After the Storm picks up shortly where Waiting for the Storm left off, returning us to Angel Island, the O'Dell family and Ezra. When we last saw Ella...moreAfter the Storm picks up shortly where Waiting for the Storm left off, returning us to Angel Island, the O'Dell family and Ezra. When we last saw Ella, she was just at the beginning of her transformation, as she shed her mean girl persona and began the journey to dealing with the grief she felt from her mother's recent death and the guilt for not being by her side during her last months. In After the Storm, she is starting high school on the island, and along the way, she forms a misfit friendship trio with the eccentric but fashionable Sadie, and her best friend, and River, a Mohawk boy from Tyendinaga. While it continues the story from the first book, it can also be read as a standalone novel!
I really enjoyed seeing the real Ella in After the Storm! She's not a mean spirited, wild party girl who doesn't care for her family. She's actually quite reserved, except when it comes to sticking up for her family or friends, and prefers a quiet night in with friends. Ella's rebuilding her relationship with her sister and Dad, and learning to deal with her grief in a healthier manner. She doesn't know if she is always making the right decision, but she tries her best. She's empathetic and a good friend. I could actually see myself hanging out with her in high school, and I could relate a bit to her close knit misfit group of friends. Speaking of friends, I almost think that Sadie and River steal the show a bit! I absolutely fell in love with them, Sadie in particular. There provide the friendship and support that Ella needs, but they are fully developed, complex characters that stand on their own. We also got to Charlotte and Ezra's relationship progress, and some plot lines continued from Waiting for the Storm, which was nice. I liked seeing their relationship through Ella's POV, and I really liked Ezra's friendship with Ella!
Angel Island is a small town, and so there are hardships for anyone who is considered different, especially by their peers. The story also has a LGBT storyline that I think was done very well. I won't go further into it because I don't want to give too much away, but I just want to make note of it because the visibility of these stories and characters are important. Similarly, River is a teenager of colour, and is connected to his Mohawk culture, and grew up on the Tyendinaga reserve. He talks about stereotypes about indigenous people in Canada (Turtle Island/Kanata), and has experienced ostracization from his peers due to his heritage and race. For the most part, River's storyline was also well done, although there were two instances that I was a bit weary about: River and his mother are described as stoic (a common stereotypical description of indigenous peoples) and a costume decision towards the end of the book (I'm still conflicted about whether it was problematic, or a chance to rebel against the media's depiction....). River was a complex character, though, and didn't fall into being a stereotype himself. I also liked how these two storylines and characters highlight the prejudice that still exists in Canada, much as it does in the US, as sometimes it isn't talked about as much because we are seen as a diverse, multicultural, polite society. It's nice to see it not swept under the rug in Canadian YA books!
In the end, After the Storm didn't disappoint! I thoroughly enjoyed continuing on with these characters, and meeting new ones along the way. Marie Landry never fails to write engaging and emotional contemporary YA books! I highly recommend this book, whether you've read Waiting for the Storm or not, as you'll be swept away by the characters before you know it.
DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. (less)
Mini-Review This was an enjoyable read! I really liked Haydu's writing style - I think she capture the voice of a teenage girl very well, and there wer...moreMini-Review This was an enjoyable read! I really liked Haydu's writing style - I think she capture the voice of a teenage girl very well, and there were some lines in the book that certainly packed a punch. The plot was interesting, and while the idea of Life by Committee is sort of convenient, I could see past the device and understand the idea of supporting/egging each other on online. It captured the spirit of YOLO, which teens will relate to. However, it also showed the consequences of letting other people rule your life, and making poor decisions.
I think my favourite part of the book was Tabby's introspections on her changing body, her own body image, and ideas of sexuality. Haydu has worked in some really important conversations about the sexualization of young girls and the double standards that exist. Tabby acknowledges that she is sexually curious, but also hates that because she has grown boobs, she has been labelled a slut, despite the fact that she hasn't had any sort of sexual contact with a partner.
