Thursday, May 07, 2009

What Mrs N's Been Reading - X in Flight

Recently finished Karen Rivers' X in Flight, the first installment of a trilogy. The story concentrates on 3 different high school students, in alternating chapters. What can be a little disconcerting, until you get used to it, is that all are being told by one of the teens, Xenos, or X for short, even though he isn't actually present while many things are happening to Cat and Ruby, the other 2 main characters. X is the only black kid in a very white community, living in a trailer with his mother, a very wifty hippie-type who won't tell X anything about the father he's never met, and his little half-brother Mutt. He has real potential to be a pro golfer, but his eyesight is bad and he won't tell anyone that. Cat, X's girlfriend, is a pretty typical goth girl, except that she has a "perfect" twin sister. Ruby is an only child who witnessed her mother's death in a fire when Ruby was a toddler. Her father has written a best-selling book about her that she refuses to read. Oh, and did I mention that X has discovered that he can fly? He can't understand why, especially because he's always been afraid of heights. And he is trying to figure out if he is meant to save someone with this ability. He's also becoming fascinated by Ruby, who he doesn't think would give him a second look. Despite frequently wondering what the heck was going on, and where this was headed, I found the book quite compelling. X is a lot like many of Gail Giles' characters - kids that at first glance seem like trouble, but you find yourself rooting for. There's a bit of language in this one, so probably not for middle schoolers, but an interesting, fairly quick read for high school students, who might relate to one or more of the characters.

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