*This review is for an ARC copy obtained from the author
The first thing I’d like to mention is that I waited until the morning to write this review. I wanted so badly to write it immediately after finishing the book…but I think the review would have looked like this: “HOLY F*** WHAT THE WHO AWGJADF AKDFGARGKL SHE DID WHA FDKJ KFMG OMG AMAZING…” And so on. Instead, as I do for many reviews that leave me with that reaction, I wait a few hours or overnight to absorb all of it.
I have yet to be disappointed by a book of Tiffany King’s so far. I’ve read both Wishing For Someday Soon and Forever Changed earlier this year. They both blew me away. This book lived up to this author’s previous standards.
What I was initially drawn in by was the characters. In the first few chapters that’s what kept me reading the most. Kimberly, the main character, is very likable. I especially like the artistic side she has. Through this, King was able to capture the beautiful settings in the novel.
There were many characters that I fell in love with. One of them was Amy (of course). When the reader meets her, it’s hard to not like her. She reminds me of a character out of Gilmore Girls. Since I love the fast-talking, eccentric, always a great friend personality of characters like Rory, Lorelai, Lane, and Sooki…Amy was a perfect match for a reader like me. I also really liked Rick. The story could have gone a different way, if King had given him a different personality or reaction to the situation at hand. I was surprised and pleased to get to know the loving man and new father that is Rick.
Since this book is set mainly in a summer camp for kids, it is only natural that there are great younger characters as well. Tiffany King seems to have a natural talent for touching the reader’s heart through these young characters. In her past books this is true, and she’s done it again in Unlikely Allies. These kids have gone through a lot in their lives. They are all children who are in the foster care system and haven’t known stability much. Camp Unlikely Allies was established to try to give children like them an opportunity at enjoying life and growing up.
Alyssa is one of the young characters that really touched me. She’s very closed off from others. She always has a wall up to everyone. The reader gets a little background on her and that’s when I wanted to just give her a huge hug. There’s a certain part of the story in which I was close to tears because of this little girl. That’s something King is also good at. Grabbing the reader in an emotional tractor-beam and playing with their hearts.
Now about the setting. It was a welcome change from earlier King books I’ve read. Most of it takes place in the mountains of Colorado. I’ve always wanted to go there myself, and the picture painted in my mind was beautiful. I think everything that’s great about being in the great outdoors enjoying nature was touched on here. While I don’t live in the Colorado wilderness, I do live in the wilderness for the most part, and I could picture myself easily going through some of the struggles that take place in Unlikely Allies.
What’s the main reason we’re here though? It’s not the characters or the setting is it? Maybe. I know a few readers will have picked this book up for the romance as well. AND the adventure. Both those elements are in this book. They actually go hand in hand. I was left baffled at times with the interaction between Kimberly and Mason. I questioned the relationship between them the entire time. It’s one of the reasons I had to keep reading. I needed to know who was going to strangle the other first, haha.
The struggled that they both go through later on in the book was great as well. I don’t know if King has been stranded and injured in the woods before, but I think she has written a very believable account of what it’d be like. I was left on edge the whole way through wondering what obstacle was going to arise next. Whether it was physical or emotional, everything kept me sympathizing for the characters.
I can’t say any more. There’s just so much greatness in this book. If Tiffany King wasn’t one of my favorite authors out there already, she’d have made it on the list with this one. I’m eager to see how other readers enjoy the book once it’s released.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)