Lydia Howe's Reviews > Kiera

Kiera by Kate Willis
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2018, 2018-fiction, 2018-four-star

Why I Choose This Book:

Kate Willis has long been one of my favorite bloggers. Her blogging style is so easy to fall into and she writes with the perfect combination of heart and details. Her books are the same way, and I was happy to get to review her short book "Twin Arrows" a year or so ago and was excited at the chance to read and review "Kiera", too.

What I Thought of This Book:

Can we just start out by saying I was blown away? I'd heard various things over the last year or two about this book from the author, and so I guess I had formed certain expectations in my mind. But then I started the book and everything I had thought I knew kinda tumbled away and I was like "Wait, what's going on here?"

I started the book on a hot afternoon while I was taking a little break from cutting grass so the sun could wan a bit. But as the sun went down and the day started cooling off, I didn't want to stop reading. The story felt so real and the characters - especially Kiera, the main one - so relatable.

It's still kinda confusing to me how it happened, but Kate took some plot points that I think are way overdone (and not done well) and turned it into a great story. When I realized what one of the main plot points were I was like "Wait, what? How is Kate going to keep me liking this story?" But then she did. And not only that, but she kept me reading (with a break to cut grass) until I finally finished the story at 1:00 a.m.

The story is set about twenty years in the future and I was intrigued to see how Kate imagined the world would be in two short decades. In some ways the book felt "old-fashioned" to me - the main character grew a small garden and sewed her own clothes, they went directly to farms to get food sometimes, etc... And yet in other ways, it felt like it was set very much in the future. The combo worked well and showed clearly that it wasn't set in 2018.

Characters. Goodness, Kate has a way of making characters come right off the page and dance their way into your life. The way Kiera interacted with the girls in her life felt so real - it truly made me look like I was seeing real day-to-day friendships taking place and reminded me of me with my friends.

Jade is a two-year-old and one of the main characters and showed clearly that Kate spends a lot of time with children. She was written in a spot-on way and made me think of the little kids in my life. She was adorable and exasperating at the same time.

Kiera and her parents. It was delightful to me seeing how she interacted with her parents. I love it when families are close in books, and this book did a good job of showing how special and important they were to each other. So props to Kate for that.

Romance. What can I say? If I was telling you the plot to the story it would sound like it had to be a romance, and yet I wouldn't call it that at all. Sure, the book had romance in it, but it was written in a way that felt like it could be very true to life. Plus, it was sweet, and what I would consider to be God-honoring. (More about that below in a spoiler.)

On the downside, there were a few things that I disliked. The main one being that I was quite confused for a long time with trying to figure out who all was in Kiera's family. I'm still not entirely sure I got it down, but I think it's Kiera and her three older brothers. Another thing I found confusing was the draft. The whole war and draft played such a big part in making the plot happen, and yet it really wasn't a part of the book. Even though we were given slight explanations as to why certain people weren't drafted, it still felt like we were slightly cheated as the readers to have it be such a big deal, and then have so many exemptions.

(view spoiler)

This book might not be suitable for young kids because of:
*Brief mentions of abortion, embryo storage and adoption
*"Off-screen" death
*Brief mentions of a hard childhood including physical abuse
*Light romance
But overall it was really clean and a book that I enjoyed and recommend to teen girls looking for a sweet, clean read.

Four Stars
*FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
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Reading Progress

June 17, 2018 – Started Reading
June 18, 2018 – Shelved
June 18, 2018 – Finished Reading
June 19, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-fiction
June 19, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
June 19, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-four-star

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