Fierce as the Wind

Random/Wendy Lamb. Jun. 2021. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524766917.
Gr 8 Up–Miho is having an eventful year. On the brink of high school graduation, the Hawaiian teen is navigating friendships, identity, and future plans as well as delivering pizza to help her dad stay financially afloat. As the novel opens, she has just been dumped by her boyfriend. She also learned that while they were dating, he was committed to another relationship, and Miho was the “other.” Now his girlfriend is pregnant, and they are planning a wedding. While peering at her ex’s fiancée’s social media, Miho learns that she was training for an Ironman triathlon. Miho decides that the best way to process her grief and anger is to complete her own triathlon. Though she lacks the resources to compete officially, her friends rally around to offer the logistical and emotional support needed for a “Miho-man.” Miho and her friends navigate privilege, identity, and institutional inequality. These are complex topics, but the main focus is the characters’ goal of loving and supporting a friend.
VERDICT This book will appeal to readers who enjoy realistic YA fiction that touches on social issues. It may also encourage athletic kids to think about the deeper advantages of pushing themselves physically and what is lost when some people are excluded from sports.

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