Life on Mars

Finished Life on Mars by Jennifer Brown.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Twelve-year-old Arcturus Betelgeuse Chambers’ quest to find life on other planets seems at an end when his parents decide to move to Las Vegas, but while they look for a house he stays with his neighbor, an astronaut who soon becomes a friend.

I’ve loved Jennifer Brown’s YA novels but I was a little hesitant for this one.  It sounds so different from her other books.

This is a sweet story, and I loved the aspect that showed Arty and his two best friends.  They have this amazing friendship (the kind it seems you only have when you’re 12 or so) and that was definitely my favorite part of the story.  I think everyone can relate to the childhood best friend, right?

The other main part of the story is the fact that Arty is obsessed with space in general and proving there’s life on other planets (specifically Mars) in particular.  I can barely find Orion in the night sky, but even if you’re not really into space, I think everyone can also relate to the idea that there’s something they’re passionate about (knitting, movies, collecting things, whatever).  And honestly, I was just excited to see a kid not playing video games, so I was down for this.

I’m not sure if this is a one-off or if she’ll be writing more middle-grade books, but I hope she won’t stop writing YA.  I enjoyed this, but think YA is definitely her strong suit.


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