It's 1870s Arizona. Kate Thompson finds her father hanging from a tree in front of her burning house. From that moment onward Kate has one thought on her mind: revenge. If this sounds a bit like True Grit to you you're probably right except Kate is all too happy to do the dirty work herself.
Just because it's a YA book do not assume this subject matter is dealt with gently. As I said, Kate has no qualms about what she has to do and how she has to go about it to get the men who murdered her father. She does meet allies along the way but everyone is using each other for their own purposes even when they really aren't. There is a bit of a love story that does show up but I really like how it's handled.
I also really, really loved Kate as a character. The whole book is written in dialect (which worked very well here) and it really helps you get into the spirit of the book and into her head even without the first person perspective.
Another great point: a lot of characters learn a lot of lessons and it doesn't come off trite or moralizing at all. People start to change and make different choices before the book announces it, which is big bonus points for me.
All in all, loved this one.