Yet another gargantuan book that I took on because of the abundance of high praise, only to slog through as much as I could before I abandoned it. ThiYet another gargantuan book that I took on because of the abundance of high praise, only to slog through as much as I could before I abandoned it. This is not a negative review -- I just don't have the patience I once had, or the time, and unfortunately it seems that these days I need my books to have a good hook, a faster pace, and less exposition.
The old saying, 'Don't judge a book by its cover' certainly rings true here. And I have to admit that I was guilty of doing so before being told to juThe old saying, 'Don't judge a book by its cover' certainly rings true here. And I have to admit that I was guilty of doing so before being told to just read the damn thing. It didn't help that the book was published by a very small publishing house that I'd never heard of -- I assumed it might have even been self-published.
My first reaction was: why is Lisa Regan not huge? Why is she not being courted by the big guns? So weird.
All that being said, the book is great for what it is -- a fast-paced thriller that entertains, and keeps your interest, and does not fall victim to so many of the pitfalls of the genre. While it's not 'great,' it's worth your time if you are a fan of SJ Watson, Chevy Stevens, Gillian Flynn, etc.. I think if Regan had had the resources of a more established publishing house, the book may have been tightened up a bit in the editing process. Regardless, it's certainly a whole lot better than many of the 'next Gone Girl!' books that publishers have been pouring millions into over the past few years. What it lacks in psychological complexity and clever narrative gimmicks it makes up for with believable procedural stuff, well-written dialogue, and characters who feel believable.
Kind of a shame that this author and her novels get pigeonholed as 'chick lit.' Her writing deserves a wide audience, gender be damned. (I realize sheKind of a shame that this author and her novels get pigeonholed as 'chick lit.' Her writing deserves a wide audience, gender be damned. (I realize she is not hurting for book sales.)
This is as good as any Perrota novel, and, while not as dark, it's more fully realized than 'Gone Girl.' A rich, deftly plotted, and highly readable novel that pushes all the right buttons -- great character arcs, cracking good dialogue, and brilliant psychological insight, while also smartly skewering modern parenting and marriage.
She does everything right, and makes it seem effortless. Loved it. ...more
I abandoned it. The premise, the book jacket, blurbs, and all accompanying hype about this book led me to believe that this was the book I was lookingI abandoned it. The premise, the book jacket, blurbs, and all accompanying hype about this book led me to believe that this was the book I was looking for. I like the *idea* of science fiction. Two of my very favorite movies are science fiction-ish (Brazil, Blade Runner). I loved Dune and The Martian Chronicles as a child. But I simply haven't found much sci-fi literature that hits that sweet spot for me (which, I think, would best be described as socially conscious science fiction that has some combination of emotional depth, satire/socio-political commentary, artistry, and memorable characters. The Martian had all the opportunities in the world to explore some really deep universal truths about life. There is nothing more harrowing than the idea of being abandoned alone in a place from which you may never return. Yet, the book reads more like a how-to manual, with jokes (jokes that didn't ring true to me -- I'm not sure that an abandoned person keeping a journal would leave behind half-baked wisecracks about 70's television show cliches, etc.)
This book has garnered great reviews. And I don't mean to slag it. It is good for what it is -- I just wanted it to be something that it wasn't, and something that I don't believe it attempted to be. I need to care about the characters and feel that they ring true. The protagonist here seemed to me almost like a cardboard stand-in, a vehicle for the instruction manual of how to survive on Mars with limited supplies and compromised living quarters. Fascinating on some level, but it grew tiresome for me, since I didn't feel that this character was real in any way.
I'm sure it will be made into a film, if it's not already underway. Hopefully, a director and screenwriter of certain caliber can inject some pathos into the story. ...more