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Numberin the currently out of print Sunfire series bybooks Set in , Megan moves with her family from Washington DC to Alaska Man, I loved these books when I was a teenager I reread with a bit of trepidation, and was pleasantly surprised Somewhat simplistic, yes, but still clean and optimistic I m going to have fun rereadingof these. She sure is beautiful Her specialness sure is obvious to all who breathe She inspires sinners to reform, befriends the outcasts, and is also a snappy dresser She s a Schurfranz heroine And I ve encountered entirely too many of them this week Does it seem like I m giving away the entire plot in my reviews It s all on the back cover Trust me, I m not ruining anything Anyone who s read the Sunfire series knows that Vivian Schurfranz is the weak link And she wroteSunfires than any othe She sure is beautiful Her specialness sure is obvious to all who breathe She inspires sinners to reform, befriends the outcasts, and is also a snappy dresser She s a Schurfranz heroine And I ve encountered entirely too many of them this week Does it seem like I m giving away the entire plot in my reviews It s all on the back cover Trust me, I m not ruining anything Anyone who s read the Sunfire series knows that Vivian Schurfranz is the weak link And she wroteSunfires than any other author But this is a series aimed at preteens Why be so hard on it Because I don t believe in feeding kids utter dreck, that s why Such as this Megan O Brien, 16, irritatingly perfect, moves with her family from Washington, DC to Alaska in 1865 Her father is some kind of special government emissary in charge of making laws that piss off fur trappers This is a major linchpin of the plot, yet Daddy s job and the laws themselves are never explained We re just supposed to assume everyone s mad, but that Patrick O Brien s laws are just, because he is a Good and Honest Man Moving on Schurfranz somewhat credibly depicts the racial tensions between Americans, Russians, and Alaskan Natives in Sitka The Alaskan Natives are described as belonging to the Tlingit tribe, which is why I found it curious that at some point, Megan thinks of an old Eskimo song she s learned from them Eskimo is not a one size fits all term for Alaskan Natives, and I was surprised to see this slip up The romantic plot has some slightly original elements, which is probably why this book got two stars Adam Logan, whose father owns the largest store in town, takes an interest in Megan, and proceeds to be overwhelming and pushy about it And since it s so immediately apparent to the schoolteacher that Megan is an intellectual wonder, she gets assigned to tutor fisherman Ivan Zolotov in English Ivan s dialogue wavers inconsistently between broken English and perfectly formed sentences Ivan and Adam s families are openly feuding over a poorly explained money issue, and as a result, Ivan and his father are instantly accused when Adam s father is attacked one night.It s up to super Megan to prove their innocence Wait, what can a kid who wasn t even there do to prove that Why, she can get kidnapped by the fur trappers who did it Who only kidnapped her to force Megan s father to change his rules, but then she just happened to hear them casually discussing the attack in full detail Bonus And then not only does she convince Adam s father that the Zolotovs aren t guilty, but the extreme power of her truth telling reforms him completely He is no longer a bad man Megan ends up with the nicer guy, as per usual And there are nice cultural and historical details chunkily inserted into the text Schurfranz unfortunately tends to put expository dialogue into her characters mouths, and the speaker is without fail addressing someone who would already know the fact in question But Megan is just too overly special and wonderful and inspiring and great, and the kidnapping borders on a plot hole It s at least highly unlikely The trappers go to all the trouble of carefully kidnapping Megan s dog Which they carry off and tie up to their cabin And then they sit at home and wait for her to accidentally stumble upon their remote cabin, which she has never seen or heard of before Um, dudes why not just snatch Megan from somewhere Clonk her over the head with something No one would mind Megan comes off like a vapid little idiot during the romantic plot She stomps away from the fistfight that they guys have gotten into over her, furious that they re now ignoring her in favor of rolling around in mud with another guy, and within days she s cheerfully flouncing off on a date with Adam, no apology or explanation required Stick to your ire, girl They were fighting over you, for Pete s sake And naturally, Megan makes friends with all of the Natives, and they love and trust her like no other, and so she becomes a Bridge to Cultural Understanding And she aspires to become a dogsled racer Thank god we didn t have to see her actually do this, because she no doubt would have beat all of the boys in her first race ever With half the number of dogs And a dead moose strapped to her sled and I m done.Verdict I will say that the cover art is very pretty on this one But that s really the only reason to collect it, unless you are a completist Remember those book flyers you d get in elementary school The ones you d take home and give to your parents with half the books circled and beg them to buy them for you Well, apparently my mom thought that Stephen King and Dean Koontz weren t appropriate reading material for a young girl, because she bought me some YA romance books out of some of those flyers When I saw a couple of those books from my childhood on the shelf at the local used book store, nostalgia got the better of me and I pi Remember those book flyers you d get in elementary school The ones you d take home and give to your parents with half the books circled and beg them to buy them for you Well, apparently my mom thought that Stephen King and Dean Koontz weren t appropriate reading material for a young girl, because she bought me some YA romance books out of some of those flyers When I saw a couple of those books from my childhood on the shelf at the local used book store, nostalgia got the better of me and I picked a couple of them up.They were even cheesier than I remembered But the trip down memory lane was kind of fun The character of Megan and the scrapes she gets into with the nasty Russian trappers gave this book a fun Perils of Pauline feel to it, when it wasn t being bogged down by Schurfranz s annoying tendency to have her heroes be either grunting cavemen or sunny Pollyannas The fisher Ivan seems to be a mix of the two, which is some variety from her usual fare, but still not that endearing Also, this book was a bit slight on the history atmosphere, which is Schurfranz strength So overall a b The character of Megan and the scrapes she gets into with the nasty Russian trappers gave this book a fun Perils of Pauline feel to it, when it wasn t being bogged down by Schurfranz s annoying tendency to have her heroes be either grunting cavemen or sunny Pollyannas The fisher Ivan seems to be a mix of the two, which is some variety from her usual fare, but still not that endearing Also, this book was a bit slight on the history atmosphere, which is Schurfranz strength So overall a bit below the average Still a fast read, though