Fiction/Non Fiction: Fiction.
Themes: Community, drug use, murder invetigations, indigenous culture.
One sentence summary: A thrilling YA set within indigenous communities that challenges identity and belonging.
Overview: Our protagonist Daunis is often struggles betweeen her the two sides of her family, her Mother's American side and her late Father's Obijwe heritage. In her ice hockey loving town set on the edge of the Obijwe reservation, she feels pulled from different directions.
Having already struggled with loss, more tradegy hits her small town as she witnesses a murder and secrets begin to be unconvered. Staying strong to her communities and her ancestory, Daunis must do what is right for her people... but it's not easy. Her investigation takes unexpected turns and ugly truths are uncovered.
Personal Thoughts: I'm often a little lost for words when it comes to books like this - books that you know are going to stay with you for a long time. Bouley's debut is absoutely one of those for me. It hit me hard the whole way through and it well and truly floored me.
I adored Daunis's passion and her drive to uncover the wrongs outed. Her loyalty is unmatched. She's a true heroine and one I know my younger self would have looked up to. Who are we kidding? I'd still love to be like her. Smart and with a keen interest in indigenous medicine, she trusts no-one and works her own way. Even when the FBI show up and local police officer exes, she doesn't flinch. She holds strong and I praise her for it.
The writing in this book kept me hooked the whole way through, it's certainly a book I would describe as addictive. While the imagery and detail are something I adore in this book, it certainly does not hold the plot back. It's quick paced and it will keep you on your toes for sure. Don't be misled by it's YA label, YA novels just don't have dark gory details. They absolutely still have action, thrilling scenes and jaw-dropping moments. (I'll tell you where I yelped in the book once you've read it).
Lovers of detailed nature and community will love this book. I really felt myself there on the reservation and I learned so much about the Obijwe community. If you enjoyed Love After Love, Clap Where You Land, Braiding Sweetgrass and Where The Crawdads Sing, then this is one for you.
Would I read it again? Without a doubt. Most likely just before the Netflix series comes out.
Read this? Plan to read it? I'd love to know! Let me know in the comments below.
Available for purchase as part of our Back to Your Roots box here.