ZEN & XANDER UNDONE by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Kirkus Star

ZEN & XANDER UNDONE

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Before Zen and Xander’s mom Marie died, she Made Important Arrangements. The girls receive loving, chatty, spookily appropriate advice-filled letters from her on important dates, and she pre-purchased a perfect prom dress for normally dance-eschewing Zen. Sadly and realistically, no amount of careful planning could prevent Zen, Xander and their dad, James, from losing themselves in grief, so one year after Marie’s funeral, James still wallows in the basement, Zen’s barely controlled anger finds a dangerous outlet in her black-belt skills and Xander loses herself in drink, drugs and sex. Burning curiosity (tinged with dread) about their mother’s long-ago relationship with a graduate-school professor drags the girls out of their funk and pushes them to see Marie as a fully three-dimensional person: loving, brilliant, flawed and forgiven. As their view of Marie develops, so does their understanding of themselves without her, rendering what could be clichéd and dull instead touching, urgent and involving. Zen’s frank narration—full of longing and hard-won insight—draws readers in and won’t let go. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-06248-8
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2010




MORE BY AMY KATHLEEN RYAN

ChildrenFLAME by Amy Kathleen Ryan
by Amy Kathleen Ryan
ChildrenSPARK by Amy Kathleen Ryan
by Amy Kathleen Ryan
ChildrenGLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan
by Amy Kathleen Ryan

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenPEARL by Jo Knowles
by Jo Knowles
ChildrenTHE SPACE BETWEEN US by Jessica Martinez
by Jessica Martinez
ChildrenDREAMLAND SOCIAL CLUB by Tara Altebrando
by Tara Altebrando