Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill (March 2010, Running Press, ISBN: 0762436700)
First Line: It started with a wish.
Review: Aries Rising is the first in the Star Crossed series; Taurus Eyes came out in May and Gemini Night is due out in August.
Logan McRae is an ordinary sophomore student at Terra Bella Beach High in California. She has a couple of major things on her wish list - win the writing fellowship to Monterey and attract the attention of hottie Nathan.
Her demanding English teacher, Mr Franklin aka Mr Frankenstein, believes she has the writing talent but she refuses to write anything personal. Her mum is a professional golfer, never at home and this hurts Logan more than she will admit. Rootling in her dad's study one day she discovers a book called Fearless Astrology and this is when her life begins to change. She absorbs the information and by learning their zodiac signs starts to use it to good effect on Mr Franklin and Nathan. Soon she becomes known as Astro Girl and a column in the school paper beckons. But the one thing that would seal her fellowship win is to discover who the Gears are - a group who started out doing annoying pranks but whose acts have become progressively more hurtful. Logan's investigations and predictions of the Gears behaviour, bring her a lot of trouble and heartache but also an increasing confidence - but will she win the fellowship, will she get her man?
I've been waiting to read this for ages (ie waiting for the library to buy it) and I was so worried I'd be disappointed, but I really enjoyed Aries Rising. I flew through it - and can't wait to continue reading about Logan and her two close friends Paige and Chili. It's a light read with plenty of astrology information and whether you believe in it or not, Logan certainly benefits from it in the long run. Logan is a likeable character who does what's right even at the risk of losing something dear to herself. Her friends are incredibly supportive and there is some romance for them as well. The suspenseful plot is quite twisty and I couldn't predict the ending - I had all sorts of incorrect ideas about the identity of the Gears!
(Making Aries Rising seem even more exotic is its unusual size: wider and shorter than a UK paperback; plus, as well as an excerpt from the next book, there are some temporary tattoos in the back - unfortunately this was a library book so I had to leave them there!)