Blog Tour: Something of a Kind by Miranda Wheeler

Today I’m hosting debut novelist, Miranda Wheeler and Something of a Kind. Not only do I have a review, but also a great guest post that gives more insight into her novel! AND what blog tour stop would be complete without a giveaway, right? So, of course, somewhere in this post, you'll find the details to a great GIVEAWAY!

Firstly, let’s check out the cover and blurb.

As a 17-year-old artist, Alyson Glass had her future mapped – she’d go to art school, study in Paris, and eventually make enough bank to support her single mother. The trouble is, things don’t always go as planned – especially a sneak attack of stage-four ovarian cancer.

Suddenly motherless and court-ordered to move in with her estranged father, Aly’s forced to leave behind her New York hometown for the oddities of Alaska. Ashland seems like cruel and unusual punishment – at least until her dad ditches her at a local restaurant and she crashes into a super-hot, guitar-playing diner-boy with a horrific home life.

Noah Locklear is used to waiting – waiting for his shift to end, waiting until his drunkard parents go to bed, and waiting for the day he can get his sister away from their dysfunctional family. The summer before senior year, the elusive researchers that ruthlessly pry into Ashland’s history shatter a final cord with Noah’s abusive father, one of the town’s elders. Unfortunately, as far as his parents are concerned, the new girl who’s changing everything belongs to the outsiders. With their relationship increasingly forbidden, the struggle of knowing who to trust reveals that nothing is what it seems.

As Aly encourages Noah to investigate the legends he’d always written off as stories, they uncover the one thing their fathers can agree on: there’s something in the woods.—Supplied by Author

I received this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the Something of a Kind Blog Tour. And I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.

I’m very familiar with teen romance and coming of age stories. I worried that this novel would be so much like others but is a breath of fresh air with a storyline that grabs attention. However, I was not taken with the cover as much as I would have liked.

Right off we see Alyson, having to deal with the tremendous loss that comes with the death of a parent. I think Ms. Wheeler writes the emotion in such a way that one needs to grab a Kleenex, and hold onto it for the duration of the novel. Not only does she throw her character across the country to live with a stranger of a father, but we see even more. My heart tugged for Noah and his sister. His character was written with so much depth (and swoon) that he isn’t your typical novel heartthrob. 

Both characters are conflicted, dealing with real life problems, that are very relatable to teens and adults alike. The novel has several plot points woven together to give a very heartfelt, entertaining read. Each character grew over the course of the novel, which is importan. They’ve learned to use their sadness and pain as way to channel strength and endurance when needed. By the end, I was a fan of both characters, the novel and the author.

I don’t like spoilers, so, I’ll leave the twist that will grab your attention even more, out of this review. That’s for the reader to discover and not for me to tell you.

Something of a Kind can easily appeal to any YA lover. There is truly a bit of everything in this novel! However, I will say that, at times, the Author’s age and inexperience came through. A few areas could still use a little work.
I do hope to see more from this author and truly believe that with a little more skill honing, she’ll be a force in the YA novel world!

What I Want Readers to Take Away From Something of a Kind
A Guest Post by Miranda Wheeler
Though my concepts are as elusive as the creatures that crawl around in the mythology behind Something of a Kind’s premise, some pretty vicious labors of love went into crafting what lay beyond words said. Between head-cocking themes and explicitly woven controversies, there’s quite a few things I intended readers to receive from the novel.
The story is so much more than the bursts of happiness, the capture of a rarely seen culture, intense passions, or the little whimsicalities that came into fruition from the legends within. The entities, characters, people – whatever they may be to the reader and I – deal with constant hurdles and abrasions. I asked my protagonists to bear the weight of realistic, gritty issues. The heroine swallows terminally ill and chronically absent parents and her love interest was force-fed poverty and domestic abuse at the hands of alcoholics, and between the two, trials including abandonment, grief, loss, divorce, neglect, manipulations lapsed in the void between, healing as they closed in on one another. Most of these things I’ve been a personal witness or curious student from a distance rather than a victim, but the darkest things I’ve faced in my own life definitely went into their creation. In a way, I absolutely hope that a sense of awareness for those lucky enough to avoid these experiences, and for those buried in these situations, if a sense of comfort was brought in overcoming through small victories, I’d be moved. I fought to avoid glorifying pain, or falling to the other end of the scale with overdramatizing. Much of my attention went into that effort, instead focusing on the power of conquering roadblocks and allowing those that dealt with them to grow on a separate, individual arc. 
Beyond the darkness, the piece is filled to the brim with culture and a rarely touched, if not underrated, mythology. Though much of what is added is entirely fiction (The Sun Thieves is a prime example), almost everything that was included was based upon and inspired by actual legends, legitimate lifestyles, and existent areas (Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island were extremely influential muses). Comprehending a varied worldview and well-rounded global values are important elements of growing as an individual, and if some of that alternative insight could contribute to the cultivation of that development, I’d be elated, possibly over the moon.
Mostly, however, I’d love it if readers could take away an open mind, or a sense of the introduction of its culmination. My inner dreamer dragged some tremendously eccentric notions into Something of a Kind, with its associated controversies kicking and snarling by the horns in spite of whimsy’s delicate, starry-eyed nature. I had every intention of grabbing something common in reference but unconventional and bizarre in nature and dropping it into a setting where its existence was plausible and fathomable and entirely less figurative. It was the most difficult aspect of the book, and I’ve gotten some illuminating feedback on what’s said to be effective, curious, and unique. If that becomes the universal response, I can only hope it leaves the reader with a little something to holds afterwards. 


1 Response to "Blog Tour: Something of a Kind by Miranda Wheeler"

  1. Miranda Says:

    Awesome post! Thank you so much for participating in the tour! I adored your review - very good points, and I'm delighted you liked it! :)