A sweet odyssey of self-discovery
Yakimali's Gift is the story of young Fernanda and her odyssey through loss, adventure, new beginnings, love, friendships and finding more about her heritage. It has a little bit of everything and many people can enjoy this book. It also has some history in it and it's fascinating to know about.
It's told in Fernanda's POV, so you are in a 15-year-old mind, just keep that in mind when you read it. Sometimes Fernanda doesn't do the right choices and questions things that are so easy to understand. But she's young and her experiences aren't so huge to have that understanding yet, but she, throughout the novel, learns and her mistakes will make her grow.
One of the main things happening in this book is, early in the story, her mom dies and Fernanda questions why her mom never spoke about her heritage (her mom was Pima) to Fernanda. She wants to learn why there was a dispute with a family member and to embrace her culture, because while her dad is Spanish and they think the Spanish are some glorious beings (and it's clear in the story there is serious racism towards the natives), she gets to learn that that view is not right.
She meets a pair of siblings in the journey to California, Gloria and Miguel, both are Spanish-Native too. I really liked them. Gloria is a shining star and her brother is so swoony and adorable. He does do the hot-and-cold thing some heroes in YA do sometimes, but he actually wants Fernanda to do what she does best and never change her, not like Nicolas, her other prospect in the story. Though it's clear who Fernanda wants, I wouldn't consider this a "love triangle" per se.
It's such a short story and the writing is so easy to get into and not at all hard to understand. The plot is not so intense and you will have fun getting to know all the people going on this journey. Fernanda is hard-working and she loves her family so much. Even though her mom just died and her brothers are left without a mother figure, she gets into that role but not really. She knows and they know Fernanda would never be like her mom. But she wants her siblings to know that she will always be there for them and will love them and protect them forever.
- Self-discovery journey
- Sweet love story
- Great family relationships