Tabby's frustrations with dating, losing her best friends, her changing body, and her parents felt very real to me. I sympathized with her, and wanted to just sit down and talk to her, and validate her feelings. The end of the book wraps up fairly neatly, but that didn't bother me like it usually does, perhaps because I liked the message, and one of the revelations really shocked me. (view spoiler)[I also liked how it brought together frenemies somewhat, and reduced the girl-on-girl hate that fueled some of the plot. (hide spoiler)]
I was interested in Haydu's previous novel OCD Love Story but I'm definitely going to pick it up now, and I look forward to what other stories she will bring us in the future. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Prisoner of Night and Fog tells the story of Gretchen, a young girl raised alongside the Nationalist Socialist Party (Nazi), adored...moreActual rating: 3.5
Prisoner of Night and Fog tells the story of Gretchen, a young girl raised alongside the Nationalist Socialist Party (Nazi), adored and protected by her Uncle “Dolf” after her father died heroically, protecting Hitler in a shootout with the police. However, a young Jewish reporter named Daniel, has evidence that suggests that her father’s death was more foul-play than an act of heroism. Gretchen must carefully examine her family, friends, values and the Nationalist Socialist Party itself to determine whether she has been told the truth or a series of carefully constructed lies from everything to her father’s death to Hitler’s plans for the Jews.
Blankman has crafted a beautifully written story, full of rich historical details, but never overwhelming the reader with facts. Her writing is very vivid, and at times even haunting (“Dawn broke, pale gray and ringed with soot”). I really liked how this book was set during the rise of Hitler in the early 1930s, as a lot of YA historical fiction set during WWII focuses on the Holocaust, but I think Blankman proves that the psychology of Hitler, other Nazis and the party itself are also horrifying and endlessly intriguing.
The character development was really well done. Despite the mystery, Prisoner of Night and Fog, is very much a character driven novel. The cast of characters is quite large, from Gretchen, her malicious brother Reinhard, her mother, best friend Eva, and Daniel to Hitler, his half-neice Geli, and an array of Party members. The Party members could be a bit confusing at times, but other than that, each character was written strongly enough to be able to distinguish them apart.
It was fascinating (and unnerving) to see Hitler from a young girl’s perspective, and Gretchen character development, going from his adoring pet to growing suspicious of his actions, politics and character, was very well done. I really appreciated the sort of stages that Gretchen went through as she became more aware and educated on the racist ideologies and actions that Hitler and the Nationalist Socialist Party were perpetuating against Jewish citizens and other ethnicities. The quote below sums up nicely her grappling with unpacking all that she has come to know about the world, and recognizing that she is privileged enough to potentially ignore this new information and go on living a moderately comfortable life.
“If she and her people were mistaken about the Jews, then they were mistaken about everything. With that screw, the entire machine would eventually break down… The box she had carefully constructed about herself would fall apart. And she didn’t know if she could bear standing out in the open, in the harsh wind, without the comforting warmth of those walls she had built to shut out everything she didn’t like or understand.”
I also liked how the book, by way of its premise, focused a lot on the women surrounding Hitler, all while shedding light on his entrenched misogyny.
While romance is an important part of this book, as Gretchen’s growing fondness of Daniel is fairly crucial to her character development and the story, the emphasis is much more on the various mysteries that they work to uncover. That’s not to say that the romance is poorly done -- I quite liked Daniel and I think they worked well together, although I suspect we will see more of the romance aspect in book two. The mystery aspect though is where I had some trouble. Everything is woven together expertly, and the pacing was great, but in the end, the mysteries didn’t seem like mysteries to me. Partly, I think this is because I had suspected everything from the start, but it also the danger of building a mystery around possibly one of the most well known historical figures on Earth. I can’t go further into this without discussing it in detail, so avoid the next paragraph if you don’t want to be spoiled.
