Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Steal the North
by Heather Brittain Bergstrom

Publisher: Viking Adult
Pages: 336
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Emmy is a shy, sheltered sixteen-year-old when her mom, Kate, sends her to eastern Washington to an aunt and uncle she never knew she had. Fifteen years earlier, Kate had abandoned her sister, Beth, when she fled her painful past and their fundamentalist church. And now, Beth believes Emmy’s participation in a faith healing is her last hope for having a child.

Emmy goes reluctantly, but before long she knows she has come home. She feels tied to the rugged landscape of coulees and scablands. And she meets Reuben, the Native American boy next door.

In a part of the country where the age-old tensions of cowboys versus Indians still play out, theirs is the kind of magical, fraught love that can only survive with the passion and resilience of youth. Their story is mirrored by the generation before them, who fears that their mistakes are doomed to repeat themselves in Emmy and Reuben. 


Kritters Thoughts:  A heavy book that hits a lot of big subjects that can impact a teen's life.  Emmy is the main character and she is sent to an aunt's house that she never even knew existed to spend a summer where her mother and aunt grew up surrounded by the life that her mother escaped.  She must learn about the past and decide what path she wants for herself.

Told through almost every character's perspective, I enjoyed getting each of their point of views.  They each were able to share their side of the story while at the same time moving the story along.  With all of the basic teen angst subjects, there was an addition due to the location - the tension with American Indians and "white people."  I have not read a book that addressed this still current topic, so I enjoyed reading a fiction story that talks about a different race that is still feeling like a underclass minority.

This book may be categorized in the YA genre, but I would keep it to the older YA reader as there is definitely sex, drugs and rock n roll.  I didn't feel like the author was trying to cram it all in, but it was absolutely loaded with a lot of tough subjects.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Penguin.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.



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