Thursday, September 2

Book Review: Yakimali's Gift by Linda Covella

Author: Linda Covella
Title: Yakimali's Gift
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA, Romance
Format: ebook
Published: July 28th 2014
Where I Got It: My shelf - Amazon

It’s 1775 in Mexico, New Spain, and 15-year-old Fernanda Marquina, half Pima Indian and half Spanish, can’t seem to live up to her mother’s expectations or fit into the limited female roles of her culture. While she tends her garden, matches wits with buyers and sellers at the weekly market, and avoids Mama’s lectures and the demands of Nicolas, the handsome soldier pursuing her, Fernanda grabs any opportunity to ride the horses she loves, racing across the desert, dreaming of adventure in faraway lands.

But when a tragic accident presents her with the adventure she longed for, it’s at a greater cost than she could have ever imagined. With her family, Fernanda joins Juan Bautista de Anza’s historic colonization expedition to California.

On the arduous four-month journey, Fernanda makes friends with Feliciana, the young widow Fernanda can entrust with her deepest thoughts; Gloria, who becomes the sister Fernanda always wished for; and Gloria’s handsome brother Miguel, gentle one moment, angry the next and, like Fernanda, a mestizo–half Indian and half Spanish. As Fernanda penetrates Miguel’s layers of hidden feelings, she’s torn between him and Nicolas, who has joined the journey in the ranks of Anza’s soldiers and whose plans include marrying Fernanda when they reach California.

But propelling Fernanda along the journey is her search for Mama’s Pima Indian past, a past Mama refused to talk about, a past with secrets that Fernanda is determined to learn. The truths she discovers will change the way she sees her ancestry, her family, and herself.

I've had my eye on this one for a while so I decided to bite the bullet and read it and make my book club read it too. Hehehe 

Fernanda is half Pima Indian and Spanish and she can't seem to live up to her mother's expectations or fit into the limited female role she must play. Between her mother's lectures and Nicholas who wants to marry her...she feels like she can't catch her breath. She just wants to ride horses and go on adventures. After tragedy strikes, she will be given a chance to get everything she wants. With her family, they join in on Juan Bautista de Anza’s historic colonization expedition to California. Along the way, she will meet new friends, find love, find herself, and search for her more information on her mother's past and culture. 

This was a quick read and I enjoyed it. There were some slow-paced parts for sure, especially in the beginning. 

For sure a YA but enjoyable and I think this would be a good one for kids in history classes to read. 

I liked Fernanda a lot. She was a sweet girl and I wanted her to have it all!

Boo to Miguel AND Nicholas. Okay...they have their pros and cons, but I didn't like either for Fernanda. Miguel was kind of a jerk which we learn WHY, but still. And Nicholas was too pushy and too rigid. Oh and a racist. Boo to both of them. I wish she had found someone else. Spoiler, not spoiler, she ends up with one of them. Personally, I do not think the romance was needed. I would've liked her just focusing on herself and searching for answers for her mother. 

I would love a sequel. That would be nice to see her years later. Maybe she goes back to the Pima tribe! IDK. Curious to see her live and help build California up. 

Other than that, I enjoyed it. It was slow-paced here and there, but I liked it. I'll give this 3 stars.


Blodeuedd said...

Sounds interesting :) Can't say I have read much set then and there

Carole Rae said...

Sameeee so this was a nice change and interesting.

Sophia Rose said...

I'm intrigued about the historical setting, too. Bummer that both guys were drips.

Carole Rae said...

Same! I think that is why this one won over a different one I was eyeing for my book club selection.