Erin Eastham’s recently released young adult novel, Among the Joyful, was a quick read. I was drawn into the narrative...moreAmong the Joyful by Erin Eastham
Erin Eastham’s recently released young adult novel, Among the Joyful, was a quick read. I was drawn into the narrative from the very first line and then stayed up way too late on a work night to get through the final line.
Alaire, the main character, is a young lady who lacks the angst normal to the formative teen years, mostly because she doesn’t know what it is. She lives in Golden State, where happiness (or at least the appearance of it) is of foremost importance. In this “idyllic” planned society, it is each person’s responsibility to never infringe on the happiness of others, which not only means avoiding harsh or argumentative comments/conversations, but also never going out without a smile, as one person’s lack of smile could impact and ruin the day of another. Yes, everyone smiles, all of the time. (As I read, I actually tried to smile for an extended period of time. It is no easy task when it isn’t based on an actual emotion. It doesn’t take long for cheek muscles to tire and lips to dry out. No fun when it isn’t for real.) As a member of the coveted Joyful Court at her high school, Alaire is a role model to the other students. Until, her world comes crashing down and she discovers empathy- that the world is not all smiles and Joyful Court meetings- there is sadness, heartbreak, disappointment and a whole range of emotions that she has never been allowed to experience.
Lately, I’ve been intrigued with this movie, Gravity that came out last fall in the States. As I wasn’t home at all during the...moreThe Martian by Andy Weir
Lately, I’ve been intrigued with this movie, Gravity that came out last fall in the States. As I wasn’t home at all during the time it was in theaters and I don’t want to pay $20 to watch it on Amazon, I’m still mostly in the dark about it. But, the reviews I read when it was out caught my attention and I am secretly hoping it will be a viewing choice on the airline when I head home in late May. With that spark of interest in outer space ignited, I was excited when I saw The Martian listed on the best books of the week on Huffington Post. (That weekly article costs me *way* too much money!) I figured this novel could tide me over until I have a chance to watch Ms. Bullock and Mr. Clooney do their thing on the eight-inch seatback screen provided by United.
Andy Weir does not disappoint! I was drawn in from the very start, sliding through pages quickly. Mark Watney, a NASA-trained astronaut, was a part of a group of scientists who were going to explore Mars for 31 sols (a bit longer than an Earth day) and then head back to our little third rock from the sun. But, through a series of unfortunate and unlucky events, he gets left behind when his colleagues are forced to call their mission, 25 sols short of their intended stay. What Watney does have going for him is those first six sols, when the team had time to establish their camp, giving him at least a bare minimal chance at survival; although what he has to survive for is quickly called into question. Is it really just prolonging the inevitable?
The Answer to the Riddle is Me recently popped up on a friend’s Facebook page and I was instantly drawn to the dark humor of the subtitle A Memoir of...moreThe Answer to the Riddle is Me recently popped up on a friend’s Facebook page and I was instantly drawn to the dark humor of the subtitle A Memoir of Amnesia. The contradiction between a book written to record memories and a brain that has no recollection of those memories made me curious to see what direction David MacLean’s writing would take. Would it be filled with a dark, self-depreciating humor at the situation or bitter and angry or just plain lost and hopeless? Whichever way the story played out, it was this snappy little play on words that prompted me to download the newly released book.
When MacLean wakes up on a train platform in India with no idea who he is, where he is or how he got there, his life begins to unravel. Luckily for him, a tourist policeman realizes there is something wrong with this young man and goes out of his way to offer is assistance and get him to a safe home. Throughout their time together, the officer assumes MacLean is just another foreign tourist who came to the country to use drugs and party and his lack of awareness is really just a terrible high that has yet to wear off. The cop places him in the home of a local woman who helps drug addicts get cleaned up, where both remind him that that his choices are causing great pain for his parents. Soon though, MacLean is admitted to a hospital, as he begins to have seizures and requires medical help for his condition.