This book has been spotted by a few celebrities and becomes a most beloved books of 2021. It’s not hard to see why, it’s been a long time we haven’t seen a YA Book that is thrilling, deals with Indigenous culture and complex storyline. I got introduced to the Ojibwe tribe mores and traditions but also I can relate to her struggles not knowing where to belong. She is biracial, Daunis’s father is Native and her mother is Zhaaganaash with wealth and privilege from one side and the opposite from the other side.
But where the true genius move of Boulley stands is the core of the mystery and thrill. The atmosphere interlace with the narrative in a way to make you appreciate the protagonist while being aware of the facets and struggles of being Native. The book doesn’t shy away from themes like drugs, meth addiction, gang violence and even sexual assault. All the characters in the book were developed adequately, and all the side characters contribue greatly to the story whichI find pretty rare in novels I’ve read recently.
However, I have to point out some aspects that have hindered my appreciation of the book. First of all, there were too many things going on at the same time, the plots were going in all directions but forget to address the bigger picture. What’s in it for the community? We have a look at Daunis’ worries and motives but how does that affect the tribes, the society she lives in? Then, sometimes Daunis would start to explain things but in a very inefficient way because she would explain it again in a few pages. I think overall it was enjoyable but needs more editing. No one can keep up with that many information.
A complex story telling, definitely recommend it as I think it’s important more people read and are aware of these realities.
Thank you to Macmillan for this ARC!
Reviewed by Trang Tran