, 17 is a bridge--a gap year between "child" and "adult."  Whatever that's supposed to mean.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Publication Date: 1932
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Science Fiction
Synopsis: Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mental Illness in Literature and Media

With the recent release of the Thirteen Reasons Why TV series and other publications featuring characters with mental illnesses, one could hope that the world is slowly becoming more accepting and understanding.  However, I find that there is one key component that is always off gear in these types of books:  that mental illnesses are rare, that they are wrong, and if the character has one, they are broken.