Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Review ~ Kyland (A Sign of Love Novel) by Mia Sheridan

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 Stars write

**ARC received for honest review ***

“Because I loved you so desperately. I still do. Because I couldn’t leave you here.”

Mia Sheridan is one of my favourite authors, she is an auto-buy for me and I don’t even need to read a synopsis. I know that when I open a Mia Sheridan book it is going to be beautiful, it will be emotional, it will leave a mark on me and I will be thinking about it for a long time and Kyland is no exception.

This is a book about poverty, hope, friendship, sacrifice, courage, love and forgiveness. It is hard to believe that even in the world we currently live in that there are still people in this world that live in an extreme state of poverty, even in America with all its high rises and world leading companies there are still little rural villages that suffer immensely.

Kyland and Tenleigh live in one of these little villages, they live on a mountain in trailers, living hand to mouth, day to day. Some days they cannot eat, they may not have warmth or electricity but at the end of the day, they make the most of what they do have even though it is not much. One thing that I loved was the sense of community, they may not have much but what they did, they shared. Everyone was there for each other and it just goes to show that “rich” does not necessarily mean money, but you can be “rich” with your love and your actions.

“They were good people – good people who barely had a pot to piss in. And yet they were offering up anything they had to give.”

Both Tenleigh and Kyland are anxious to get out of their village and for people like them there is only one option and that is to win the annual educational scholarship that is given to the leading student. Both Kyland and Tenleigh have been aiming to win this scholarship, each for their own unique reason, but for both of them, it is all they have thought about and strived for their whole way through college.

I absolutely adored Kyland; he was perfect in every way, totally selfless, would do anything for anyone and tried to do the best by everyone, even if it meant him making some extremely difficult sacrifices. Kyland had admired Tenleigh from afar for a long time, but knowing that as soon as he won that scholarship he was getting out of town he didn’t want to fall in love, didn’t want a relationship where he would ultimately leave someone behind and the last thing he wanted to do was upset Tenleigh, so the odd meaningless random hook-up would have to do for now.

“He winked and my hormones went a little wonky.”

Tenleigh’s home life was difficult at best, her mother having mental health issues was basically a child and Tenleigh and her sister were basically her carers. They both worked hard to keep what little food they did have on the table, their trailer warm and to keep their mother in the medication that she desperately needed. Tenleigh was another beautiful character, inside and out. Totally selfless, trying to do her best and making the most out of the crap hand that she had been dealt.  The scholarship was her meal ticket out of Appalachia and would also give her the means to get her family out of there too.

“All my life I was just a nothing, a nobody. My life was small and worthless. And it hurt so badly.”

Their paths cross many times, living on the same mountain, with very little else to do and no other places to go. A friendship develops with ease between these two and you know that for both of them their feelings run a lot deeper. Both have their inner turmoil, have their conscience and their own inner demons to battle but sometimes when you meet “the one,” fate has other ideas. The trouble is will either of them be strong enough to forego their desires, ultimately resulting in the destruction of their life goals or has fate dealt them an entirely different set of cards?

“A beautiful girl with a spirit so bright I wanted to squint when I looked at her was not going to derail me now.”

As with all Mia Sheridan reads, this one hits hard. Her imperfect characters are always perfect in their own way, her subjects may not be the generic run of the mill but that is what makes her books all the more enjoyable, you know that you are going to get something totally different. One thing you will always know though is that it will be beautiful, thought provoking, romantic and well written. While this may not be my favourite Mia Sheridan read her characters have still managed to embed themselves into my heart and my thoughts. Since finishing I find myself reflecting back and thinking about them, their hardships, their battles, and their day to day life that would destroy anyone, yet for these two they flourished.  My only niggle with regards to this book was for me the ending felt a bit rushed and I would have liked to have seen more, maybe that is me being greedy but I just felt that their story was really just beginning.

“My Kentucky girl.”

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