Star Crossed, Book 1
Author: Bonnie Hearn Hill
Genre: young adult
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).
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 in 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.