"I don't know that I can describe just how much I loved Rafael. More than anything. More than air. You don't sit around thinking about how much you love air. You just breathe. That's exactly how I loved Rafael. It was involuntary. I couldn't shut it off any more than a man can hold his breath without suffocating."
I've read some reviews of this book, and a lot of people were disappointed. The consent being that it was a letdown compared to the first two installments of the series. I honestly couldn't disagree more. I loved this book even more than the first two and so far it's my favorite of the series. I think it was the perfect mixture of Skylar's own personal dramas (yes, plural. Could you PLEASE give that poor boy a break, Ms. Christo?) and some very important lessons on the outrageous treatment of the Native Americans from the US government.
Some readers said that there was an overkill of the description of the Native American culture with all its legends and tales this time. Now I've read all 3 books back to back and I couldn't spot a difference or any deviation in the story-telling at all; the amount of Native American tales wasn't any higher than usual. I should probably mention though that I enjoyed the heck out these tales, they kept being entertaining, interesting and eye-opening.
There was also the complaint that the "voice of the author" took over the "voice of Skylar" as the narrator. Now I don't even know what that's supposed to mean. Maybe that the descriptions of the way the Native Americans are so very unfairly and outrageously treated by the government overtook Skylar's own personal story at some point? If so, I didn't notice anything like that at all. Skylar was still the sweet boy with a big heart of gold that I (and Rafael) fell in love with at first sight. I still loved being in his head. I still loved him.
Admittedly, there WERE some flaws in the story for me though. First, as I mentioned in my updates, there was this complete lack of acknowledgement of the sexual side of Skylar and Rafael's relationship. Yeah, I know this is YA and I know that minors don't need to read explicit sex scenes in their books. But it's also so very frustrating to see the main characters talking about and doing research on sex, and even describe how they go and buy condoms and lube, only to just fade to black when it comes to the climax. With no comments or afterthoughts at all. Dear YA authors, please just drop the issue of sex completely or follow through with it to the end. But don't build up the anticipation only to leave me high and dry when things start to get interesting. Oh, and also Ms. Christo, it's totally A-OK to say the words "condoms" and "lube", even in a YA novel. Probably especially in a YA novel. You don't have to refer to them as "stuff".
I also didn't really appreciate how the author just kept abandoning certain story lines completely and didn't bring them back for a satisfying conclusion.
Thankfully, since I've grown to love all of the characters, these complaints couldn't lessen my enjoyment of the story.
So here I am, still loving this series. I love the characters (main and secondary), I love the description of the Native American culture and its strong sense of community and I still love the writing.
On to the next one.