Thursday, January 23, 2014

Naomi Bishop (a Native librarian) Review's Liz Fichera's HOOKED

Naomi Bishop offers a unique perspective on Liz Fichera's Hooked for two reasons. First, Naomi is of the tribe that Fichera gave to her protagonist. Second, Naomi is a librarian and long-time member of the American Indian Library Association.

With her permission, I'm sharing her review of Fichera's book:

I received a copy from the author after emailing her and telling her about myself. I was excited to see a female Native character from my tribe as the main character. Unfortunately my hopes of reading some good fiction were quickly crushed.  

The character Fred is strong, but not strong enough. I had some issues with my tribe being mentioned and talking to animals and the stars. We don't talk to animals or talk to the stars. Animal spirits are not a part of our lives. I also don't know why the author mentions grass dances and makes reference to hogans. Those references don't seem appropriate.

The character Ryan was a real crazy kid. I think he was an ok character, but I really had a problem with him saving Fred's dad. Of course, the white boy saves the Indian girl's father!

The ending was terrible and the entire book was stereotypical. Not all Indians drink and are poor. My tribe actually awards scholarships for college and has been awarding scholarships for over 15 years. If the story had just been about a girl on a boys golf team it would have been great, but the whole Indian girl dates white boy didn't keep me interested.

As an Arizona Native, I attended a mostly white school in Mesa in the 1990's and I can tell you my experience was a little similar to the economic view of Fred's. I think the book overall is not the best YA fiction, but I didn't expect much from a Harlequin Teen. I wish I could give a better review, but was sadly disappointed in the book. I don't recommend it or care to read the sequels. 

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