Felix Yz
by Bunker, Lisa

Thirteen-year-old Felix Yz chronicles the final month before an experimental procedure meant to separate him from the fourth-dimensional creature, Zyx, with whom he was accidentally fused as a young child.

Lisa Bunker recently left a thirty-year career in public and community broadcasting to write full-time. She lives in Exeter, New Hampshire, and does not play chess as well as she would like, but still plays anyway. Find her on Twitter @LisaBunker.

Eighth grade, like every other year of Felix Yz's life, isn't easy, but right now, it's increasingly intense. Why? He is inhabited by a fourth-dimensional creature, Zyx, whose presence forces Felix's body into a hunched stance he calls "the Pose." One month before undergoing a procedure designed to separate the boy from his alien, Felix starts a detailed blog of his life, challenges, and thoughts. Told as a daily countdown, Felix records when he's bullied, when he finally talks with Hector (on whom he has a crush), how the Yz family copes with his situation, and when his fears about the procedure bubble up. Felix is likable and funny, and his relationship with Zyx is fresh and genuine. Containing eye-opening diversity, including Felix's relationship with his gender-fluid grandparent ("Vern" or "Vera" depending on the day), the story provides an original take on classic themes of family acceptance and middle-grade love. There are plenty of laughs to be had in this lovable debut. Bunker is an author to watch. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

A freak scientific accident leaves an ordinary Maine boy atomically bonded to a fourth-dimensional being in this debut middle-grade novel."If it wasn't for the fused-with-Zyx-thing, I suppose I would just be normal-whatever that means," writes Felix Yz in his "secret blog," first published by Bunker as online interactive fiction. Counting down the days until an experimental Procedure might free him (possibly fatally) from the alien bond that has made movement and speech painfully difficult for 10 years, the white eighth-grader chronicles the quirks of his loving family, his passion for drawing and writing, his run-ins with bullies, and his awkward crush on another boy at school. Meanwhile Zyx (typing through Felix's fingers) provides running commentary as something of a "wise fool" archetype, dispensing gnomic truths and mystical insight with the eager charm of a hyperintelligent puppy. But the outré premise is only the setup for this unique, whimsical tale; it's a lso about webcomics and chess and geometry and jazz and the astonishing "threeness of things." It's about the suffocating terror of death and the sweet agony of first love. It's about transcending binaries, both the obvious-Felix's mother is bisexual, his grandparent gender-fluid, the boy of his dreams both biracial (black/white) and bilingual-and those more subtle and profound, all in the most gloriously matter-of-fact way. Above all, it's about Felix's voice: acutely perceptive, disarmingly witty, devastatingly honest, and utterly captivating. Joyful, heartbreaking, completely bonkers, and exuberantly alive. (Science fiction. 10-adult) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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