“Kyland is a story of desperation and hope, loss and sacrifice, pain and forgiveness, but ultimately, a story of deep and unending love.”
Mia Sheridan is definitely in my Top 5 Favorite New Adult authors list. I love her stories to death. She has a way of literally tearing your heart apart, but then piecing it back together so it’s even better than it was before. I’ve read 3 books by her so far, and in my eyes she can do no wrong. Her prose is beautiful, her writing is detailed, her characters are real; she has a way of breathing life into the story so much so that you literally become part of the world you’re reading about. You feel the character’s pain and love, and it’s beautiful.
“All my life I was a nothing, a nobody. My life was small and worthless. And it hurt so badly.”
Kyland is her latest full-length release. It tells the story of two high schoolers in an impoverished mining town deep in the backwoods of Kentucky. It’s beautiful land that is filled with defeated people. The juxtaposition of the setting and characters alone is one of the most striking elements of the novel. Tenleigh Falyn lives with her sister and mentally ill mother in their small run-down trailer. She works to put food on the table, while at the same time devoting herself to her schoolwork in hopes of winning the Tyton Coal Scholarship so she can get the hell out of dodge and create a new life for herself. Kyland Barrett is fighting for that same scholarship in hopes of avoiding life as a coal miner. His father and brothers lost their lives in a coal mining accident that rocked the town, and lives in a dilapidated house he can’t wait to escape. Due to their desperation to escape this hopeless town, they’re determined not to form any attachments that would make leaving difficult. They have one goal: make it out unscathed and unattached. This is a pair who is desperately hopeful. They have not resigned their miserable lives; they are determined to make something more of their lives, which is what makes them so admirable.
“She’s loyal. She’s a fighter. She smells like wildflowers and mixes mountain talk with SAT words. And she’s so unbelievably beautiful.”
I loved Tenleigh’s character. She’s one of the strongest I’ve ever come across in new adult novels, which makes sense considering her living conditions. She is fiercely independent, but can’t help but be drawn to the mysterious Kyland Barrett. She has been robbed of a childhood, but she is determined not be robbed of the rest of her life. She never expected to fall so deeply in love with Kyland though.
“Kyland, you stupid, prideful, beautiful, selfless man.”
I loved Kyland’s character just as much Tenleigh’s, which is part of what made this story so appealing to me. Kyland fights his feelings for Tenleigh desperately. He doesn’t want her holding him back from escaping the town, but at the same time he believes she deserves so much more than him. He is the embodiment of sacrificial love. Despite the harsh conditions he grew up in, he is not bitter, nor is he jaded. He is angry, and rightfully so, but he does not let it consume him.
“I do go to hell. Every day. For you.”
The chemistry between these two is undeniable from the very beginning. The sacrifices they make for each other are incredible. The intense devotion they possess is beautiful. The support system they create for each other is priceless, in a town where most people are left to fend for themselves. They are meant to be together, and even though life separates them for a time, they are inevitably brought back together. This is a wonderful romance story, among other things.
“What keeps your fire burning?” “The hope that life won’t always hurt so badly. The belief that I’ll get out of here someday—that I won’t be cold or hungry forever. It keeps me going.”
Kyland is definitely my favorite book by Mia Sheridan (despite having some seriously tough competition). This is mainly because it is so much more than a romance. It’s a story of resilience, hope, sacrifice, forgiveness, redemption, and new beginnings. Every single story she writes leaves a footprint on my heart, and a piece stays with me. She writes characters that are deeply devoted to each other in the best of ways. Her writing stirs up a blend of emotions I didn’t think was possible in books. They deeply affect each and every reader. If you are feeling hopeless, read this story. If you believe life will never turn itself around, let Tenleigh and Kyland prove you wrong. If you believe sacrificial love is not real, let Kyland be an example that it is, and nothing is more powerful than it. I recommend this story to anyone and everyone (18 and older of course, there are some mature themes). I’d give this story 10/5 stars.
**This is a New Adult story, and is not suitable for readers under the age of 18**