Sixteen-year-old Tristan has been preparing for years for his and his parent's relocation to Mars. That's right, they are going to be among the first people to colonize Mars with no plans to return to Earth. Tristan spends much of his time away from his home and school in training, but as the book opens, he's spending his last time at home before leaving forever. And there's Izzy. His girlfriend. The love of his life.
Maberry doesn't sugarcoat the decisions and preparations that went into Tris's eventually ending up on Mars. There is, of course, a lot of media attention, and because there's a doomed romance involved, Tris and Izzy get a lot of it (and a lot of money.)
I really thought that half of the book being taken up before they ever leave for Mars is a bit much. I understand we needed to know these characters and their journey, but actually, I would have liked to know more about some of the other forty people going, rather than just Tris and Izzy. Frankly, Izzy becomes unimportant for the second half of the book. I get it. They are in love. And the goodbye is hard. But it just went on too long.
That's the end of my criticism of Mars One. After they leave on their journey, I became riveted. It's action packed and tense. I felt their fears and their hopes. I found myself pulling for these characters to be successful. There are several moral and political dilemmas that would fuel some good classroom discussions.
I'm very selective about YA books that I recommend to my husband, but I think he'd love the second half of Mars One. I'm not sure he can get through the first half, though. Teens, however,, will be all over this book.
Published by Simon & Shuster BFYR, April 4, 2017
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
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