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VOYAThis gritty, angsty, ultimately tragic and troubling coming-of-age story is set in rural Nevada and told in free verse. An abusive, alcoholic father; a perpetually pregnant mother; six little sisters and a brother on the way; a religious culture that she is beginning to question; and the pressure of always being obedient and docile are beginning to smother seventeen-year-old Pattyn. Her one outlet is shooting targets in the desert, something \ she is very good at. Pattyn is no angel, but she is not that far from normal either. When her father discovers her first sexual encounter, he goes ballistic, and when Pattyn acts out in rebellion, he sends her to her Aunt Jeanette. On Aunt J's ranch, Pattyn experiences a little bit of freedom and positive attention, learns some family secrets, has her consciousness raised about nuclear testing in the desert, and meets Ethan, with whom her sexual and emotional explorations continue. This book raises many issues-perhaps too many-including the lingering effects of the Vietnam War, the role of women in Mormon culture, Yucca mountain and hazardous waste disposal, and family violence. Still it all coalesces into a compelling and emotional story told in a unique way. While not lyrically written, the free verses, many in the form of concrete poems, create a compressed and intense reading experience with no extraneous dialogue or description. Each verse narrated by Pattyn is an episode in her growing awareness. This book will appeal to teens favoring realistic fiction and dramatic interpersonal stories. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P S (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006,Margaret K. McElderry Books/S & S, 544p., Ages 15 to 18.