Choosing Xaverique by Karyn Sepulveda
Vivid, 2016. ISBN 9781925442281
(Ages: 11+) Fifteen year old Gabby Valis has an ordinary life, just like any other. Until she is catastrophically hit by a swerving van, and her heart stops beating . . . at least, it does for several minutes. Gabby is a Xaverique, a non-human species who are bestowed with powerful abilities. A Xaverique's powers can be used for good or for evil, and it just so happens that the most powerful Xaverique to have ever lived, Zlanythe, is concocting a hideously evil plan that Gabby finds herself (and her newly awakened powers) tangled up in.
Gabby, and the love interest, Noah's relationship is unfortunately, completely insta-love. After knowing each other for only a few weeks, they are professing their love for each other. Yes, they are both teenagers but even teenagers do not fall in love that quickly. After their very first meeting, Gabby thought she was in love with Noah. This definitely impacted on my enjoyment of the novel.
A second issue I had with the novel was the length. At only 149 pages, insta-love is going to be imminent and the climax of the story seemed both rushed and anti-climactic. Choosing Xaverique definitely would have benefitted from being a longer novel and therefore having more time to explore the relationships of the characters and strengthen the storyline.
Unfortunately, the novel also proved to be predictable in some aspects. However, the ending, whilst it did not surprise me, left me interested to know what would happen next. Overall, Choosing Xaverique is an easy, quick and light read that young teenagers (who can handle mature content including descriptions of blood and injuries) can enjoy.
Breanne F. (Student)