March 19, 2015

Title: Kyland

Author:  Mia Sheridan

Published:  January 2015

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.

Ana will put Kyland on her Top Shelf!!!

Such a painful, beautiful story!!  This book made me face some uncomfortable realities.  But, along with that, it also had me feeling hope and joy and love.  Once again, Ms. Sheridan tells us a story that explores both how difficult and how amazing life can be…sometimes simultaneously.  Her writing is perfect.  Her characters have such a clear voice that I am able to fully understand their struggles, their sorrows and their joy.  I fell in love with her books when I read Archer’s Voice and have been one-clicking ever since.  She has a knack of bringing together sadness and beauty in a way I would not have though possible.  If you haven’t read her books, trust me, start now!

This story is about Kyland and Tenleigh.  They know what it’s like to be hungry and unloved.  They know what it’s like to be uncared for.  They understand loneliness and despair.  Their stories, so vastly different from my own, brought tears to my eyes and a heaviness to my heart.  But, at the same time, their resilience and will to survive brought me hope.  Here are two characters who’s lives are filled with hardship but who, ultimately, care more for others than themselves.  Their goals do not align and they must discover what is really important.  Both are dealing with difficult situations at home and both are survivors.  As this story unfolded, I was dragged through a myriad of emotions.  My heart ached, my heart rejoiced, and my heart beat faster with each passing page.  I rooted for these two form the very beginning, wanting only what was best for them…but hoping upon hope that they found love.

There is a wonderful message in this book and although I can’t and won’t tell you about the twists or ultimate conclusion of this story I will say this…it affected me profoundly.  I’m not sure there’s anyone out there who could read this book and not be touched by it in some way.  Prepare your tissues and forewarn your heart, you’re in for quite a ride here.  But it’s worth it…it’s so worth it!!

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