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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill

Whether you're into astrology or not, Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill is one to check out. The first book in the Star Crossed series is the one I'm reviewing.

Logan McRae can't stand her life. She's a nobody, a shy sophomore, but has a passion for writing. Her high school is giving away a fellowship to the summer writing camp of her dreams, but only one student gets it, and Logan knows she has no chance against some of the more prominent writers in her class. Her chances are even worse because she knows her teacher Mr. Franklin, the one deciding who snags the fellowship doesn't like her at all. Not to mention that Nathan, the hottest guy at school, won't give her a second look after kissing her the other week.

So when she stumbles across a book called Fearless Astrology, she figures she has nothing to lose. Logan learns more and more about how people under different astrological signs work, and how to figure them out. She becomes deeply interested in reading the stars. Soon, her life is transformed. She works her way into Nathan's heart. (She wins over this Leo by giving him attention and flattery.) She gets on good terms with Mr. Franklin (a Taurus) by making him care about her. Her astrology column in the school newspaper is a hit. Logan knows she now might have a chance at the writing fellowship. Soon, more people at school take notice of her, and she becomes popular by her remarkable knowledge of astrology.

But there's a mystery involved: a gang of students who call themselves the Gears of War have been playing pranks on the school. Logan knows that with the help of the stars, she might be able to figure out who the Gears are, and is soon predicting the future. But when the pranks go from immature to dangerous, Logan knows she better act fast before it's too late.

This book was a fabulous read for people who are into astrology, and for those who want to learn more about it, it's totally informative. But the story is decent enough that those who don't like it will still be entertained. You definitely learn a lot.

I liked watching Logan go from a nothing to an astrology star, it was interesting how she was able to figure out her friends (and enemies) just by knowing their birthday. I didn't feel that her character really stood out, but then again, she is a shy girl at heart. Logan's a person we can relate to, with dreams of her own. The ways she won over people by knowing what traits they valued later revealed her to be strategic.

As for the mystery element, it wasn't too hard figure out who the Gears of War were, but I still found myself getting chills when they threw a rock through a window to threaten Logan. Observant readers will identify the gang members sooner than she does. But it had a surprise twist at the end, which was bizarre but fine with me, even though I thought it was a little odd.

This book flowed along nicely, and it reminded me of a book ABC Family might base a show on. (There is, of course, no show planned, but if they added more drama and danger to the Gears, it could be!)

Interesting, informative, compelling. Astrology buffs will adore it, anti-astrologers have a chance of liking it too.
3/5 stars

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