The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir was the type of book that I will read many times. My brother, sister and mum had all read this book and said good things so I thought I’d give it a read. I’ve never really read science-fiction books before, but I certainly will after reading this book.

I’m stranded on Mars.

I have no way to communicate with Earth.

If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Habitat breaches, I’ll just kind of explode.

If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

I’m Screwed.

What I loved about this book was the first sentence. “I’m pretty much fucked.” I think it was the perfect introduction to Mark Watney. He is stranded on Mars, there was some unfortunate events which led to his crew mates aborting the mission and evacuating Mars immediately, and believing Mark was dead, left him behind. So the first sentence, is the perfect introduction to Watney and his situation.

This is a story against all odds. Andy Weir uses humour and sarcasm throughout this book and he does it well. Watney is stranded on Mars, he has no way to communicate with Earth, to NASA or his crew mates and the next scheduled mission to mars is four years away. Watney’s food supplies allow him last just under a year, so he will starve to death.

However, Watney is at a bit of an advantage as an Astronaut stranded on Mars. He’s a botanist and a mechanical engineer trained by NASA for space missions to Mars. He uses his knowledge in these areas to prolong his chances of survival and lasting much longer  than expected.

I’m no science geek – science confuses the hell out of me, but Weir explained complex science in a simple and interesting way that even I could understand. This book is solely for those who are good at Maths and Chemistry, anyone can read this book and understand it.

This book is mostly a narration by Watney about his life on Mars and how he’s going to survive and all the problem he bumps into. But we are also told the story of what NASA are doing in an attempt to help Watney and how to allow Watney to survive for longer.

I was completely stuck into this book the entire way through. I was rooting for Mark Watney from the beginning to the end, and actually believed that he was a real Astronaut and this was real life, so for me, this book gets 5 stars.

My plan for today is to watch the film, so I’m sure this will be updated very soon.



The Potion Diaries: Royal Tour

The Potion Diaries: Royal Tour is the second book in the series by Amy Alward and this book was just as good as the first. It had so many unexpected twists and kept me on the edge of my sit throughout the entire book.

Since Sam won the hunt and saved her new best friend, Princess Evelyn, she has been ‘royally’ busy. she’s had TV interviews, she’s been working in her family’s potion store and has been preparing to join Evelyn on her world tour. Sam still has not had time for a real date with her new boyfriend Zain.

And it doesn’t look like that going to happen anytime soon. Someone has tampered with Sam’s grandad’s mind and she is the only person who can unlock his memories. However, these memories hold the key to the most powerful potion in the world, a potion which people would kill for.

Sam has to swap dresses, princes and palaces for dragons, centaurs and caves in her quest to save her grandad, and her town of Nova.

This book gripped me throughout, more so than the first book. In my review of the first book I mentioned how Emilia (Evelyn’s relative) was evil, horrible and just plain awful. But in this book I changed my mind about her so many times. Even though I already knew how horrible she could be, I still gave her the benefit of the doubt because at some points in this book, I truly believe that she could be a good person.

There were so many twists in this book, and so difficult to tell those who are good between those who are bad. This book was so intriguing and was so well written, Amy Alward really knows how to keep her readers stuck in the story. Therefore, I’ll give this book 4.5 stars, not quite 5 stars as the beginning was a tad slow, but as soon as the interesting things started, I could not put this book down!

The Potion Diaries

The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward was a book I thoroughly enjoyed. I do not normally enjoy books with magic, or potions etc. (unless it’s Harry Potter) but this was not over the top, and I really REALLY liked this book.

When the princess of Nova accidently poisons herself with a love potion, which was meant for someone she’s in love with, she falls in love with her own reflection. A nationwide hunt is then called to find a cure for her, with competitors travelling around the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and high mountains, facing death at every turn.

Samantha Kemi is an ordinarty girl with an extraordinary talent. Her family were once the most respected alchemists in the kingdom, but they have fallen on hard times and winning the hunt could save their reputation. But can Sam really compete with the dazzling powers of the ZoroAster megapharma company? and how close is she willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing enemy?

This book really kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. I had heard good things about this book from reviews on youtube and I was not disappointed. It is a nice, casual read to get lost in and escape to a completely different world.

In this book, there is an enemy, Emilia, who would stop at nothing to destroy all the participants opportunity to get the ingredients. All you want is for the princess Evelyn to get her cure, but the only person you want to cure her is Sam Kemi.

I would recommend anyone who wants just a bit of light reading to get this book. It will not disappoint you. This is the first book out of two, and I loved it and moved straight onto the second book, in which I have just started, so the review of that book will be my next review. As for this book, I would give it 4.5 stars.

Beautiful Broken Things

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard was completely different to how I originally thought it was going to be. I guessed for the start that it would be the kind of book where girl meets a boy and they fall in love forever. But that is not how this book went. It was so much better, because it was different. This book was about friendship. my view of the three main characters changed a lot throughout the book, but by the end of the book, i loved all of them.

