Review: The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

Title: The Mars Room
Author: Rachel Kushner
Pages: 352
Genre: Fiction
Source: Free ARC from Scribner

Rating: 3 stars

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Scribner via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Review:The Mars Room is a book that I was highly anticipating. I was certain it was going to be one of my new favorite reads! And that leaves me wondering if my lukewarm reaction to it was a reflection of my too high expectations. Maybe it would have been a 4 star for me if I wasn’t so excited? I guess we’ll never know.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it was a decent book. It was fine. The character development and writing style worked for me. But what really saved the book for me was the setting, the author’s descriptions were dead on (I’m from the Central Valley of California so…), often making me feel like I was really there, like I was home. So, in many ways, it was the familiarity that I connected with.

Oddly, I feel a little guilty about not loving it. Like somehow I, the reader, missed out on something the first time around, and maybe I should try it again before making a final judgment. At least my expectations would be lower in a reread. Yeah, probably not gonna happen.

Ultimately, it was meh for me. Wanted to desperately to love it, but it just didn’t work out.

8 Replies to “Review: The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner”

    • I feel the same way. The idea of not posting reviews for books I find meh sneaks in every time. But, in the end, I tell myself my good reviews mean more if I’m honest about books I like less. So, begrudgingly, I post the less than shiny reviews. This time around, it was more that the book had a great start, I was really into it, and I’d been so excited about it…and then the ball dropped. Bummer. What can you do?

      • They all can’t be winners. One book I love might be a bad one for someone else and vice versa. We just do what we can. I agree, that my good reviews will mean more if they see that I don’t just give all books 5 stars.

    • Thank you! Fortunately, I read this book and wrote the review awhile back, and I’ve read at least once excellent book since: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager. So. Damn. Good. I’ll eventually get to that review, but it definitely shook off the last few webs of “reading slump”. 🙂

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