(view spoiler)[ There are 2 (you could potentially argue 3) mysteries in Prisoner of Night and Fog: who shot Gretchen’s father during the putsch, and the uncertainty surrounding Reinhard’s character. Now both of these mysteries come back to psychology and a diagnosis of psychopathy for Hitler and later, Reinhard. In this day and age, where famous psychopath Charles Manson’s case was highly publicized, there are endless airings of Criminal Minds episodes, etc. everyone seems to know at least a few of the traits of psychopathy (although it is often confused with sociopathy): superficial charm, lack of empathy, high sense of self-worth, history of hurting animals, manipulative, etc. So when the big reveals come down to Gretchen realizing that both her brother and Hitler are dangerous psychopaths, with the clues being there from the very beginning (and it at least being suggested in history lessons that Hitler could have been a psychopath), the mystery doesn’t seem so mysterious. In fact, I had thought up some even more sinister and complex hypothesis because it all coming down to being a psychopath seemed a little simplistic, in my opinion. (hide spoiler)]
While I didn’t end up loving this book as I expected, I still enjoyed this thoroughly researched piece of historical fiction, mystery disappointment and all. Although I was a bit jarred at the end when I read in the Author’s Note that the book will have at least one sequel, as I had not know that prior to picking the book up, I will look forward to revisiting the characters and story as Hitler rises to power.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Also, all quotes are from the ARC and are subject to change in the final printing. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Picture Me tells the story of an overweight girl, Krista (the target), Tessa (her best friend), and Chelsea (the bully), providing the reader with alt...morePicture Me tells the story of an overweight girl, Krista (the target), Tessa (her best friend), and Chelsea (the bully), providing the reader with alternating POV from each girl’s perspective. The book shows that everyone goes through tough times as we learn more and more about each young woman and that people aren’t clearly good or bad but often shades of grey. Trigger warnings (for both the book and review ): fat shaming, body image issues, eating disorders, grief over a parent, (view spoiler)[ and sexual assault (hide spoiler)].
I liked that this book provided numerous POVs, from all the young woman involved in the bullying as it made for a much richer exploration of how and why people (particularly young girls) bully & its effects. We are introduced to characters by way of Krista, a shy, overweight girl who has been constantly tormented by her classmates, led by her main bully, Chelsea. Reading a poem about body image aloud in class sets off a new firestorm of attacks against Krista, while her best friend, Tessa, tries to support her through the hard times. Krista has struggled with her weight from a young age, and the bullying has triggered a lot of self-hatred towards herself. She sees herself through the eyes of her tormentors: as disgusting, unlikeable, a waste of space, etc. The latest incident (a picture of her is PhotoShoped as a fat monster is plastered around school) begins a chain of events that leads to her taking diet pills and spiralling into an eating disorder. While I started out emphasizing with Krista, as I could relate personally to her body image issues, her characterization quickly went downhill. After a little introduction to Krista, which didn’t really develop her past “the fat girl with body image issues” trope her thoughts became an almost incoherent rambling of body image issues, self-hatred and physical pain. It just seemed too stereotypical for me, and her story in the end was resolved way to fast.
You can read the rest of this review here, at Bookish Comforts.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The Lure tells the story of Blaise, a 15 year old girl who is trying to navigate the world of guns, gangs and drive-by shootings while searching for s...moreThe Lure tells the story of Blaise, a 15 year old girl who is trying to navigate the world of guns, gangs and drive-by shootings while searching for security and stability in her life. In an attempt to find some of that security and stability, she joins Core 9, one of the local gangs, in hopes that they can help protect her and help with her aging grandmother. Unfortunately, Trek, the head of the gang, has another plan for her - he wants to use her to “lure” out his enemies, putting Blaise right in the line of fire.
First, I just want to start out with a mini-rant on the marketing of this book. I take real issue with the way this book is described as “gritty” and “sexyl”. Sexual violence, coercion and manipulation is not sexy! I actually think that Ewing shows that gang life, and especially Blaise’s life and her job of being a “lure”, is anything but sexy, as she worries about her grandmother, is constantly hungry, and fears for her life. The description reads almost like a romanticization of gang life, which is quite contradictory to the message this novel sends! Also, I’ve been noticing lately that “gritty” is often used to describe books that have characters of colour. A coincidence? I sadly think not.
Back to the actual book, shall we? It started out on the right track: it was engaging and the pace was well done, but somewhere along the way it lost its footing. For me, I think part of this was due to a lack of character development. I didn’t feel any emotional depth from the characters. I empathized with Blaise’s situation, but I didn’t feel a connection with her, or any of the characters really. It became a bit of a show versus tell situation, where we often told how Blaise felt without it truly being shown to the reader. I wanted to be moved by the story, I did! There were some upsetting moments ((view spoiler)[her friend doing the rollins and the dog scene at the end made me feel sick (hide spoiler)], but I wasn’t moved as much as I expected myself to be. I think both the stilted writing and the characterization prevented me from being drawn into these characters and their lives.
