Blurb:When Josie Jensen, an awkward 13-year-old musical prodigy crashes headlong into new-comer Samuel Yazzie, an 18-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a future and a life, leaving his young friend behind. Many years go by and Samuel returns, finding Josie in need of the very things she offered him years before. Their roles reversed, Samuel teaches Josie about life, love, and letting go. Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings.
Running Barefoot is an amalgamation of all my favorite romantic themes in books. Slow burn romance with a clear promise on the endgame? Check. Second chance at a relationship when the characters are more equipped to deal with it? Check. Hard working, sensible, loyal main characters? Check. Uncontrollable crying while reading? Check. Meaningful classic romance book references? Check. I mean their conversation started with that love letter from Persuasion that is the be all and end all of literary love letters for me.
A book I couldn’t put away? Check.
I went into Running Barefoot with zero expectations, without reading the summary. I can’t say what made me pick this one up. But I am so glad I did. It was an experience in technical brilliance and emotional character building…continue reading review