Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Me on Vengeance Road
Author: Erin Bowman
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint)
When Kate Thompson's father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there's room for love in a heart so full of hate.
Vengeance Road is a dangerous journey, a story of revenge and justice, of secrets and painful truths. A story about what drives us to take revenge and who we become along the way.
Kate is hard and tough, crafted from years on a homestead with her father. She's rough around the edges, practical, and passionate. After the grisly death of her father, she vows to kill the men who killed him. Revenge pushes her across Arizona, it fuels her. But is it all she is? Is she nothing but a hunter of cowardly men and justice? No. Kate wants her revenge, but there's more to her than that. There's a lonely girl under that Stetson, a girl who suddenly lost her father and is looking for closure, for answers. And she does get them, in the end. They just might not be the ones she was hoping for.
This takes place in a rather bleak and desolate setting. It's a hard journey for Kate and the Colton brothers, the trek across Arizona towards the Superstition Mountains. The dust and the rocks and the grime. The relentless summer heat. The lack of protection beyond some pistols and a rifle. The canteen that seem to feel lighter and lighter as they go on. The bullets that come at them seemingly from nowhere. It's a dangerous place, the Wild West, a setting not often seen in YA.
I found this to be an intriguing story led by a head-strong and stubborn heroine. This is a story about revenge, about doing whatever it takes and travelling as far away from home as it takes, but it's also about more than that. Kate has to learn to trust people, to let people in. Which isn't easy, considering how the story starts. I would recommend this to those desperate for a western YA and those looking for a strong, determined heroine.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt through NetGalley.)