Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn & Mars Girls by Mary Turzillo
Two young adult (YA) novels featuring feisty teen heroines from Mars recently landed in my to-be-read pile. Beyond the surface similarity between their protagonists, the two novels diverge completely, each with unique focus and drive, and different kinds of success.
Newly out in trade paperback from Tor, Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn is the simpler of the two, written with familiar themes (adversity-conquering intellect, exceptionalism) that recall YA science fiction adventures from ‘Golden Age’ writers like Heinlein. The plot of this stand-alone novel from Vaughn is even more broadly recognizable as a typical coming-of-age setup. A teen leaves the familiarity of home to enter an institution populated by antagonistic peers and aloof adults. The ridiculed outcast slowly proves the utility of her or his outsider perspective/experience, showing-up the cliques and saving the day.