Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Two years ago, Brenna did the unthinkable. She witnessed the aftermath of a murder and accused her only true friend--the first boy she ever loved--of being a killer.
Now sixteen, Brenna returns to Oklahoma only to discover that Isaac "White Bird" Henry isn't in juvie. The half-breed outcast is in a mental hospital, frozen in time, locked in his mind at the worst moment of his life. And when Brenna touches him, she's pulled into his hellish vision quest, seeing terrifying demons and illusions she doesn't understand.
Feeling isolated and alone, she's up against the whole town, targeted by bullying former classmates, a bigoted small town sheriff, and a tribe who refuses to help one of their own. But when Brenna realizes she's as trapped by the past as White Bird is, this time she won't turn her back on him. She's the only one who can free them both.
Even if she has to expose her secret--a "gift" she's kept hidden her whole life. (from Goodreads)
I didn't really know what to expect when I started this book. Was it a paranormal mystery? A coming of age teen story? A romance? Well turns out, it was a little bit of all of these...and much more!
At times, the pure injustice of the story was really hard for me to read. The fact that no one seems to care about White Bird or what happens to him. The fact that Brenna and her mother are seen the town pariahs and the sheriff made up his mind about them a long time ago. These things got to me. I wanted to yell and scream! People jump to conclusions and a few horrific things happen to the characters and as a reader, there was nothing I could do. I wanted to help! That's how invested I was!
But, with all this injustice, AND the horrible things that happened to Brenna, her mother and White Bird...the way it's all resolved? I have to say, it was weak. A few words and half hearted actions and poof! Everything is right with the world. I mean, really? Even the good but extremely bigoted 'bad' guy came out clean in the end. And the bullies? The ones who traumatized Brenna? "Oops! We hated her for all the right reasons - it's all good now though, right?" For me? No, no it's not. More complex then that of course but I don't want to give too much away.
For the first half of the book I was mad at the injustice thrown at Brenna and White Bird and for the last part of the book I was mad at Brenna and White Bird for not seeking out more justice for themselves.
So, not a perfect read for me. I had some anger issues and Brenna's 'gift' seamed a little out of place to me - like it didn't really need to be there. But, the friendship / relationship that Brenna and White Bird have - it was so sweet and it felt very natural and I fell in love with them both! Even if they pissed me off a little.
AND! The fact that this book made me so mad - made me want to reach through the pages and either slap or hug a character (maybe both at the same time) -- THAT’S what made this book awesome!
4 / 5 Stars