Review: Aries Rising

I received this book for free from ALA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Aries RisingAries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill
Series: Star Crossed #1
Published by Running Press Kids on March 2, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 285
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Aquarius Logan McRae is a high school sophomore in Terra Bella Beach, CA and has been working all semester to impress her teachers in order to get into the summer writing camp she desperately wants to attend. But when this ordinary girl finds an extraordinary book, "Fearless Astrology," her life is changed forever. Applying what she's learned about the zodiac, she lands her own column in the school paper and a date with the hottest guy in school!But when Logan threatens to catch the members of a secret society called The Gears, who have been vandalizing school property by reading the stars, she quickly learns that she is in over her head. Will Logan be able to catch The Gears, save her love life, keep her newspaper column, and get into the writing camp of her dreams all through the use of astrology?

Brief Summary:
Logan McRae has two awesome best friends, Chili and Paige. Otherwise though, her high school life is drab; she feels invisible, except when the mean teacher (who the students have dubbed Frankenstein) calls on her in class. Logan’s mother is a famous golf player, so she is almost never home. Logan’s crush, Nathan, has been showing interest in the hottest girl in school (unfortunately this is not Logan). One day while digging through boxes in her family’s house, she finds a book on astrology. Logan decides that she will use the information in this book to remake her life and herself. She has three things she wants to do with the book: get Nathan to want her, win the writing contest at her school, and catch the mischievous Gears (a sort of secret society whose pranks have been getting increasingly mean).

Review:
Let me begin by saying that I would never have read this book had it not been a free giveaway at ALA, along with the second in the Starcrossed series (which I will read as well, although probably not review). Aries Rising was entertaining, but it will not be the latest teen fad or receive critical acclaim. Learning about astrology is (for me) amusing, but I cannot help laughing at how seriously Logan takes the whole thing. No comment is ever made about the obvious drawbacks of astrology (like the fact that every person born at the same time and place will not have the same personality).

The book does manage to avoid getting too cheesy, which was definitely appreciated. While she does moon over Nathan, she does so in a very realistically high school way, rather than in a Twilight-ish-we’re-totes-in-love-already kind of way. Her relationship with her teacher, Frankenstein, and her friends are believable as well, and probably the best part of the book. The plot and the revelation of whodunit are straightforward and obvious. The guilty parties for the various pranks and graffiti-ing that occur within the book are obvious almost as soon as they happen (to me although not to Logan or anyone else in the book). Logan is convinced for much of the book that one of the Gears is a guy with a lot of tattoos, regardless of the fact that one of the pranks involved the Gears streaking past while Logan and her friends were in Chili’s hot tub; if one of them had tattoos, she would have seen them. Such obvious deductions are above and beyond our teenage astrological sleuth.

Recommended for teenage girls who check their astrological forecast every day.

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