The second book in the author’s examination of relationships between the white community and Native Americans on a Phoenix-area reservation.
Hooked (2013) got down and dirty into the racism engendered by a romance between Fred, a great girl golfer from the Rez, and Ryan, an upper-middle-class white boy. Here, the focus shifts to Ryan’s younger sister, Riley, and Sam, a Gila-Havasupai boy who’s been in unrequited love with Fred for years. Sophomore Riley and junior Sam, never friends, find themselves thrown together at a leadership camp when Riley falls over a ridge and Sam clambers down to rescue her. As they wait to be retrieved, Sam confesses his love for Fred to Riley, and Riley decides to break up the girl’s romance with her brother and give Sam a makeover so he’ll have a chance with her. Meanwhile, Riley goes to a party given by her longtime secret heartthrob—who simply plays Riley for a fool. Once again, Fichera concentrates on the conflict between personalities, although here she places less emphasis on the conditions on the reservation. While readers will predict the eventual romantic outcome, getting to that point takes the characters through major difficulties, providing most of the fodder for the story. As Riley and Sam begin to realize their mutual attraction, plenty of suspense arises from Riley’s bad choices.
The book stands out in its nicely realistic portraits of the teens. (Romance. 12-18)