Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review - Becoming Calder (A Sign of Love Series) - Mia Sheridan

Wow! Just Wow!
This book was such an intense and beautiful story, it's possibly going to render me speechless. Hmm possibly.

Okay, so I took a bit of crazy risk (again) and decided I wanted to read this, based solely on the fact that Mia Sheridan is like the hottest thing since umm sliced bread(?) at the moment. I have had Archer's Voice on my kindle for ages, but my r&r list is crazy long and I haven't gotten around to it yet. Everyone has been raving about all of her books, and the hype surrounding Becoming Calder was just as crazy.
So I jumped at the opportunity to read and review this and bumped it up my ever growing list. Now, that's not the crazy part, that's all pretty normal. The crazy part is, I didn't even read the synopsis. Just decided to go in blind. I like a little risk, bahaha. I have faith in all the talk spreading around.
Well needless to say, this was a very good risk. Luckily the hype was spot on and this book was amazing. Plus I can totally see why everyone is falling in love with Mia Sheridan and her writing of course.

There is a place in modern day America with no electricity, no plumbing, and no modern conveniences. In this place, there is no room for dreams, no space for self-expression, and no tolerance for ambition.

In this place, there is a boy with the body of a God and the heart of a warrior. He is strong and faithful and serves his family honorably. But he dares to dream of more.

In this place, there is a girl with the face of an angel and a heart full of courage. To her family, she is the vision of obedient perfection. But she dares to want that which she has been told can never be hers.

Becoming Calder is the story of good versus evil, fear versus bravery, and the truth that the light of love has always found its way into even the darkest of places... From the beginning of time, to the end of the world.

Once Becoming Calder started, I actually felt like I was being taken back in time. Or maybe even forward. A mix of both. We are taken to a world far removed from our own. Acadia, a secluded and isolated world within the desert. Far from the bustling city and the temptations of modern society. Acadia is a community who live under a strict lifestyle and rules. They spend their days living in conditions that would suggest the era is over a century ago. No electric, no running water, no luxuries or amenities. Just a love for their 'Gods' and their family.
This community is run by Hector. A man who sees himself as some sort of preacher, someone who has been spoken to by the Gods and passes on their wishes and desires for the community. Hector's big belief is that, there is a 'blessed one' who will join Hector in union and when they have married, they will be granted passage by the gods to enter into a higher place.

"She was his blessed one - the bride who would stand by his side when we, his people, were welcomed by the gods to the Fields of Elysium, the most glorious paradise within the heavens"

Yes, it sounds like some sort of cult. By some definitions, it probably is. If that means the inhabitants would be brainwashed, then yes some of them are. Yet they are actually happy in their little world, spending their days on their assigned jobs. Living out of small shacks, and sharing a bedroom with the whole family.
Not all feel that way though. Calder and Xander, are two teens who question the unspoken rules all the time.
At 18, they are adults and old enough to be curious about the great big world outside of Acadia. Also how all the workers are treated so differently from Hector and his council, who all live up at the main lodge, with electricity, running water and all the normal things people in the outside world take for granted.

Then there is Eden, Hector's 'blessed one', the beautiful and ethereal girl who will take her place next to Hector and lead the community into Elysium. Eden has been at Acadia since she was 9 and caught Calder's eye right from the start. They had some sort of connection from the start and it never lessened throughout the years. When Eden is almost 17 and a year from her marriage to Hector. She and Calder finally strike up a friendship. They both have stumbled across a hidden spring, that nobody other than them, know of. They instantly become entranced by each other, and the friendship that they instantly have, slowly grows in to something far more beautiful.
It's this relationship between Calder and Eden that moved me the most. They have something so innocent yet intense and all consuming. The fact that they don't have outside influences from society today, makes everything they have and experience so much more tender and beautiful.

"If I were just a boy, and you were just a girl, I wouldn't kiss you once like you asked." He paused and my heart dropped. Oh.
"Eden, I'd kiss you long, and I'd kiss you often"

Although everything they do and experience together is quite sweet and tender, it is nothing short of intense. The small kisses quickly catch fire and become something so much more, and they certainly don't hold back. Their addiction to each other quickly turns from an 'awww' moment to a 'oh gods' moment.

Yet, even though it's obvious they are meant to be together, Eden's destiny is apparently to marry Hector. Being the blessed one means, everyone is in awe of Eden and her beauty. She captivates and the whole of Acadia is looking for the day when she marries Hector and leads them all to Elysium. It's a huge role for Eden and she just wants to be a normal girl and be allowed to fall in love with Calder, a beautiful boy. There is no way Hector is going to let her go though, she is his chosen wife and counts down the days until he can marry her. He is not going to allow the heated glances of some lower class'water boy' to even look at his beautiful bride to be.

My heart flipped. I wanted to groan and raise my face to the gods, calling out. "Why? Why did you make him so beautiful to me if I can never have him? Why? Why?

I don't need to go on any further in my summary, I don't wish to spoil anything else in this incredible story. There is not one small part of this book, that didn't leave me desperate for more. The writing was simply beautiful. The world they lived in, I could picture as clearly as if I was watching a film. I was addicted to every bit. Calder and Eden were both obviously beautiful people, inside and out. Not in an irritating fictional way, they were so easy to love.

The ending was always going to jump out and change everything, I knew this as the prologue had been present time and the story was what happened before. So as the ending grew ever closer, I was sat nervously wondering what was going to happen. The speed and pace takes quite a drastic jump and it was nail biting to the extreme! Luckily, for my new addiction to Calder and Eden, and of course Mia Sheridan, Finding Eden continues straight on from the end and is available at the same time as Becoming Calder. Yay!! Although I do have to admit, I had contracted quite a cold by the end of the book, a strange eye watering condition. Hmmmm ;)

5 Stars!!

**I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review**

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