By Mia Sheridan

BR Kyland


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. 


When it came to you, I noticed everything.  I fell halfway in love with you before we ever spoke a word.

What an amazing and heartfelt story about love and sacrifice.  Kyland and Tenleigh have grown up dirt poor, both knowing too well the feelings of deep hunger, ill-fitting clothes, and the desperation to leave their town behind for a better life.  They are very mature for their age, and that’s not surprising given all they’ve endured.  When they should be competing against each other for the scholarship, they instead support each other in a way that is truly admirable.  Both of them have so little to give, but willingly give up what little they do have to help others in need.  These are two kids who will sacrifice their own dreams for those they love.  Both characters are very likeable, as individuals and as a couple, but Kyland definitely steals the show.

You know a book is really good when you have to put it down just to take a moment to think about what you’ve just read.  This happened to me several times while reading KYLAND.  I enjoyed the buildup to the conflict, especially when I thought the story was going to go down one path, only for it to take me down a path I didn’t see anywhere on the map.  While the story is very deep and meaningful throughout, it did have a few moments of ease where Kyland and Tenleigh could simply enjoy themselves, and my favourite scenes were the ones where they debated books.

“Are they fighting or having a book club?”
“I’m unclear.  Looks like foreplay to me.”

KYLAND takes place over a ten year period, with 65% of the story taking place when Kyland and Tenleigh were just seventeen years old.  Then it flashes forward four years later, with the epilogue taking place six more years after that.  For the most part, I would consider this a YA novel, but it could also be considered a NA novel.  I’m not usually a fan of YA because I generally find them to be filled to the brim with tedious teenaged drama.  But I really enjoyed KYLAND because, despite being only seventeen for most of the story, the problems Kyland and Tenleigh faced and dealt with everyday were serious and life changing.  Their problems are not ones that anyone⎯⎯child, teen or adult⎯⎯should ever have to face, but sadly do.  KYLAND is told in dual POVs and can be read as a stand-alone.


My Rating:  5 Hearts

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