To read the rest of this review, please visit my blog Bookish Comforts (review will go live 02.03.2014)!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The summary does an apt job at describing this novel, saying it is a provides a “narrative punch to the throat”. This novel is so good and has affecte...moreThe summary does an apt job at describing this novel, saying it is a provides a “narrative punch to the throat”. This novel is so good and has affected me so much that it is making me anxious and nauseous just typing up this review. It is horrifyingly, vomit-inducing disturbing in a way that is uncomfortably realistic. I know I just used a bunch of horrible ways to describe this book, but in truth, it is one of those books that makes you sick in a good way. Now, I should say this book isn’t for everyone, and there are some MAJOR trigger warnings for: abuse, sexual assault, and addiction. This book doesn’t hold back, that’s for sure.
Anatomy of a Girl Gang tells the story of five young girls and their attempts to survive in Vancouver’s notoriously Downtown Eastside without giving up control of their bodies and money by creating a girl gang so that they can look out for each other. This new all girl gang, led by Mac, is a diverse group, and many of the girls have traumatic histories. There is Mercy, the “Punjabi Princess”, Kayos, who has had a daughter at a young age as the result of sexual assault, Sly Girl, an Aboriginal girl who has fled the violence and poverty of her reserve, and Z, a lesbian graffiti artist with overbearing parents. Each girl brings her own criminal talents to the gang, and as a group, they aspire to move out of the hell hole they live in, to a place where they feel safe, and can live as the family they are. However, the Downtown Eastside doesn’t easily let go of those who have fallen into its grip.
Despite these girl’s actions, I couldn’t help but love them. They’re sort of anti-heroes. I just wanted to give them a safe place to live, where they didn’t have to worry about their safety, making money, and could just be teen girls. Each had a unique voice and way of telling their story (for example, Z, the graffiti artist, tells her story in tags). I didn’t exactly have a favourite character, but they were all equally complex, and well-written. Vancouver, the city itself, was even one of the POVs, and this was a really interesting narrative tool. It allowed the story to pull back, and the reader to see the girls’ story in the bigger picture.
To read the rest of this review, please visit my blog Bookish Comforts (available 11/13/13). Thank you!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.(less)
Adaptation is an addictive, thrilling read that checks off so ma...moreAliens? ✓ Conspiracy theories? ✓ LGBT romance? ✓ Racial diversity? ✓ Awesome story? ✓
Adaptation is an addictive, thrilling read that checks off so many boxes it is unbelievable! It all begins with hundreds of birds falling from the sky inexplicably, crashing planes all over North America and Mexico. Creepy, huh? Then the protagonist, Reese, and her friend/love interest/debate partner, David get into an accident while driving home from their tournament. Where do they crash? Area 51 of course! Once they wake up, it is crystal clear that something is up, that their procedure was not a normal one, as they are forced to sign non-disclosure agreements. Upon returning home, Reese tries to readjust, and move on, both from her surgery and her crush on David, as she starts dating Amber, but she starts to realize she now has some new abilities. What is the government not telling her about her surgery? And is it somehow linked to all the dying birds?
Know how I said that I’m not a big reader of sci-fi books? Well, I couldn’t get enough of Adaptation!!! Seriously, it was hard to put down. Every time I had to put it down, for whatever reason, I’d be thinking of what was going to happen in the story and I couldn’t wait to return. The story drew me in in immediately, and the first couple of chapters are action packed and they just have you so curious as to what the HECK is going on!?! The plot is so interesting with conspiracy theories and the romantic tension between the characters!
The thing that actually got me to pick up this book despite my uncertainty for the genre was 1) it was Malinda Lo and 2) I had heard that there was a bisexual character and you don’t get a lot of bisexual characters in YA, for whatever reason(s). I was very happy to see that Reese wasn’t a stereotype of a bisexual female, and that she had chemistry with both of her love interests, David and Amber. Reese actually doesn’t realize she is also attracted to women until she meets Amber, but the process in which she realizes she is bisexual (and later, her coming out to her mother) seemed very authentic and realistic. She’s not defined by her sexuality, and neither is her best friend, Julian, who is gay. In addition to diverse sexualities, there is also racial diversity too. David Li is Asian-American and Julian is African-American. I should mention too that although Julian is gay, Jewish and African-American he never felt like a token character, and actually, pretty important to the plot with all of his conspiracy theory work.
