In the journal entry, Rain describes a day from a road trip with her mother. The sense of the scene is one of a great bonding moment, yet Rain describes the day as "pretty near perfect." Read back over the scene. What might've been the one thing that marred Rain's otherwise wonderful memory? Why?
The phrase conflict of interest comes up twice in the book, once when Natalie is warning Rain about covering but not joining Indian Camp and once when Uncle Ed steps down from the vote because a yay would benefit his niece. Have you ever faced a conflict of interest, a situation where you couldn't be fair and impartial? How did you handle it and why?
Uncle Ed is a recovering alcoholic. Rain has tried drinking once with disastrous, or at least embarrassing results. Fynn appears to drink socially. The Flash drinks once in a moment of panic although he carries tequila with him all of the time.
Some people might say that books for young readers should not include any references to less than desirable behavior. I believe that you are people living in the real world and should be respected as such. I'd rather offer you a world like our own, with good and bad behaviors as well as, to the extent the story makes sense, their consequences.
I love people who're battling alcoholism and those who've been damaged by them. The references are woven into the novel, not to preach but because they occur naturally in the story.