Sometimes there are books that everyone absolutely loves that I just feel kinda meh about. This happens to be one of those. Though the plot was interesting - a family rocked by an attack on its matriarch and the son determined to solve the crime - I just didn't get quite what all the excitement was about. Don't hate me.
Joe is only 13, but after seeing what a violent attack has done to his mother, he knows he can't simply sit by and watch his father, a tribal judge, attempt to find the attacker himself. Joe and his friends take matters into their own hands, uncovering much more than their young selves need to understand.
As a main character, Joe was great. The parts of the book I did really enjoy were watching him transform from young boy into man through simple acts. When a violent act or tragedy falls upon a family, the children always have to grow up faster than their peers and Erdich got that part spot on. His attempts to remain a child were always overshadowed by his need to find the person responsible for hurting his mother.
I also enjoyed what appeared to be an authentic look into what tribal life is probably like. All of the portions of the book focusing on daily life for those living on the reservation, traditions, spirituality, etc., felt very realistic and honest.
I did find the book dragged in places and I found myself skimming a few portions. Though what happened to Joe's mother was tragic and violent, I felt it lacking in emotion, leaving me disconnected from her character and from the plot.
I know I'm in the minority on this one -- so many of you loved it -- but I felt it was just ok.