Author: Alison Goodman
Publication Date: 4/12/12
Blurb (GR): Seventeen-year-old Joss is a rebel and a student of time travel. This year, an alien student, Mavkel, from the planet Choria, has chosen Joss as his study partner. Can this very different pair manage to live together--even learn from each other?
Singing the Dogstar Blues is that rare specimen of YA fiction called science fiction. That's right, not dystopia or rather dystopian romance, not sci-fi romance, but real deal sci-fi. There are no love triangles in it, no angst, no moping around boys. Gee, no wonder nobody read it. My library book was bought 6 years and looks as if nobody ever even touched it.
Joss Aaronson is a 1st year student at a time travel school. She is about to be paired up with her permanent TT partner who would accompany her on all her adventures. Her partner turns out to be the first alien admitted to the TT school Mavkel. For some reason he feels Joss is his perfect mate. Mavkel's race is deeply dual. Its species live in telepathically connected pairs. Mavkel needs to establish a psychic connection with Joss without which he can't exist. After several failed attempts to connect, the couple's last resort is to travel back into the past to seek the missing ingredient to assist their union.
Great things about Singing the Dogstar Blues:
1) time travel! - I craved more of it though.
2) aliens! - Mavkel is the cutest alien with a fab personality and the whole concept of his society is very curious.
3) futuristic setting! - loved the cyberpunky feel of it.
4) emphasis on developing of friendship instead of romance!
5) a heroine who kicks ass and who is rebellious without being annoying.
6) mystery! - yes, an actual mystery involving assassins, sperm donors and DNA.
I mean, what's not to like here? Why aren't there more books like this? It is always such a pleasure to read teen books that are both entertaining, light and not dumb. I can't read Le Guin's complex and thought-provoking sci-fi all the time, right? Some fun teen sci-fi is necessary too.