With all the conspiracy theories floating around in this book, it raises some really great questions about WHY we have and believe in these theories, how our governments operates, and democracy. I particularly liked this quote, “Perhaps the real issue is not whether the government orchestrated the plane crashes, but instead, do we trust our elected officials? And if we don’t, why have we elected them in the first place? Democracy, at its root, is based on the faith that our representatives have our best interests at heart. If we as a nation no longer believe that they do, that may even be more disturbing than the idea that aliens are among us.” This definitely could lead to many great conversations as it is relatable to so many non-alien situations, and I think it is good for teens to think about. Oh, and YAY for having a female President!
I am so SO glad that decided to buy and read Adaptation, and that I did so in September because now I don’t have to wait for the novella, Natural Selections and I only have to wait a couple of weeks for the sequel, Inheritance, which I will be pre-ordering! If you were weary about this book at all, I highly recommend you give even just the first few chapters a try. Whether you like science fiction, thrillers, romance, or books that deal with contemporary issues, this one has a little bit for everyone. Definitely my new favourite Malinda Lo book!
Mini-review I read this book because my friend, Avery, described it as a female take on Sam and Dean from Supernatural, so I immediately borrowed the...more Mini-review I read this book because my friend, Avery, described it as a female take on Sam and Dean from Supernatural, so I immediately borrowed the e-book from my library. I think that the allusion to Supernatural is an accurate one, but 1) I think there may be TOO many similarities and 2) the book just didn't work for me.
Some things that bothered me: - Graves, whom is partly Asian, is described numerous times as a "half breed" which is NOT OK. - It's pretty slow in parts and VERY repetitive. The author has a list of words she likes to use again and again to the point where it grated my nerves. For example, "barking" is used 13 times throughout the novel, and often to mean different things. On one page it was used to describe a laugh and then to describe the main character hitting her hip off a desk. - The MC also seems to hate on every other girl because she isn't tough, strong and stoic, out there killing demons and whatnot.
What I did like: - Graves. He was a wonderful character, complex and I loved that he cared about people. The only good thing going for the book, IMO.(less)
Dance the Moon Down tells the story of a young woman and her experience living through the first World War, from having to send off...moreActual rating: 4.5
Dance the Moon Down tells the story of a young woman and her experience living through the first World War, from having to send off her newlywed husband to having to go work on a farm doing back-breaking labour to avoid being homeless. While many books focus on the battle fields, this one tells the story of the fight on the home front, lead by women, who kept England running while dealing with battles of their own, including grief over loved ones lost.
I really enjoyed reading Dance the Moon Down and being immersed in the experience that many women had during World War I. It’s always nerve-wracking reading historical fiction because you know how things play out and the chances of survival, and reading this book was no different. I did, however, learn quite a few new things, and I think the strength of this book is the author’s attention to historical details, big and small, which really helped bring alive the characters and story. For example, I didn’t know that one way of identifying the dead in WWI was by way of posting pictures in newspapers that were found among the soldier’s otherwise unidentifiable remains. So you could have found out that your beau, husband, brother or father had been killed by seeing your face staring back at you in the dailies. How terrible would that have been?! Learning this fact as the main character was worrying over her husband’s disappearance was heartbreaking!
You can read the rest of this review (available 10/2/13) here , at my blog Bookish Comforts.
Disclaimer:I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.(less)
Killer of Enemies is set in a dystopian future, where we’ve plundered away many of the Earth’s natural resources, and relied so heavily on technologic...moreKiller of Enemies is set in a dystopian future, where we’ve plundered away many of the Earth’s natural resources, and relied so heavily on technological advances (even to our bodies - with eyeball and brain enhancements that let us open and close doors, etc.) that it nearly kills us once a strange, silver cloud settles over the atmosphere, causing all modern technology to malfunction. Lozen, a young Apache woman, is living in this new and brutal time in Haven, one of the communes that has been established by the Ones, the cruel elites who didn’t die, but managed to take power. Forced to live there, along with what is left of her family, Lozen’s superb fighting skills are used to fight the genetically modified creatures, or gemods, that roam the land outside of Haven. As Lozen’s powers grow, she is sent on increasingly dangerous, and near impossible missions, all the while trying to figure out a way to escape, along with her family, to live free once more.