Caddy and Rosie, they were the best of friends, and had been for 10 years. They knew each other inside and out and they’d experienced so much together. They had always been insperable, but that was before Suzanne came along. Caddy had always been quite quiet, but she’s had enough of that now. She wants to experience a significant life event. She wants something to happen in her life. However, Suzanne is trying to escape her past and be someone completely different and free. But no one can break your heart like your best friend.

This book really portrays the power and complexities of female friendship. The ups and the downs and the different kinds of friends. The ones who try to cheer you up and make you feel better and the ones who tell you straight how it is.

I am going to try to not give anything away here.

Caddy and Roise go to different schools, Caddy goes to a private school and Rosie goes to a ‘normal’ school. Then a new school year starts and Suzanne turns up at Rosie’s school. They become very close and Caddy starts to get jealous because, who dare thinks they could possibly be better friends with Rosie than Caddy? However, once Caddy finds out the truth about Suzanne’s past, she gives her a chance and they too, become very good friends, better than Rosie and Suzanne.

I loved this book from the  very beginning, it just drew me in and I just didn’t want to put it down. If you have that one friend that you’ve had for as long as you remember, then I would recommend you to pick up this book. Caddy’s feelings towards Suzanne and Rosie’s friendship is so true and realistic. For me, this book deserves 5 stars.

The Sky Is Everywhere

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson really hit me. This book is about a 17 year old girl, with a 19 year old sister who, unfortunately, suddenly died. As an 18 year old girl myself with an older sister (who thankfully, is still alive), it made me think a lot and also appreciate my sister and everything she does for me so much more.

This story is realistic. Lennie (the younger sister) and Bailey, were best friends, they did everything together and always hungout. Even when Bailey got a boyfriend, she still included Lennie a lot and would hang out with her sister and her boyfriend. Lennie was sitting at the table, waiting for dinner and waiting for Bailey to come home, annoyed at her sister, when the phone rang with the terrible news. It’s so realistic because someone can die  suddenly, no clues or signs and even with your best friend annoyed at you. There isn’t always parting on good terms.

“Lennie Walker, seventeen, wuthering heights obsessed, clarient player, band geek. Also hopeless romantic, prone to scattering bones all over town and as of four weeks ago, sisterless…”

When Lennie goes back to school after her sister passed away, she meets this handsome boy, Joe. He is the boy that every girls wants to be with, both in the story and out of it. He is good looking and such a sweetheart. However, Lennie does something terrible and Bailey’s boyfriend, Toby, is involved in the drama. Joe loves Lennie but is disgusted by her actions and can’t find it in him to forgive her.

However, like most stories there is a happy ending. (that is all I can say without giving any spoilers).

This book is so heart-breaking and so heart-lifting. It’s about first loss and first love and it is such an emotional rollercoaster. This is one of those books, that from the very first page, to the very last page, you’re so engrossed in the book and it is a real struggle to put it down, even to go to the toilet.

I would recommend this book to anybody who is a sucker for romance and anybody who loves their siblings more than anything in the world. This book was really eye opening for me and has given me a lot to think about in regards to my own sister. I am going to give this book 5 stars, it was utterly brilliant and completely unforgettable.

Holding Up The Universe

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven was sat on my TBR shelf for a while before I got around to reading it, and I wish that I had read it sooner. This book wasn’t anything special, just a typical YA book, and to me, thats what made it so great. Jennifer Niven doesn’t seem to try super hard to make an AMAZING book, it just worked for this book.

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, she’s the fat girl at school, and it’s so funny to play pranks on the fat girl right? No one has ever looked past her weight to see who she really is. Since her mother’s death, she’s been hiding, but now she feels like she is ready to go to high school. She wants to be the girl that can do anything, she doesn’t let her weight define her.

As for Jack Masselin, everyone thinks they know him too. He’s your typical jock, sexy, aloof, ‘too cool for school’ and with a smoking hot girlfriend. However, Jack has a secret that he needs to keep, he acts confident and like his friends so that no one suspects anything, even though he hates the way his friends are. He needs to be charming and funny and not to get too close to anyone.

And then Jack and Libby meet. Their worlds completely chance. Jack finally has someone to talk to about his secret. Libby can finally feel like she’s pretty enough, and that her weight won’t hold her back any longer.

The thing I loved about this book was how different it was to others. I have never read anything like it. I mean, yes, there was that typical boy meets girl and they fall in love and live happily ever after, but everyone loves a bit of cheesy romance right? Without giving any spoilers, all I’m going to say is I imagined the characters to look completely different to how they are described.

I loved this book because it’s a love story about finding that one person who sees you for who you really are, and seeing them right back. (those who have read this will understand that). But this book is completely brilliant, and I am so glad I bought and read this book, and I would highly recommend you to read it too. Therefore, I will give this book 4 stars.