x-in-flightX in Flight is the first installment of the XYZ Trilogy by Karen Rivers.

“X in Flight” centers on the lives of three intriguing teens. Xenos (“X” for short) will never be a normal kid. And it isn’t his looks or the way he carries himself. It isn’t because he hasn’t quite figured out how to deal with his crazy girlfriend or out-there mother. It’s because X doesn’t want to be normal. He wants to stand out.

So, quite by accident, X gets his wish. Now, he can fly. But is he an angel of a superhero? What’s the purpose of his new power? There are no obvious answers, but X should know by now that very few things come easy. Even a brand new set of wings…

I really don’t know how to describe this book, I’ve actually been sitting on this review for several days. The book is geared towards young adults, and I think that Karen Rivers nailed that apprehensive, self-conscious teen in all of us. However, I don’t think the characters needed to use the f-word.

I think what bothered me most was the narrative mode. We followed three characters, and each time we returned to one, the point of view changed dramatically. This was a little off-putting, yet I was really compelled by the story, to find out what happens… or happened (due to the POV I’m not really sure…).

The main character, X, is written in first-person narrative, but as a letter to the girl he has a crush on. It’s like he’s writing in a diary, addressed to the girl, Ruby, but he’ll never show her. Ruby’s chapters are written in second-person narrative (“you find yourself looking over the school”). These chapters feel the weirdest, probably because second-person narrative is uncommon in Western literature. The third character we follow is Cat, X’s current girlfriend, and the narrative is third-person. This one is the most common narrative, and sounds the most relaxed and normal for the book.

I’m already reading the next book in the trilogy, Y in the Shadows, because I want to know what the point is. Sure X can fly, but why? What was the point of it? Was it just a character-development type book?

Full disclosure: I received this book from Raincoast Books here in Canada. Raincoast is the Canadian distributor for a boatload of publishers and used to operate their own Editorial division.