Truth be told, I wasn’t a big fan of this book at the start. Lozen is a bit stand-offish (although, understandably - the Ones had her father and uncle killed and the rest of her family dragged back to the Haven and they use her) in her internal dialogue, and the writing was a bit awkward and stilted. Fortunately, after a little while, these issues cleared themselves up and I came to really love Lozen and I was drawn in by this cruel new world, full of terrifying creatures that she is sent out to kill. I loved how smart and strong Lozen was, both physically and emotionally, as she is dealt a lot, but always managed to kick some serious butt! The other characters were well done -- ranging from her sweet sister and brothers, her wise and caring mother, to the sadistic guards and Ones who made my stomach turn. There is also a little bit of romance, that I thought was very well done too! It didn’t overshadow the story, like it can and does in some other dystopians I’ve read about.
I think my favourite part of the book was the inclusion of Lozen’s Native American history, ancestors, and culture. The author includes real Native American history, specifically, that of the Chiricahua Apaches, as well as imagined history that is created for the purposes of the dystopian setting. Lozen was very centered in her culture, which she gained strength from in the jobs she was sent out to do. For example, after killing a gemod, she would pray for the animal’s spirits to be returned back to the Creator. I really liked how even though she was forced to kill, she wasn’t a violent character, if that makes any sense? Many of the gemods were also inspired by the oral stories of America’s indigenous peoples. The most terrifying one to me was the ENORMEOUS anaconda/boa snake gemod! EEEK! There is even the inclusion of Bigfoot, who becomes an ally of Lozen, and actually was one of my favourite “characters”.
Aside from the focus on Native American characters and cultures, there are also other races represented in the Haven -- I believe Hussein was Muslim and that there were references to African-American residents. Killer of Enemies also offers up critiques of gender inequality, classism and environmental destruction, but not in a way that is preachy at all!
If I had any criticisms, other than the bit of an awkward start, it would be that I sometimes wondered if it was at a YA reading level. There were quite a few words and terms that even I didn’t know/understand. In addition, the book is a bit slow, not necessarily due to lack of action, but just because of the writing style. This wasn’t a bit problem for me though, after I got used to it.
There is SO much more I’d love to talk about, but then I’d ruin all the fun in reading Killer of Enemies for yourself! This book definitely surprised me after a bit of a rocky start, and I’m very glad to continue on. Lozen is a character that I’m sad to part with, as she really grew on me! If you are looking for a dystopian that is very unique, and offers a diverse cast of characters, then I highly recommend you pick up Killer of Enemies and give it a go!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. (less)
Red Wolf is an emotional story of two lives forever changed by Canada’s settler-colonial actions and policies of the late 1800s: that of an orphaned w...moreRed Wolf is an emotional story of two lives forever changed by Canada’s settler-colonial actions and policies of the late 1800s: that of an orphaned wolf and Red Wolf, the boy he befriends. With a focus on the changing environment and the devastating effects to animals and wildlife, in conjunction with the harsh realities of the policies of the Indian Act and the Residential Schools system, Jennifer Dance weaves a complex narrative about the First Peoples and creatures of Turtle Island, Canada.
First off, I just want to say that I really appreciated that Jennifer Dance started the book by introducing some historical context to the story and locating herself: she is a non-indigenous woman who has three mixed-race children, and through her daughter’s marriage, has been welcomed into her son-in-law’s First Nation family.
I found the intertwined story of the wolf and Red Wolf to be really effective, especially how their stories mirrored each others in many ways. Also, I think it was a smart way to have readers begin to understand and empathize with both characters — often times it is easier for people to empathize with animals, and I think by starting with the wolf’s story, and relating to to Red Wolf’s it could help particularly older readers to set aside the negative portrayals of indigenous peoples that history books, the media, etc. perpetuate.