Riding the Universe

Gaby Triana, Author Harper Teen $16.99 (267p) ISBN 978-0-06-088570-0
The narrator of this uneven novel, 17-year-old Chloé Rodriguez, lives with her supportive adoptive parents, her twin baby brothers and her beloved Harley Davidson, ""Lolita""-a gift from her late uncle Seth. At school, she is assigned a peer tutor, the enigmatic Gordon, to avoid failing chemistry. Though she is still reeling from her uncle's death and insists that ""keeping safe from any more heartbreak is my main goal,"" she and Gordon begin dating. Chloé initially finds some happiness with Gordon, but their relationship is volatile. And then there is her best friend, Rock, who is interested in taking their friendship a step further. Triana (The Temptress Four) has created a well-rounded character in Chloé, from her biker chick persona to her tendency to make up portmanteau words (girlgoyle, fathomystic), but she falls short in describing Chloé's feelings about her adoption and her attempts to find her birth parents. When secrets surrounding her adoption are brought to light, the revelation seems anticlimactic. Nevertheless, the novel is well-paced and themes of family, romance and identity should resonate. Ages 12-up.
Reviewed on: 05/04/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 978-0-06-088571-7
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-185900-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 272 pages - 978-0-06-185904-5
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-185905-2
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-185901-4
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