Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas
Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.If only it were as simple as being in love.Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway--for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.
I read very little young adult these days, but when I do it’s almost always science fiction. Blue Hearts of Mars had an interesting premise: what if a human fell in love with an android? There are laws in this fiction world that Nicole Grotepas created, laws that say such a thing is illegal. But that does not deter Retta Heikkinen, the human who happened to do just that.Blue Hearts of Mars takes place on Mars, some time in the far future, after a lengthy and brutal war with Earth, Mars has become independent. But only with the help of the early android population, because it was the androids who colonized the Red Planet in the first place.Retta goes to a huge school, thousands and thousands of kids, and some of them are androids. You can sometimes “tell” a person is an android by special marks which are called “tells”. The thing that separates them from humans, says that they were made by humans hands instead of, well, whatever it is people think made humans.She manages to meet Hemingway, another kid form her school, who she recognizes almost immediately to be an android by his “tell” something that reminds Retta of swirling galaxies in his eyes.They fall in love, they break up, they fall back together…But in between Retta wants to learn more about the androids because Hemingway has made it painfully clear that he thinks she should not be with him – it would make her life too difficult.Retta rises to the challenge, in fact she exceeds the challenge. She is a remarkable character – very quiet, humble, smart, hard-working, logical, and sweet. She’s not the leader of a political movement! Or is she?I loved Retta, I loved Hemingway too, but Retta makes this whole book. I read and review a lot of books and sometimes I find myself wandering. Maybe the book is not really my thing, or maybe I lose interest and skim a little.This did not happen in Blue Hearts of Mars. I read every word, sometimes twice. I loved the thoughts of Retta, she’s so cool and quirky in her own way. Not snarky, or silly, or anything like that. In fact, she’s quite serious.I know it’s not really set up for a sequel because it has a proper ending with no cliffhanger, but if there is one, one that has tiny little half human half android babies, I’d be ecstatic! I highly recommend this book if you like a thoughtful narrative from the perspective of a far future girl who lives on Mars and falls for a hot android.
EXCERPT“What would you do if there weren’t all the rules? The law? Your father?” he pulled me close.
“I don’t know,” I said, trying to think about it more, but I felt like I was fighting against a current, trying to swim upstream, like at the indoor water park with the lazy river. I went there a lot when I was a kid because there were only a few places where we could see that much water all at once. I learned to swim there, which was scary, because most of my experience with water was in a shower, and that only lasts two minutes.
Hemingway rested his hands on my hips. I could feel his fingers pressing against me through my shirt—they were hot.
“Is it the rules that make you do something? Or is it yourself?” he asked. His breath was warm on my face and it smelled like closeness. Like being inside someone. Like I could smell the scent of his heart. The walls of his lungs. It was intoxicating.
“I—I don’t know,” I whispered.
“Would you kiss an android? Or would the rules stop you?”
His eyes were alight. I felt like I was staring at the heart of a galaxy and I remembered the first time I stared into his eyes. I didn’t have an answer to what he asked. At least, I didn’t know how to speak. I closed my eyes and let myself fall into his lips.
Praise"Nothing like I've read before. A true original story! Everything is so well described. Now if they could make a follow up book and movie, that would be great!" ~Mrs. Z (Amazon)"I was addicted to this book from the beginning. Life on Mars was very real and not at all a sci fi world I didn't understand . . . I found myself rooting for Retta and Hemingway from the very beginning. Easy reading, couldn't put it down and had it read in a weekend. Waiting for a sequel!" ~TNielsen (Amazon)"The ending of this book is exceptional. While it was different from what I imagined, the way the author brought in a shocking revelation was amazing. I probably reread the last chapter 3 times letting it sink in and the meaning behind it. It was truly beautiful . . . I would love to see more of Retta and Hemingway!" ~Kat Meyer, (Goodreads)"I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause." ~Megan (Amazon)"I had been in the worst reading slump ever and came across this on Goodreads and thought I'd give it a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on how funny and exciting and mysterious it was . . . Mei, Retta's bff, had me laughing out loud quite a bit as well as Retta herself. I'd definitely hang out with those two." ~Deanneluvbooks (Goodreads)
Blue Hearts of Mars has made it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.Readers are invited to download the excerpts (here) and rate and comment on the entries. So please, if you want to contribute, download and rate Blue Hearts! Your support is incredibly appreciated!Or purchase the full version of the book here: Amazon
Author Nicole GrotepasNicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother's old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she's forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan--the handsome elven protagonist.After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.
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Signed Copy of Cinder & Blue Hearts of Mars (US only)
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