ARIES RISING is a Young Adult novel, the first in the Star Crossed series, written by Bonnie Hearn Hill.
I passed the "young adult" category many years ago, but that didn't matter as I read Aries Rising. Bonnie, in addition to other publication credits, has published five adult thriller novels, which I probably would have picked up on without having prior knowledge. Aries Rising maintains a good pace - with enough tension to keep the reader turning pages, enough near misses and successful attempts in the plot to satisfy the need for action - and dialogue that reads as real for a modern high school setting.
The story is engaging. The protagonist, Logan McRae, is likable and smart and an "ordinary girl with ordinary teen dilemmas [who] stumbles upon an extraordinary book, Fearless Astrology...," says the the publisher. With the help of the book and her friends, Logan finds her voice as a young woman and as a writer, gets the boy (but will she keep him?), and tries to solve the mystery of the Gears, a group of boys who are vandalizing school property and targeting teachers and students alike.
From the very first page, readers also learn about astrology. The information is accurate and woven skillfully into the story. Based on my dabblings over the years in attempting to create and read an astrological chart, I thought it unlikely that Logan would pick up everything she does so quickly - but the book is well-written and I was able to easily suspend my disbelief and let the protagonist be the astrological genius she is (and find out later in the book that she may, indeed, come by this skill naturally; but I won't spoil that part of the book for you). Bonnie Hearn Hill worked with a professional astrologer, so you can also be assured that the information in the book is accurate as well as fun to read.
While targeted for Young Adult readers, it is a book that people from middle school age on up can enjoy. I recommend Star Crossed: Aries Rising - and am looking forward to the second book, Taurus Eyes, which will be out in May 2010.
Title: Star Crossed: Aries Rising
Genre: Young Adult
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Running Press Kids (March 2010)
You can purchase the book at Powell's Books. (And if you haven't entered the contest yet to win a free copy, see Bonnie's visit on her blog tour on 3/29, below.)