Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Riding the Universe

Riding the Universe

4.7 8
by Gaby Triana
     
 

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Chloé Rodriguez values three things above all else—her family; her best friend, Rock; and Lolita, her Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster. With a black body, blue airbrushed flames, and perfect sloping ape hangers, Lolita is Chloé's last connection to her beloved uncle, Seth, who left her the bike when he died last summer. So when a failing chemistry

Overview

Chloé Rodriguez values three things above all else—her family; her best friend, Rock; and Lolita, her Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster. With a black body, blue airbrushed flames, and perfect sloping ape hangers, Lolita is Chloé's last connection to her beloved uncle, Seth, who left her the bike when he died last summer. So when a failing chemistry grade threatens to separate Chloé from her motorcycle, she vows not to let that happen . . . no matter what.

Enter Gordon. Ridiculously organized, übersmart, and hot in a casual, doesn't-know-it kind of way, Chloé's peer tutor may have a thing or two to teach her besides chemistry. But she has to stop falling for Gordon . . . and get Rock to act mature whenever he's around . . . and pass chemistry so she doesn't lose Lolita forever. Just when Chloé thinks she's got it all figured out, a bump in the road comes out of nowhere and sends her skidding.

Editorial Reviews

Alex Flinn
“Stupendicular! Gaby Triana has crafted a beautiful coming-of-age story with deft prose and well-developed characters. I put it down with a sigh.”
Ellen Hopkins
“Gaby Triana has created a heroine after my own heart. Chloe is smart. Loyal. Fearless. I’d ride with her any day.”
Booklist
“Teens will…enjoy following Chloe as she navigates school and home life, her issues, and her discovery that opening your heart can hurt-but also heal.”
Publishers Weekly
The narrator of this uneven novel, 17-year-old Chloé Rodriguez, lives with her supportive adoptive parents, her twin baby brothers and her beloved Harley Davidson, "Lolita"-a gift from her late uncle Seth. At school, she is assigned a peer tutor, the enigmatic Gordon, to avoid failing chemistry. Though she is still reeling from her uncle's death and insists that "keeping safe from any more heartbreak is my main goal," she and Gordon begin dating. Chloé initially finds some happiness with Gordon, but their relationship is volatile. And then there is her best friend, Rock, who is interested in taking their friendship a step further. Triana (The Temptress Four) has created a well-rounded character in Chloé, from her biker chick persona to her tendency to make up portmanteau words (girlgoyle, fathomystic), but she falls short in describing Chloé's feelings about her adoption and her attempts to find her birth parents. When secrets surrounding her adoption are brought to light, the revelation seems anticlimactic. Nevertheless, the novel is well-paced and themes of family, romance and identity should resonate. Ages 12-up.
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Children's Literature - Renee Farrah
Chloe, the only girl that rides a motorcycle to school, is failing chemistry. Her parents have threatened to take away Lolita, her beloved Harley, if her grade does not improve. The bike was a project she worked on with her late uncle, and she does not want to insult his memory by losing it. In an act of desperation, she goes to peer tutoring and finds her tutor Gordon much more interesting than the periodic table. As their relationship progresses, Chloe's best male friend Rock becomes increasingly disapproving and is giving her a harder time than her new baby twin brothers. Chloe is trying to balance her home life and school life and toying with the idea of searching for her birth parents. When her tough facade begins to crack, she learns who her true friends are, the importance of family, and how the thrill of the ride is still always worth it. An intriguing read that shows an offbeat girl navigating her own path her own way. Reviewer: Renee Farrah
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Grieving over the recent death of her Uncle Seth, 17-year-old Chloé Rodriguez enjoys nothing more than riding her Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster, which her uncle left her, down the open highway. But her freedom is threatened by her parents' ultimatum—bring up her failing chemistry grade or lose Lolita. Gordon is assigned to tutor her, and even though he is so not her type, they fall hard for one another. Meanwhile, Rock, Chloé's best friend since third grade, suddenly tells her that he loves her and always has. Chloé is torn over what to do, but the decision is made for her when Gordon decides his life plan does not include her. And Rock? He is there to pick up the pieces, as always, and Chloé learns that there are no guarantees in love but that sometimes you have to take a chance. What starts off as a cheesy premise—girl riding motorcycle—soon turns into a surprisingly well-developed story. Chloé and Rock are strong characters on an emotional rollercoaster ride trying to make sense of their feelings for one another. Even Gordon, although unwilling to change for love, draws sympathy from readers. And, the breakup between Chloé and Gordon is particularly heartbreaking. The authentic teen voices and tangible emotions make this book a satisfying read.—Kelley Siegrist, Farmington Community Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
Seventeen-year-old Chloe Rodriguez is most alive when she's racing her best guy friend, Rock, down the Florida highway on the back of her kitted-out Harley, which she's named Lolita. To Chloe, Lolita is much more than a set of wheels, in large part because she built Lolita together with her recently deceased uncle Seth. So when this biker chick begins failing chemistry and her parents threaten to ban her from Lolita until she brings up her grade, Chloe reluctantly signs up for tutoring. Despite dreading tutoring, when Chloe is paired with the hot and brainy Gordon Spudinka, their partnership sets off a chain of unexpected reactions that leave Chloe exhilarated, but also with some major life-changing choices. Although the plot is somewhat predictable, Chloe's tough exterior, layered over her introspective inner voice, and the inclusion of such multidimensional topics as adoption and parent/teen relationships drive this text onto an open road that's filled with enough unexpected speed bumps to engage readers. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060885700
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/05/2009
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
17 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

Alex Flinn
“Stupendicular! Gaby Triana has crafted a beautiful coming-of-age story with deft prose and well-developed characters. I put it down with a sigh.”

Meet the Author

Gaby Triana is the author of three other novels, The Temptress Four, Cubanita, and Backstage Pass. She lives in Miami, Florida, with her husband and their four children.

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