Rating: 5 Stars
"How do you apologize for a lie when the lie itself was almost as cruel as if it had been the truth?"
What I've come to expect about Mia Sheridan's novels is to not set any expectations at all because she blows them out of the water anyway. Every single time. Her deeply moving and unique storylines mixed with unforgettable characters are what sets Mia apart from the rest.
I dove in to Kyland having only read the blurb when it was first posted, and it really wouldn't have mattered if the blurb said "Newest Version of the Phone Book", I would have still devoured it.
Mia did what Mia does best, yet so unlike what she's done before. She is the Queen of writing the ultimate underdog, the unlikely hero. She sheds some pretty bright lights on a devastating, poverty stricken community where the only way out is likened to a miracle.
Kyland Barrett is fighting his way out. Biding his time so he can leave and never look back. No strings, no attachments keeping him tied to the heartbreaking life he's led. Tenleigh Falyn is hoping for a temporary means of escaping her circumstances, one where she can eventually come back and provide for her sister and their mentally ill mother.
Both Kyland and Tenleigh are vying for a college scholarship that will set them on the path that will get them out. The problem is, only one scholarship will be awarded.
These two form a bond only two people cut from the same cloth can understand. They both know the shame in having clothes that don't fit, hunger so big that days without food is not uncommon.
"I looked away, my cheeks heating as if I'd just intruded on a deeply personal moment. And it was. I should know. I'd done it myself. I knew the shame. But I also knew the achy emptiness of a Monday morning after a long, hungry weekend. Evidently, Kyland knew it, too."
That quote gutted me, (mild spoiler)...and it's on page two. I knew Mia was setting the stage for something unforgettable. Something gut wrenching. Something unlike anything I've read before.
Book hangover of the year...and it's only January.