Thursday, September 15, 2016

Learning to Live - Kira Adams

Learning to Live, by Indie Author Kira Adams, leads us through the life of a high school senior dying from a brain tumor.  Ciera, who lives in Oregon, is a bullied, slightly overweight, extremely poor kid who has to work almost full time in addition to going to high school, because her mother just doesn't earn enough money at her job.  When she started high school, Ciera was friends with Sophia, who will do whatever she can to become the popular girl.  When Sophia finally achieves that popularity, she becomes one of Ciera's biggest tormentors. 

Throughout high school, Ciera survives by the grace of her strong will and her friendship with Mack.  When she learns about the brain tumor, Ciera makes a list of things that she wants to accomplish before she dies.  She never though falling in love with Topher, one of the "cool kids" at her school, would be on that list.  But fall in love with him she does.  They develop a most unlikely friendship and Topher does a complete 180 in terms of his attitude and how he treats other people.

There were several things I found remiss about this novel, not the least of which is the fact that it doesn't feel plausible that Topher would do such a complete turnaround in a matter of weeks.  The plot was flimsy, and the characters were all just too similar.  All the bullies were exactly the same, with the same cardboard personalities, and the same motivations for everything they did.  None of the characters thought for themselves except Ciera.  I know that's a good quality to have in the lead character, but that's something that should extend to other characters as well. 

The book had a good premise that fell flat due to lackluster writing, sloppy grammar, and weak plot development.  Had the author edited the project or hired an outside editor, many of these issues could have been fixed.  Overall, I would rank this book 1 star, if only because of the effort that it takes to actually sit down and write a book.

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