by Ae Padilla

In the summer of 2054, the United States is progressing through a ‘green war’ and a technological boom. But Christian Lozano, a seventeen-year-old living in remote West Texas, is unfazed by this. His problems come from within. With his older brother’s departure to college, his parents’ increasing marital strife, and his own anxiety holding him captive - Christian seeks an escape.

The mysterious girl across the street and his star running back neighbor seem to have the perfect life, a life worth envying. But, like any teen, they too have their problems and all three of their lives intersect in surprising and compelling ways.

The Brigades of Aldo, Ae Padilla’s debut novel, is a poignant coming-of-age story about the struggles of adolescence and the road to adulthood.

In the summer of 2001, Tone Robert Crosson is dying from leukemia. On his bucket list? To travel the iconic Route 66. Leaving behind his family in Chicago, Tone takes to the wide open road towards Santa Monica.

Told in a series of flashbacks from the age of five until his descent into California at the age of twenty-four, Tone’s fascinating life is uncovered. From his abusive poverty stricken childhood to acquiring his stepfather’s multi-million dollar company, Tone’s tremendous struggles, overcome by his heartwarming and lovable personality, make him someone to root for.

But Tone has a dark side, one that few people see and one that he might not even recognize. Across Eight States answers the question, are we born certain ways? Or are we all simply a product of our environment?

Tyler Mitchell, a seventeen-year-old from Behr Oregon, wants comfort, happiness, and love. But Tyler also wants revenge on his classmates, and he and his best friend Michael Wilson are determined to get it.

Prepared for a full out assault on their high school, the impassioned teenager details their yearlong plan leading up to the day of the attack in his personal journal.

Based loosely off the Columbine High School Massacre, Ekland begins to answer the questions that each one of us has. How can an apparent normal seventeen-year-old become a mass murderer? And why does he want to?

Lose yourself in the mind of the sensitive, depressing, frightening, but captivating world of Tyler Mitchell.