I didn’t really know what to expect going into this book. In the Arms of Stone Angels is a murder mystery with some paranormal/fantasy elements and Native American folklore thrown in.
When I started reading this book I was a little put off by Brenna, the main character. She was just so angry, but the more I read about her the more I understood her. Her voice rang true, though at times I felt she sounded too old for her age. Maybe part of that is due to having grown up so quickly and deal with so much in the years after turning in her friend. Ultimately, I felt Brenna was just a girl who is lost, who likes to spend her nights at the cemetery among the dead. Very much a loner. After a horrific incident involving her and the town bullies soon after arriving in Shawano, she decides to take control of her life. She realizes that she needs to finally let her mom in. Brenna sees that she’s able to find help in others so that in turn she can help her friend out of the situation she’s put him in.
That was one thing I really liked about this book. The adults have a voice and are actually open in wanting to hear what Brenna has to say and are genuinely interested in helping her and White Bird. Well, some of them anyway. And not at first either, but after realizing just how much Brenna needs help. So often we see the main characters in YA having to deal with everything on their own. Solving their own mysteries and issues but in this book, they step in.
If there is one thing that gets my blood boiling is bullies. In any form. If you are picking on someone because of their race, color of their skin, religion, social class status, the way they look, dress, talk…it puts me in a rage! That happens in this book. Shawano, Oklahoma is a very small town where the town Sheriff’s word goes and no one questions it. In turn, the sheriff’s nephew, Derek, is the town’s biggest bully along with Jade, his bitchy girlfriend. Together, at a party, they incite the other townies to terrorize Brenna in such an awful way to try to scare her out of town. The things they do to her are seriously criminal. They’re worried she’s going to unravel the mystery of what really happened that night Heather died. I’m telling you, the way that sheriff treats Brenna and her mom after that incident…I was SO angry. So yes, the small town closed-mindedness really ticks me off.
Although this was a different book from what I’ve read recently, I truly did enjoy it. In the Arms of Stone Angels was dark but the ending is uplifting. You won’t finish it and feel depressed or moody, it will make you smile because it truly leaves off on a happy note. So if you’re looking for something good that is different, pick this up!
In the Arms of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane
Published by Harlequin Teen
Pub Date: March 22nd 2011
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
Two years ago, Brenna did the unthinkable. She witnessed the aftermath of a murder and accused her only true friend–the first boy she ever loved–of being a killer.
Now sixteen, Brenna returns to Oklahoma only to discover that Isaac “White Bird” Henry isn’t in juvie. The half-breed outcast is in a mental hospital, frozen in time, locked in his mind at the worst moment of his life. And when Brenna touches him, she’s pulled into his hellish vision quest, seeing terrifying demons and illusions she doesn’t understand.
Feeling isolated and alone, she’s up against the whole town, targeted by bullying former classmates, a bigoted small town sheriff, and a tribe who refuses to help one of their own. But when Brenna realizes she’s as trapped by the past as White Bird is, this time she won’t turn her back on him. She’s the only one who can free them both.
Even if she has to expose her secret–a “gift” she’s kept hidden her whole life.