Friday, July 31, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

Title: The Martian 
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Hardcover; 384 pages
Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (February 11, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0804139024
ISBN-13: 978-0804139021
Author's Website:
Notes: I borrowed this one from the library.

Mark Watney was on a Mars mission when the unthinkable happened--he was left for dead. Unbeknownst to his crew mates, however, he was alive. Now surviving on what rations were left behind, his own ingenuity, and sheer luck, he'll have to try to stretch what he has far longer than possible for the average person. Thankfully, with the skill set he possesses he's the most likely person to survive this near impossible situation. The soonest he can hope for rescue is in 549 mars days from when he was left stranded. This is his story.
This book reminded me of several movies. It reminded me of Apollo 13 (which was based off a real life scenario) not only because it took place in space, but because Mark had to use what he had and improvise to create what he needed. It reminded me of Gravity in the fact that Mark had to reach another venue in space in a rather risky fashion with dangerous roadblocks in his path. Lastly, it reminded me of Cast Away in that Mark is stranded by himself on a deserted planet and had to find ways of entertaining himself to keep himself from losing his mind and hope. I loved each of these movies and look forward to seeing "The Martian" when it hits the silver screen in October.

The Martian is a story of survival, keeping a positive attitude, patience, and using what you've got to do the seemingly impossible--stay alive. You can tell Mr.Weir put a lot of thought into writing each of the compelling life threatening scenarios his protagonist faces. While the odds seem stacked against him, Mark keeps finding ingenious ways of dealing with the hurdles placed before him while keeping a positive, upbeat attitude. It made me wonder how NASA would truly deal with an astronaut being accidentally left alive on Mars? Would they feel that each life is precious and risk all for even a chance at saving him or would they feel that endangering the lives of his crew mates, no matter how slight, was too great a risk for the possibility of rescuing the one? I know I wouldn't want to be the person to make that call.

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was well written, humorous, and suspenseful. It made me wonder if colonization of other planets would even be a possibility. Would things grow the way we'd expect them too? How difficult would day-to-day life on another planet be? I know I wouldn't want to be one of the first to try it. Would you?

The movie trailer:

Notes to keep you in the Know:
In each of the log entries the term SOL is used. I missed the definition my first read through the book and it is not an acronym that stands for sh*t out of luck which is what first came to my mind and would have been somewhat appropriate. (I know, shocking of me to admit.) "The term sol is used by planetary astronomers to refer to the duration of a solar day on Mars. A mean Martian solar day, or "sol", is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds." Source:

Monday, July 20, 2015

Early Review of The Art of Sinning (Sinful Suitors #1) by Sabrina Jeffries

Title: The Art of Sinning (The Sinful Suitors)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Sinful Suitors (Book 1)
Format: Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (July 21, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1476786062
ISBN-13: 978-1476786063
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher. I am part of Sabrina Jeffries Street Team which means I love her books enough to volunteer to help get the word out about upcoming releases. Please note. all quotes used need to be verified against the final copy and may change.

Jeremy Keane is known for his paintings. They're controversial and not accepted by all--much like the man. Reputed to frequent brothels, he's earned quite a reputation for being a sinfully exceptional rogue, but if anyone thinks they know all there is to know about the man from the gossip of the ton, they are very much mistaken. For just as Jeremy Keane paints pictures of the world skewed in a certain way to his view, so too does he paint a misleading portrait of himself to those around him.

Lady Yvette Barlow is not your average woman of the ton. She is independently wealthy with no immediate plans for marriage. When Jeremy Keane. a renowned artist, seems intent on using her as a model for his next work of art, she sees him as a means to getting what she wants--a way in to one of London's most notorious houses of ill repute, the Covent Garden nunnery. But will this partnership lead to her undoing as a strong attraction develops between the two?

"The art of sinning isn't for novices, my lady. I have neither the time nor the inclination to teach it to an innocent."

"To be a sinner, you have to do more with the rogue than be painted by him. You have to sin with him."

She swallowed. "And that would be unwise."

"It certainly would," he snapped, and returned to sketching.
This was the first book in the Sinful Suitors series, but a spin-off from The Dukes Men series. American artist Jeremy Keane is a character whom was first introduced in the book,  "How the Scoundrel Seduces" and, I must admit, he intrigued me since our first encounter. A man who by all rights could have ruined his cousin and taken her fortune, but refused to do so is someone I wanted to learn more about. Yes, I did a little happy dance when I found out who would be the main male character in this new series and let me just say Ms.Jeffries did NOT disappoint. 

Jeremy was exactly how I'd picture an artist to be. He expresses himself through his art and is haunted by a past he has yet to face. I loved that as he worked through his feelings he revealed more about himself in his art then he ever wished, even to himself, and Yvette is the one who helped him see it. The way these two understood each other and complemented one another is what makes this couple so great together. They were well matched intellectually and the chemistry between them was highly flammable.

Not only did I fall in love with Jeremy, but I also adored Yvette. I admired how she held her ground and made Jeremy prove he was ready for a commitment. It would have been so easier to just give in to her emotions, but by not doing so I believe she managed to make the relationship stronger. Plus, I loved that she was creating a dictionary for street cant.

I couldn't help but give this book 5 out of 5 roses. The story had all the ingredients that I love to read in a romance--characters you'd love to know in real life, a growing passion that cannot be tamed, a dash of drama, a hint of humor, a dose of reality, and a depth that adds the icing to the cake. It's a lovely story about two individuals who when they had all but given up on having a happily ever after, found love. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

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