Sneaking out at night, driving without a license, and falling for a guy weren’t things fifteen-year-old Jeni expected to do while visiting Lake Itasca, Minnesota with her family. The guy, Ice, turns out to be the local medicine man’s apprentice, and when he tells Jeni she’s connected to the spirit world, her first instinct is to run. But after Ice’s stories of a mythical underwater monster—that Jeni allegedly released—prove true, she realizes it’s up to her to contain the beast. Jeni must first convince herself that she’s able, and then save the locals, Ice, and ultimately herself. (From

Sissy: So Jeni has come to Lake Itasca with her extended family to scatter the remains of her grandfather on the lake. This leads one to ponder on the backstory that is only alluded to in the book. We know that the grandfather was a great traveler and had some sort of connection to the lake and there is something hinky in the genealogy, perhaps suggesting that Jeni has Native American roots. As the story progresses, what you find out about Jeni makes it seem obvious that she must have Native American blood. All this rambling by me leads to the point that I found this YA storyline to be different and refreshing and happily much less angsty than all the paranormal YA stuff I’ve been reading lately.

Bubby: Yes, it does seem like we tend to get in a rut, eh Sissy? I think YA paranormal romance is like candy; really fun and delicious in small doses, but too much makes my tummy hurt. While Thunderstone is still technically in that genre, there are no fairies or witches or vampires. Just Native American legends come to life.

Sissy: I didn’t think I would like Thunderstone. Bubby didn’t think she’d like it either but we were both wrong.

Bubby: I am never wrong. I was simply too hasty in my judgemental process. Not wrong.

Sissy: You were too wrong, you nerf-herder! Get over it! As I said before, it was a really interesting and engaging story. The only problem I had with it is that Jeni is only 15 and to have a “great love” and such fortitude under duress is way more mature than most 15 year-olds actually are. When I was 15, I was a complete social bumbling idiot who would have run home and cowered under her mother’s bed at the sight of a water monster or any sort of supernatural entity.  My “great love” was a crush on the neighbor boy, and if he even looked in my direction I would run away and write about it in my journal.  Something like “Oh Happiness–“D” looked at me!  It must be true love!  I can’t wait until we get married!”  P.S. “D” now looks like a hairy neanderthal and I’m so glad I didn’t marry him.

Bubby: I totally agree. I like to pretend that the years between 11 and 19 just didn’t exist. No way could I have dealt with any sort of mythical beastie and survived! Heck, I don’t think I would survive a mythical beastie now! At any rate, the storyline of Thunderstone moves along at a swift and satisfying pace. I was never bored or felt like things were dragging.

Sissy: Ice, on the other hand, has a bit mroe reason to be mature for his age. He has experienced many tragical things in his life and has been given much responsibility. Plus he’s a total teenage dreamboat hunk of burning love olive skinned chisel-cheeked Native American boy. Who can resist that?

Bubby: I am more partial to the Viking-warrior type myself, but I can certainly see the allure. I must say though that my favorite character was cousin Tyler. He and Jeni have a relationship more like siblings than cousins. I felt the need to smack him in the head repeatedly at the beginning of the story but he really turns into something quite wonderful by the end. Reminds me of my brothers, one in particular. Totally annoying and obnoxious during childhood but a pretty awesome human being as an adult.

Sissy: Thunderstone is full of action and adventure, and although there is a love story, you only get it in small bits. The Native American folklore is fascinating and Thunderstone makes me want to learn more about it. 3.5 bubbles.

Bubby: Barbara Pietron really has written something special here. Romance, danger, family – it’s all there. 3.5 bubbles from me too.

We received a copy of Thunderstone from NetGalley in return for a fair review.

Click HERE to buy Thunderstone by Barbara Pietron at

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