Teen Volunteer Review: The Martian

Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers share their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. Late last year, Boston Latin School sophomore Kien Bui read and loved Artemis by Andy Weir, so today he's sharing his thoughts on Weir's first book, The Martian!

The Martian is a science fiction novel written by Andy Weir. It is set in 2035 when humans have developed the technology required to explore Mars. There is also a movie adaptation of The Martian directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon as the main character. As a sci-fi lover, I was captivated the entire time I read this book.
The Martian tells the story of Mark Watney, a botanical engineer and astronaut who gets stranded on the red planet after a devastating sandstorm separates him from the rest of his crew. He finds himself in a difficult situation but displays his quick-thinking skills and immense scientific knowledge as he tries to survive in the harsh environment.
My favorite aspect of the book was its tense atmosphere. I also liked the fact that Andy Weir put a lot of research into making the book scientifically accurate. Throughout the chapters there are very detailed descriptions of different devices and vehicles, which help the reader get a sense of how complicated Mark’s circumstances are. Although the movie and the book were similar, the movie spent less time on the technical aspects and focused on the plot. This made it a little more enjoyable than the novel.
Some things that I didn’t really like about the book were the repetitive calculations and somewhat unnecessary background information. These things did make me skip a few pages. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys adventure or science fiction. Another amazing sci-fi novel like The Martian is Dune by Frank Herbert. Dune also has a new movie adaptation in the works.