Aida Salazar

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GZLA

ULTRAVIOLET

April 2024, Scholastic, 256 pp

Can love break your heart – literally?

For Elio, eighth grade fizzes with change. In his body. With his pops, who makes them join a father-son group to talk about puberty and manly stuff and being Mexican. And especially around Camelia, his first girlfriend, whose golden aura distorts his vision.

When Elio finds out Camelia has been hanging out with Chava, and that he’s been pressuring her into kissing him, Elio’s emotions spiral and he craves revenge. Little does he know a fight with Chava will land him in the hospital with a real heart condition, and that Camelia isn’t looking for a savior. What will it take for Elio to learn what it really means to be a man, a true friend, and an ally?

In poems that radiate color and crackle with comedy and candor, Ultraviolet digs deep into themes of consent, toxic masculinity, and the emotional lives of boys as it challenges stereotypes about how they are socialized to behave. This vibrant, authentic story, centering an irresistible Chicano hero struggling to figure out who he wants to be, is the highly relatable coming of age story every tween and young teen needs.

STARRED REVIEWS

KIRKUS – “A story that sings to the soul.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY – “A┬ácompassionate verse novel about first love, heartbreak, and vulnerability”