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I Belong

Review: Kindred by Tammar Stein

Title: Kindred

Author: Tammar Stein

Genre: YA Paranormal


Publication Date: February 8, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 272 Pages

ISBN-10: 0375858717 (Random House Kids)

ISBN-13: 978-0375858710 (Random House Kids)

Reviewed by: Bridget


The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen.

Miriam is an unassuming college freshman stuck on campus after her spring break plans fall through. She’s not a religious girl–when pressed she admits reluctantly to believing in a higher power. Truth be told, she’s about as comfortable speaking about her faith as she is about her love life, which is to say, not at all. And then the archangel Raphael pays Miriam a visit, and she finds herself on a desperate mission to save two of her contemporaries. To top it all off, her twin brother, Mo, has also had a visitation, but from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum, which leaves Miriam to wonder–has she been blessed and her brother cursed or vice versa? And what is the real purpose behind her mission?

Quick & Dirty: This was an interesting YA contemporary read with a heavy religious presence.  The pacing was pretty slow, but it had a good message.

Opening Sentence: The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Miriam is 18 and has just recently started her freshman year of college when she sees an angel for the first time.  She is sent on a mission to help save one of her fellow students, but not everything goes the way she planned.  After a terrible accident Miriam decides to leave school for a while and she takes a job at a paper in the small town of Hamilton, Tennessee.   While in Hamilton, she meets a lot of new people and she grapples with what role God really plays in our lives.  She is given another mission and she is determined to see this one through.

Miriam has a twin brother, Mo, and he has also been visited by a higher power.  Mo’s visitor is from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum and he seems to be all too pleased to help.  As children Mo and Miriam were always very close.  Mo was always the more ambitious one that liked to test the boundaries.  As Miriam watches her brother flirt with danger Miriam starts to wonder what her real mission is.

Miriam is our heroine in this story and to be honest, she is a fairly forgettable character.  There is really nothing that sticks out about her that makes her unique or really interesting.  For most of the book she is really confused about what is going on in her life and she is bitter about it.  She really cares about her family and she tries to do what she thinks God would want her to do.  I wouldn’t say that I disliked Miriam, but I didn’t really like her all that much either.

Emmett was my favorite part of the book.  He is a serious boy that runs a tattoo parlor in Hamilton.  He has tattoos all over his body and a shaved head.  Miriam finds him interesting and surprisingly easy to talk to.  He is steady and really sweet to Miriam, while she is going through her problems.  He is willing to listen to her when she needs someone to talk to and he tries to be a comfort to her.  The moments with them together are sweet and Emmett just melted my heart.

This book was just an ok read for me.  I was expecting something totally different when I read the synopsis.  I thought that it would be more of a paranormal read, but instead it is actually more of a religious contemporary book.   The pacing was really slow for me and for most of the book it felt like nothing was really happening.  My favorite part was the romance, but it was a very small part of the book.  The book covers some serious religious topics and the way they were portrayed just didn’t quite work for me.  Kindred did have a good ending message, but the story just had a lot of flaws.  I would recommend this to anyone that likes YA contemporary books with a heavy religious presence.

Notable Scene:

“I guess crosses are pretty popular around here,” I say, walking closer to him and leaning a hip against an adjacent black vinyl chair.  I feel a strange pull toward him; there’s something elemental about him that is fascinating.  Hamilton is charming and welcoming, but there is no denying that people like to live on the surface here.  The pleasant, happy surface.  The tattoo artist radiates something deeper and darker.  Something true.


“Do you have one?”

He looks up for a second.  He has dark eyes almost black. “No.”

“You don’t need to look so shocked,” I say, though it seems there’s little that would shock him.

He snorts.

FTC Advisory: Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House provided me with a copy of Kindred. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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