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In the Red

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Michael Prasad knows he shouldn’t go out on the Mars surface alone. It’s dangerous. His parents have forbidden it. And the anxiety he feels almost every time he puts on a spacesuit makes it nearly impossible for him to leave the safety of the colony.

But when his best friend, Lilith, suggests they sneak out one night, he can’t resist the chance to prove everyone—including h
ebook, 288 pages
Published March 24th 2020 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  71 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Ms. Yingling
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Michael Prasad and his family live on a colony on Mars, under a dome that controls the environment. His father, Manish, works at a ranger station outside of the dome, so he has taken Michael and his brother outside many times. Michael really wants to get his space suit certification, but he had a disastrous experience the one time he tried, and when he sneaks out to take the test again, his second time doesn't go well either. He blacks out, and comes to in the hos
Shaye Miller
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Michael Prasad failed his space suit certification due to what appeared to be a panic attack. Now he’s on a secret mission to pass it once and for all, without his parent’s knowledge. However, when he sneaks into a new testing group, he quickly discovers that he’s in the “advanced” testing group. The instructor is quite impressed with his high level of STEM skills as he shows up the older kids in his group. This means he is now in a position to pass not only the basic level, but the advanced lev ...more
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a high stakes adventure story that takes place on Mars. I love the cover and the fact that Michael deals with anxiety while in the midst of his perilous circumstances. Lilith, though, is my favorite character. She understands how to break into Michael's panic attacks and is a true friend to him throughout their time on the surface. What bothered me -- and I have seen this comment from others--is that Michael makes some really brash decisions that put himself and others in danger. This is ...more
Nicole M. Hewitt
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

You know those awesome survival books where someone gets stuck on a mountain somewhere and barely makes it out alive? Well, this is that, but on MARS! If that doesn’t sound cool to you, you’re obviously not reading it right. Go back and try again.

Seriously, though, this book was fantastic! I loved every heart-stopping moment of action. Lately, I’ve been struggling to read, but I absolutely flew through this book. Not o
Peter Tillman
Apr 01, 2020 marked it as to-read
Here's the author at Scalzi's:
"In the Red has its share of futuristic magic bits, like an artificial planetary magnetic field that protects colonists from solar radiation. But I’ve done my best to be accurate about chemistry and physics. The characters use real scientific principles (and a big helping of courage) to escape their predicaments. Michael and Lilith manage to send radio signals over the horizon, plot ballistic trajectories, and navigate on Mars during a dust storm that blocks out the
Danielle Hammelef
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved every second of this book. I'm a huge fan of survival stories and this well-researched fictional story of survival on Mars is fast-paced and character-driven. The POV character struggles with panic disorder and with the help of his best friend, learns more about what triggers his attacks, so this book digs deeper into more issues than physical survival. I loved the math and science woven throughout the story too; it never felt heavy-handed or out of place, but instead added richness to t ...more
3.5 *
Science fiction gets a rough deal in middle grade and young adult fiction, so to see a book in that genre and one that features a BAME protagonist meant this was a 'must-grab' for me to review.
Michael -a genius tween - is determined to prove his father wrong about his 'condition' by constantly endangering himself on their Mars colony. Initially, the reader is left to guess at the 'condition' but it is revealed to be anxiety and panic attacks that cause Michael to hyper-ventilate, vomit, and
Becky B
Michael wants to prove to himself and his family that his "condition" will not keep him from doing fun things in the field on Mars. After his first plan backfires, his best friend Lilith decides that what he needs is a little night time sneaky trip outside the dome. Michael goes along with the plan, but while they are out something goes catastrophically wrong and soon the two tweens find themselves in a struggle to survive and save others.

