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From the Changing Hearts of Ixdahan Daherek series , Vol. 3

Given the complexities of worldbuilding and back story, for established fans only

Lena Gabrilowicz is hoping to start her freshman year at the University of Oregon alien-free, after accidentally falling for Ixdahan Daharek, an exile from the planet Snaldrialoor.

In trilogy opener Heart of Earth (2013), Ixdahan had been banished to Earth and forced into a human body, leading to his and Lena’s first adventure. After abandoning their romance to save the Earth in Heart of Mystery (2015), Ixdahan is now incorporeal, a setback to his reconnecting with Lena. While Lena meets a relative who suddenly appears from the year 2457, Ixdahan finds himself again at the center of a galactic threat as he is recruited to prevent a permanent rift in space-time. Zealot scientist Ardelt Zoktyla has created the Zoktyla root, a genetically modified superfood that contains every single nutrient—and she’s determined to hide its mysterious, not-so-pleasant side effect in order to sell it across the galaxy, even if it means the manipulation of time to boost crop yields and, worse, forcing the relocation of entire populations of planets. Even as Ixdahan comes up with a plan to expose the Zoktylese, readers are lulled into the angst of the ongoing human-alien romance that may be rekindled—if not thwarted by Ixdahan’s jealous alien admirer. The jarring shifts among multiple narrative perspectives and condensed intergalactic politics makes this sci-fi tale a bit heady at times, and readers may find themselves wanting to bypass what feels like filler to get to the humorous banter among characters.

Given the complexities of worldbuilding and back story, for established fans only . (Science fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9913274-8-5

Page Count: 210

Publisher: Chickadee Prince Books

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Two Rio Grande Valley high schoolers flirt with cutting out early but find reasons to finish school in this purposeful but intense tale. For Beto, it’s a combination of pride, disinterest in school and a clash with his caring but harsh father that sends him stalking away to spend the night in a Dumpster. For Beto's longtime friend Jessy, it’s a strong desire to be an artist, plus the strain of hearing her father beating her mother and knowing that her turn will be coming up one of these nights, that drives her to head for the bus to San Antonio. Using a mix of tenses and all three persons, Saldaña lays out his characters’ thoughts and emotional landscapes in broad strokes—creating a third angle of view by adding Beto’s little brother Roelito, who works his nalgas off in school but shows early signs of an ominous anger, as another narrative voice. The action takes place over the course of a little more than 12 hours, neatly capturing the spontaneity of teen impulses. Teen readers chafing at the domestic bit will find food for thought here. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-55885-607-3

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Arte Público

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2010

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“Death is a period / at the end of a sentence,” concludes Annaleah, the 16-year-old protagonist of Schutz’s captivating fictional follow-up to her verse memoir (I Don’t Want To Be Crazy, 2006). And much like the resolute finality fixed in that tiny dot, Annaleah spends a great deal of this free-verse novel stuck contemplating the harsh reality that her sometime boyfriend, Brian—a seemingly healthy, dark-haired, cloudy-blue–eyed 17-year-old—has just dropped dead on the basketball court. Reeling from both physical loss and lack of closure to the meaning of their clandestine relationship, Annaleah finds herself routinely visiting and addressing the deceased Brian, until a chance graveside encounter yields advice that finally begins to hit home: “Nothing grows here,” says Brian’s grandmother, “besides grass.” At first blush appearing to pull out all the melodramatic stops in classic teen fashion, these refreshingly spare lines tackle tough relational issues—intimacy, risk, abandonment—with aplomb, making for a moving tale that also effectively shows teens how life can go on. (Fiction/poetry. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 970-0-545-16911-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: PUSH/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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