Kiera’s life is pretty simple—garden, hang out with her best friend, babysit little Jade, and finish up homeschool highschool. But a global war and mandatory draft turn her eighteenth birthday into a nightmare.
Brennan, Jade’s adoptive dad, offers his last name and exemption status, leaving Kiera to question everything she’s ever thought about love. Even worse, she might actually be starting to have feelings for him.
Life settles into a routine before shattering again, and Kiera is left with only one question… If God truly loves her, why is this happening?
What an interesting premise! Dystopian books are always intriguing (sometimes in the most terrifying of ways), but this was a different take on the genre.
CHARACTERS: Kiera seemed like a pretty normal eighteen-year-old, and I could understand her fear and apprehension about the future, especially with the draft. Like wow, what a way to ruin a birthday! Her love for Jade was really sweet, though I will say that it’s a big jump from babysitter to mom in the blink of an eye. I would’ve liked to see a bit more of that transition on both Kiera’s and Jade’s part. As for Brennan … I never really got a good read on him. He seemed like a nice guy, but there were a few times when he just didn’t make a ton of sense. I think it didn’t help that he didn’t have his own POV, and again the transition from the father of the kid Kiera babysitters to Kiera’s husband needed to be fleshed out a bit more. (More on this later.) And the rest of the characters … Thorne was cool, and Destiny was a fun friend. I always really enjoyed Kiera’s parents and how much they prayed for Kiera. Definitely a very nice thing there, and a wonderful example for family.
SETTING/WRITING STYLE/PLOT: For a dystopian book, this setting didn’t seem especially dystopian. I guess I’m just used to the really terrifying dystopians? I wish there had been more details on the draft, because it was never really clear why Kiera had to marry Brennan to avoid the draft, and that presented a few plot inconsistencies. I guess I’d just like more details on the dystopian world. The writing style was nice – very few, if any, typos, and it was super easy to read. This is definitely a book that flows well! And for the plot … it wasn’t suspenseful, really, more of Kiera’s day-to-day life for the most part. The final part about Thorne kind of came out of nowhere, though, and I felt like it wasn’t completely necessary. But overall, this book kept my attention and made me continue flipping the pages (kindle pages, that is)!
ROMANCE Okay, this is where I was a little confused. Let me say this first: I love clean books, and I love it when authors seek to write books without inappropriate detail. And marriage of convenience books can be entirely too detailed, in my opinion. (Why marriage of convenience tends to be a little scary for me.) But this book … it’s like it was almost too clean. I know, I sound ridiculous, don’t I? But Kiera and Brennan kinda treated each like strangers, and they were married. Like, vowed to each other for a lifetime, and they never really talked about it. It was a big deal for them to sit on the opposite sides of the couch and talk about a book series – and this was weeks into their marriage? I just found it a little frustrating because they were hardly even friends. I’m so thankful there were no inappropriate details – and no way do those need to be in here – but I would’ve loved to see at least a tiny bit of attraction to each other. Attraction to your spouse is not inappropriate. The whole deal just struck me as a little strange. Maybe it also had something to do with the age gap, too? But yeah, the romance was not for me.
MORAL/THEME: A big part of this book was a definition of love pulled from a C. S. Lewis quote, basically saying that love is wishing someone the best. (Not a direct quote.) That definitely seems like a part of love, but not in its entirety. Just wishing someone the best is not a full expression of love – especially not the type of love a husband is to have for his wife, etc. Love isn’t just wishing someone the best – it’s acting and laying down your life for them (like Jesus did). So while the quote talked about a facet of love, it definitely left a lot out. The other part of the moral was God’s care for Kiera – and the part about the sparrows and how that all came together was sweet. Definitely a good reminder that the Lord cares for His children! Also, I really enjoyed how much the characters prayed for each other.
Overall, this book was well-written, but the plot just wasn’t my favorite. However, if you enjoy clean, contemporary romance-style books, this one might be for you!
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About the Author
Kate (Willis) Hoppman is a follower of Jesus and lover of words. She enjoys quiet afternoons reading or watching movies with her nerdy husband, baking tall cakes, and hanging out with her family.
In her author time, she writes contemporary and fantasy, and sneaks in Doctor Who references and deep themes whenever possible.
Check out her other books Sincerely, Jem, The Treasure Hunt, and The Twin Arrows series.