Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wind Catcher - Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef

Summary: Juliet Wildfire Stone hears voices and sees visions, but she can’t make out what they mean. Her eccentric grandfather tells her stories about the Great Wind Spirit and Coyote, but he might as well be speaking another language. None of it makes any sense.

When she stumbles upon a series of murders she can't help but worry her grandfather might be involved. To discover the truth, Juliet must choose between her new life at an elite private school and her Native American heritage. Once she uncovers an ancient secret society formed over two hundred years ago to keep her safe, she starts to wonder whether there’s some truth to those old stories her grandfather has been telling her. 

All she wants is to be an average sixteen-year-old girl, but she has never been average—could never be average.

Betrayed by those she loves, she must decide whether to run or risk everything by fulfilling her destiny as the Chosen.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Review: I am embarrassed to admit that even in my advanced age (hopefully you’re laughing and not thinking that I am actually of advanced age) I have read quite a few books in this genre. I am familiar with the sassy, slightly defiant teen. Her well-meaning parents. Her boy who is not a boyfriend but they both like each other and should be hooked up by now and everyone thinks it and you get the drift. Her girlfriends that are somewhat distant for whatever reason but in the end it all works out. Anyway, you get it. I know the drill.

In that light, I was happily surprised by this book. First off, I wasn’t sure what to expect because it’s an indie book and sometimes those can be touch and go. Not so with this one. I think it holds up well as far as writing and story. Also, it is co-written by a father and daughter, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wouldn’t normally think a teenage girl would be able to write about being a teenage girl simply because she is a teenage girl. This one did, though. I think she did a good job with the angstiness and the drama but didn’t take it too far. It read easily, which I always think is really important for a book in this genre. YA Fic should not be convoluted and hard to read. The writing doesn’t need to be literarily perfect or poignant or even awesome, but it does have to be easy to read and accessible and I think this book is definitely that.

Now. The story. This is a typical coming of age story. Ya know, the one where the main girl—sassy, slightly defiant—realizes that she is Chosen for whatever reason and has to grow up and accept that and become who she is supposed to be. There is no doubt that this is done a lot, but there is also no doubt that this is because teen girls like to read about this kind of thing. I liked this particular book because it had a lot of Native American lore which I found interesting. I thought it was a nice change from the paranormal regulars (although there are some paranormal beings that come into play because, let’s face it, there’s gotta be in this genre).

There is a love story, of course, but it’s not annoying and there are some genuine familial relationships, which I appreciated. The older I get the more I appreciate a fleshed out familial life because despite the fact that the teens may want to be only involved with their friends, family actually plays a huge part and this did a good job of including those normally peripheral characters.

So this is definitely an indie book you should check out if you’re into this genre. I think it’s a fun read and I’m looking forward to the next installment.

My Rating: 4 stars

For the sensitive reader: This book is clean. There is a little bit of language, but nothing too harsh and there is no discussion of sex. There is also some violence, but it is not really descriptive or grotesque. 

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