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Felix Yz
Cover of Felix Yz
Felix Yz
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"If it wasn't for the fused-with-Zyx thing, I suppose I would just be normal—whatever that means." When Felix Yz was three years old, a hyperintelligent fourth-dimensional being became fused...
"If it wasn't for the fused-with-Zyx thing, I suppose I would just be normal—whatever that means." When Felix Yz was three years old, a hyperintelligent fourth-dimensional being became fused...
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Description-

  • "If it wasn't for the fused-with-Zyx thing, I suppose I would just be normal—whatever that means."

    When Felix Yz was three years old, a hyperintelligent fourth-dimensional being became fused inside him after one of his father's science experiments went terribly wrong. The creature is friendly, but Felix—now thirteen—won't be able to grow to adulthood while they're still melded together. So a risky Procedure is planned to separate them . . . but it may end up killing them both instead.

    This book is Felix's secret blog, a chronicle of the days leading up to the Procedure. Some days it's business as usual—time with his close-knit family, run-ins with a bully at school, anxiety about his crush. But life becomes more out of the ordinary with the arrival of an Estonian chess Grandmaster, the revelation of family secrets, and a train-hopping journey. When it all might be over in a few days, what matters most?

    Told in an unforgettable voice full of heart and humor, Felix Yz is a groundbreaking story about how we are all separate, but all connected too.
    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-

  • From the book 29 Days to Go

    I almost talked to Hector today.

    How it happened was, as soon as I got off the bus Tim the Bore popped up like he was waiting for me. I can't remember a time when Tim was not picking on me. He is such a jerk. Any­way, nothing new today, same old joke. "Hey, Felix," he says. "Guh-guh-guh-guess what?" Making fun of how Zyx makes it hard for me to talk. So incredibly clever, he is. As usual I don't answer, but that never stops him. "Time for the word of the day," he says. "What do you think? Will the streak continue? Let's find out. . . ." He's run-hopping along next to me, and I just stare at the ground and keep walking. "The word of the day is, Felix Yz a . . . retard!" Which is supposed to be funny because my last name sounds like "is." Get it? Then he does a leap with his arms in the air and screams, "Yes! The streak continues!"

    Like I said, usually I don't respond, but this time maybe I'm feeling a little more stressy than usual on account of how hard it has been getting to move in the morning and ZeroDay fi­nally being set, because all of a sudden I feel this hot squirt in my stomach and I make a fist. I only do it for a second be­fore uncurling my hand again, but he still goes nuts. "What? What's that?" he shouts, shoving me and punching my shoul­der. I start shaking and turn to face him, but before I can do anything else he pushes me into the janitor's closet and slams the door. I crash into the big square sink and fall over against the rolling bucket and lie there for a second, feeling swoopy.

    Once the floor stops pitching around I get up and try to open the door. It pushes out a little and then slams back, and I hear Tim's stupid laugh and figure out from the foot shadows under the crack that he and one of his stupid friends must be holding the door shut. I try again and they push back so hard they make it bang. I still feel dizzy, so I slide down and sit leaning against the door, letting my body curl naturally into the Pose, the way it always wants to these days. The wood feels cool against the side of my head. They start whisper-calling through the door, but I can't hear what they're saying and I don't care.

    I start to think maybe I'll take a nap or something when I hear high heels and a teacher's voice. Tim answers, and even through the door I can hear the fakey apologizing tone in his voice. The teacher speaks again and sneakers go away, squeaking hard on purpose, and then the door opens and Mrs. O is there.

    Mrs. O is OK, I guess. She talks to me like I'm eight years old, but then she talks to all the other kids the same way, so maybe it's not because she thinks I'm stupid. Maybe it's because she always says things right out of the Positive Things for Teachers to Say Handbook. "Felix," she says, in her *very concerned* voice. "Are you all right?" But I hardly hear her, because Hec­tor is standing right behind her.

    OK, do I really have to explain about Hector? Because it's com­plicated and I don't actually know what I'm explaining and I don't want to.

    do what you want do not do what you do not want

    Great, Zyx, that's such a big help.

    sarcasm question mark

    No, you think?

    sarc Yes, sarcasm. Gah. Anyway, I think I do have to explain, because that was my idea with this secret blog or e-journal or whatever, that I am telling everything from scratch to a total stranger, so that if ZeroDay goes, um . . . let's just say, if I don't happen to be around later, people will have everything they need to understand. So. Explaining Hector.

    felix explain question mark

    I'm...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 8, 2017
    Felix Yz, the 13-year-old narrator of Bunker’s captivating debut, is just like everyone else. Well, mostly. At age three, Felix was fused with Zyx, “a hyperintelligent being from the fourth dimension,” during an accident involving one of his father’s inventions, which also killed his father. A dangerous procedure to separate Felix from Zyx is scheduled to take place in 29 days, and Felix is determined to make the most of the intervening time. Felix tells his story via his blog, using Zyx’s perfect recall to recount conversations verbatim as he contends with bullies and works up the courage to talk to his crush, a boy named Hector. Felix’s humor, vulnerability, and strength give this story its big heart, which is rounded out by a loving family that includes Felix’s mother, piano prodigy older sister, and genderfluid grandparent who goes by Vera or Vern on different days. Set against a countdown to the unknown, Felix’s story is a love letter to anyone who feels out of place and a testament to the beauty of being “different.” Ages 10–up. Agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2017
    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 outre premise is only the setup for this unique, whimsical tale; it's also 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(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2017

    Gr 6-9-A one-of-a-kind story in a familiar diary format. When 12-year-old Felix was a child, his father died in the same lab mishap that fused a fourth-dimensional being known as Zyx to Felix's body. Now that Felix is on the precipice of adolescence, his body is having more trouble containing Zyx, and both must prepare for a risky separation procedure. This novel takes the format of Felix's blog, with asides from Zyx, who communicates by typing. The creature is endlessly supportive of Felix, providing an equal amount of positive reinforcement and earnest confusion at human social mores. As both move toward what may be their deaths, Felix uncovers long-hidden family secrets, discovers his own gift for writing, and develops a connection with his crush, Hector. While Felix's situation is certainly unusual, readers will respond to his self-doubt, the funny asides, and the suspense of how the procedure will turn out. Most notable among the supporting cast is his gender-fluid grandparent Grandy, who alternates among male, female, and no presentation depending on the day of the week. Grandy's presence allows for an explanation of choosing one's own pronouns (here: vo, ven, veir, veirs, veirself) and offers, along with the biracial Hector, more ways for Felix to better understand how all people contain multitudes. VERDICT Like the sweet older brother of middle grade series such as "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and "Dork Diaries," this title, with its combination of light sci-fi and relatable stakes, should appeal to younger teens.-Ann Foster, Saskatoon Public Library, Sask.

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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