Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers–Released: September 1, 2015
Summary: 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.
My Thoughts: After seeing the summary, I new I had to read this book. After finishing it, I honestly want to go back and read it again! What made this book so great was Kate as a character. She was so strong and independent. In a time where women are not seen as tough, she disguises herself as a boy to find out what happened to her father, her only living relative. Erin’s writing style really captured for me what the Wild West was like. Though I am not usually a fan of this genre, Erin wrote it in such a way, that kept me turning the page. The overall plot was amazing. I for one, love a good story of revenge and this book definitely gave me that. In this book, we are introduced to many characters along the way and with each of them, I felt I knew them.
Back to Kate, she was a unique voice in YA that I usually don’t read about. In the beginning she is full of hate and anger for what happened to her father, but by the end she changes and is able to love again and come to terms with what happened. Other than Kate, my favorite characters by far were the Colton brothers. They join Kate, after she tells them she’d rather go alone. Because they join her on her journey, we learn so much about them and see how complex they are.
What really surprised me though was the ending. I was heartbroken when Will died. For Kate and me as a reader, to be with him for most of the book and have him die?? I was on the verge of tears! True to Western, it was raw and emotional. What I honestly did not see coming, was that Kate’s mom was alive! We are led to believe she is long gone, but once it is revealed that not only was she alive, but she wanted to use her daughter to find more gold. When Kate finally got her revenge, she was satisfied, but after the long journey she had, she felt differently about what her motives led to and how she changed.
By the end, after a few months, Jesse and Kate are reunited! I was so happy they saw each other again. Overall this book was fantastic! One I would definitely read again in the future! If you love YA Historical Fiction, stories of revenge, or even just love a good Western, definitely pick up this book! You will not be disappointed!