“Born Torn” by Suz Eglington“Born Torn” by Suz Eglington https://www.readerviewskids.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/BornTorn-175x263.jpg 175 263 Reader Views Kids Reader Views Kids https://www.readerviewskids.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/BornTorn-175x263.jpg
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Independently Published (2023)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (07/2023)
“Born Torn: Kiara Noir Mother Nature Series” by Suz Eglington is a compelling, fresh take on the YA Fantasy genre. The intriguing storyline with magical realism will hook you right away. The main character Kiara is sixteen and feels trapped in the Colorado reservation. She feels that only her goals and dreams of travel and photography will set her free. This character-driven novel is a bit deceptive. Its easy style and boundless energy at first come across as a breezy read, but there are underlying currents of serious coming-of-age themes, dark subject matter, and mature revelations that speak to deep philosophical themes.
Kiara isn’t sure who she really is. Who is her family besides her mother? Who is her father? Up till now, she’s lived a simple life with her mother, growing and selling vegetables. Her mother has taught her about rituals, but Kiara finds herself wanting no part of it, including her upcoming half-birthday ceremony that celebrates blood and death. She broaches the subject of independence, goals, and dreams, and college with her mother, but her mother thinks online classes are the way to go. Virtual college isn’t what Kiara has in mind. She wants to attend a real campus and be a part of the wider world. Things begin to look up for Kiara until her aunt comes with some shocking news about their non-human origins. This leads Kiara on a journey to discover her true identity and purpose. She realizes she has a choice to make. She can live peacefully on the reservation or give up everything for a purpose that transcends death and preserves nature, living things, and life itself.
This well-paced novel is propelled by a rich plot that is well-executed. As you read, you get the feeling that Eglington thoroughly enjoys building interesting worlds, creating original characters, and conveying exciting ideas. Seemingly a natural-born storyteller, she knows how to draw a reader in and keep them invested all the way through the story. The details, character arcs, and plot points make for a cinematic reading experience.
Kiara is a character you want to get to know, and the author provides a solidly fleshed-out teenager–nothing cookie-cutter going on with her. I especially like the scenes that show what her character and personality are like, while at the same time showing the environment she comes from and wants to avoid. For example, when she goes to the meadow, her safe space on the reservation where she can gather her thoughts, be herself, and capture nature in photos. But something unusual happens in the meadow and woods while she’s there, and an urgent text from her mother tells her to get home immediately. She reacts the way a typical teenager would, but she’s in a world that is both mysterious and irresistible at the same time.
This YA story has a lot to offer; a good story, well-developed characters, attention to detail, some mystery and suspense, natural dialogue, and unique phrasing in places that make the author’s style seem fresh and new. For sheer entertainment, “Born Torn: Kiara Noir Mother Nature Series” by Suz Eglington, is one you don’t want to miss.
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