Life is rapidly changing for pre-teen shoe spokesperson Riley Mae. After the last photo shoot and trek up the Half-Dome in Yosemite, Riley Mae and her Swiftriver friends find themselves in Northwest Montana, the perfect backdrop for a river sandal campaign. The first problem is a plane malfunction. Then the rigorous raft training for the “Ready Eddy” river sandal campaign brings more bumps and bruises. And given that she is in Montana for a shoe campaign instead of back home with her friends, Riley thinks life can’t get much worse. But then she meets Sunday, a 10 year-old boy from Kenya, who wrestles fish, battles bears, and tackles leukemia. And Riley soon learns that life is as unpredictable as the raging waters, which, if she is not careful, will sweep her away and into the hands of the enemy – who is even closer than she thinks.
I wanted to read this book for my niece. She’s seven and becoming an avid reader. I want to find something appropriate, uplifting, and well-written. This book did NOT disappoint! The story age appropriate for a young girl – the action comes from outdoor adventures, accidents, and serious issues mentioned but not described. It also appreciate that it’s not a “you-get-everything-you-pray-for” Christianity. Riley Mae and her friends don’t always get the answers they want or expect when they turn to God.
My favorite part, however, is how well-written the story is. I honestly didn’t expect much. I’ve read a few tween/YA books that have great plots but are no where near the quality of adult novels (some, in fact, would never be published for the adult market). This author, however, hooked me with the first line, created great characters, and demonstrates an understanding of the fiction-writing craft. Not only will I purchase more of her books for my niece, I will take the time to read them myself!
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own.