Saturday, March 14, 2015

Review: Kyland by Mia Sheridan

A full-length, standalone romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Archer's Voice.

Dirt poor. Hillbilly. Backwoods hick. Mountain folk.

Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in a small, poverty-stricken, coal mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the college scholarship given to one student by the local coal company and escaping the harshness of her life, keeps her going.

Kyland Barrett lives in the hills, too, and has worked tirelessly--through near starvation, through deep loneliness, against all odds--to win the Tyton Coal Scholarship and leave the town that is full of so much pain.

They're both determined not to form any attachments, but one moment changes everything. What happens when only one person gets to win? When only one person gets to leave? And what happens to the one left behind?

Kyland is a story of desperation and hope, loss and sacrifice, pain and forgiveness, but ultimately, a story of deep and unending love.

THIS IS A STANDALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY TAURUS. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
~My Review~
I have fallen in love with Mia Sheridan.  I've only read two of her books so far, both from the Signs of Love Series, Archer's Voice and Kyland.  I plan to read the other books in her series because they go so deep into these topics that are so different than anything else I've ever read.  Her writing is amazing and the topics to which she explores in her books are outstanding.  Kyland explores the topic of poverty - the brutality of dire starvation and extremely poor people.  And while love is a huge liability to leaving the poverty behind, love might be just the thing to help find hope, and eventually that freedom that they have been searching for.

Tenleigh Falyn has grown up in the hills of Appalachia in a tiny trailer with her sister Marlo and their mama who is mentally ill.  They have next to nothing, scrimp and save for the meager life they try to live with.  Kyland Barrett lives near Tenleigh, fighting starvation and hoping to just make it long enough to graduate and get out of town.  Little do Tenleigh and Kyland know that they are both holding on to hope that they will be the recipient of the Tyton Coal Scholarship, which is awarded to one member of their high school for an all-expenses paid college education at the college of their choosing.  This scholarship is the ticket out of town, out of starvation.  It's the ticket to freedom.

Both Tenleigh and Kyland are amazing.  They both have such amazing qualities, not least of all love. They love each other fiercely, will do anything for each other and those that mean the most to them.   They are determined not to fall in love.  But sometimes love just can't be prevented.  As Tenleigh and Kyland learn about each other and learn about love, everything falls apart.  I can't tell you how often I cried.  I cried for Tenleigh and Kyland.  For their love.  For their situations.  For the fact that so many things were constantly working against them.  And for their sacrifices.  As I saw their hopes and dreams fall by the wayside, I almost wanted to put the book aside and stop reading.  I was so afraid that things would be so bad that I would regret reading the end.  But I knew.  I knew that Tenleigh and Kyland would persevere.  I knew I had to keep reading.

"Someday, when I'm living my dreams, I'm going to think of all the things that broke my heart and I'm going to be thankful for them."

This book called out to me on so many levels.  I don't know what it's like to be as poor as Tenleigh and Kyland were.  I've never wanted for food, or medicine, or care.  The sacrifices that were made amazed me.  There were so many times that I was wiping my eyes as I tried to read.  So many times I wanted to put my Kindle aside and not read anymore.  But at the end of the day, I had to find out what happened to these amazing characters.  Such amazing characters that built such an amazing story.

The heat between Tenleigh and Kyland was scorching.  While they were young, they loved each other so fiercely and the passion they shared for each other literally jumped off the pages of the book.

While reading, I was so often wishing that this could be a happier story.  So much of it just seemed so sad for me.  But when I finally got to the end of the book, I realized that everything was building up to something that truly could not compare with anything else.  It is a story about hope, sacrifice, and forgiveness and it's something that will stick with me for a long long time.

"Half agony, half hope. Half pain, half ecstasy. Half grief, half joy. Half my downfall, half my savior."

While I did ultimately love this book, so much of it was so sad, that I often had a hard time pressing to keep going.  The story flowed well.  There was conflict - so much conflict.  And appropriate resolution.  But it was just so sad.  While I never have done this in the past, and have often scoffed at the idea of this, I'm actually going to say that I would give this story four and a half stars.  Why am I not giving it a full five stars?  I think because while I loved the story by the time I got to the end, there were just too many times that I was so sad that I wanted to just put it aside.  Otherwise, everything else that I look for in a story - the characters and their development, the story, the conflict and resolution - they were all Five Stars!

Link to Goodreads 
Link to Kindle
Link to Nook

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