Move over Mark Watney, let some tweens show you how surv
Mark Buxton
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
My name is Lilith, and I was only trying to help Michael get over his suit anxiety. I didn't expect us to go racing across the surface of Mars with a giant solar flare threatening the planet. I mean, Michael just wanted to show his dad that he's not helpless, but now we find ourselves stranded with no help in sight. No one even knows we left the city. Michael is the smartest kid I know, so I'm thankful that I'm stuck out here with him. However, being lost on Mars is very dangerous. We could run ...more
Katelyn Spedden
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*I received a free ARC of this novel from Edelweiss/Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review*

This book was honestly so good. While reading it I kept having Artemis and Contagion vibes and I couldn’t put it down. It’s the perfect mix of suspense and adventure and is perfect for middle grade readers. There’s so much going on and it’s an interesting read but it also deals with some pretty serious things in a way that just fits. Michael has anxiety and is helped through it by his best friend
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another rarity - I'm writing about a upper elementary / middle school novel. I read so many of them but when I come across one that fills a niche or stands out for it story, I just have to mention it.
In this case, here is a story that is a well written Science Fiction, which can be a rarity for older kids. It takes place on Mars, a Mars that is settled and working towards a future habitat for mankind. What makes this story stand out aren't the cool facts, situations, etc. that are derived from t
Jenny Ashby
I had high hopes for this well-reviewed book as I was looking for a sci fi title for a reading program. It's definitely worth purchasing for my collection but I'm not feeling it as part of a somewhat recommended list of books. I'm into a story where the underdog makes good and this started out that way with Michael knowing more than the older teens about surviving on the surface of Mars. The adventure is also good with many life-threatening situations arising quickly as he is stranded outside wi ...more
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun survival book. A little like the Martian but for children. While Michael and Lilith show poor judgement they prove resourceful and manage to survive on Mars after a solar flare knocks out communication and navigation. A good portion of the book is Michael dealing with panic attacks. While this was not a plot twist I was expecting it was interesting to see how Michael grew and changed as the adventure progressed. While the ending was slightly contrived with Lilith and her father, I ...more
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sci-fi meets survival meets... panic attacks? Michael is determined to overcome his suit (as in spacesuit) anxiety and pass the suit exam so he will be allowed out on the surface of Mars. Later that night, he and his friend Lilith decide to sneak outside on the very night the solar flares cause problems on the planet. Will they be able to get back home before their air filters are depleted? Will Michael overcome his anxiety? A page-turner you won't be able to put down!
LS Johnson
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was one chaotic event after another, with no real arching storyline or clear climax. The adult character who most interacted with the kids brought medication for committing suicide and eventually died by being impaled. Then when the female protagonist became unconscious, the story became multiple chapters of negative self-talk mixed with more crisises. I don’t think I will be recommending this book.
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you like heart-pounding adventure like Hatchet, the science and astronomy of The Martian, and the tight friendship of kids, you'll love this book. I recommend it for anyone, kid or adult about age 10 or older.
Oct 20, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zz-2020-oct-new
Dark Heart Books
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 3.75/5
I'm clearly in to space exploration. I should jump on more of this immediatley.

This was a short, but really fun story set on Mars. The characters are really great and the representtion of both mental illness and how it's handled are both pretty good.

I felt for the characters and their situations, and the tension was definitly something to enjoy throughout! There were some really great high-stakes scenes, and because of the off-planet setting we were just as clueless as the
Megan Walvoord
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
My favorite genre is science fiction and my favorite planet is Mars. All of this together in one book and you have a recipe for an amazing time! I really had a good time with this book and definitely recommend it for anyone who has a middle school child or even for yourself if you really enjoy middle grade. 4.5/5
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This exciting survival story made for an intriguing read. Survival stories on earth can be mind-blowing, but trying to survival almost impossible circumstances on Mars?! Not to mention, the main character, Michael, struggles with an anxiety disorder, that definitely interferes with his ability to function outside of the colony. But he so badly wants to prove to both his father and himself that he can do it that he takes the risk anyway. After things go badly, he things that he may never leave th ...more
Nov 01, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020, lib2020
the main character makes terrible choices, resulting in a cascade of life-threatening situations. Exciting, but frustrating to want to shake m.c. so often
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