Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
*Quite frankly this book gets an infinite amount of stars*
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.
Review: This book took me where no other book has. I was completely immersed into this world, this story, and fell in love with its characters. Lookin’ at you, Jesse. *wink* But really, I have never read any other book like it. Never. And I am writing this down so there is proof, Vengeance Road is one of my top five favorite books ever.
So let’s talk about the world. A gritty western set in the Arizona plains; dust storms, hidden lakes, and beautiful mountain ranges. Cowboys, gun fights, bar brawls, this book has it all. The west during this time period was not the best place to be, but with the way Erin described the setting and the story, I want to live in the 1800s. Seriously. I mean, I wouldn’t survive but I sure would like to double fist it with twin Colt pistols. *pew pew*
The plot was so rich and developed, I never lost interest. It kept me turning page after page. I seriously got mad when I had to do something else besides read VR. The whole idea of avenging someone’s death always grabs my attention, so I was hooked from the start. And when Kate meets the Colton boys, I’m like super hooked.
Which brings me to characters (my favorite). Kate is one wild kid; complex in the best way. She almost has no fear and her fearlessness is admirable. She has a strong sense of family. And friendship, in time. Kate is a strong, fierce, and gritty heroine, one that I think YA needs more of. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, nor will she back down from a fight. Kate is someone I want to be, fearless, strong, and full of gumption.
Jesse and Will have one of the best brother relationships. They both bicker and fight, but they also have this deep bond that no one can break. Their personalities level each other out and ultimately better each other. Jesse, though, is just as complex as Kate. He has these internal battles within himself, which makes him more real. He fights himself, just as we all do, and has to decide what is best for him or best for others. He was real, not fake or made up. Real in his own way. And I think that’s why I loved this book so much, because of the realistic characters. I could relate to how they felt (in a very broad perspective because I don’t live in the wild west of the 1800s, obviously) , understood their learning process, and deeply felt for their situations.
Liluye is one kick butt girl. She almost had this sassiness about her, which I loved. Liluye was so unique in her own way and such a strong character. Always standing her ground and fighting for what she deeply believed in. That is admirable in itself, but that fact that she never backed down is even more worth looking up to. Liluye is a total boss.
Vengeance Road is such a deep, rich book; full of messages that reign truth, and characters that aren’t perfect but real. Lessons that teach much more than about vengeance, but how to fight, how to stand up for what you believe, how to receive help when you think you don’t need it, and ultimately how to take another breath and keep going.
I highly, highly recommend picking this up.
Until next time,