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Keeper | Kim Chance | The Litertarian
For Lainey Styles, her goals are clear and within sight: graduate early and go to a great school to become a scientist. But when a mysterious woman in a homespun dress & a huge emerald necklace around her neck begins appearing to her all of a sudden just before her SATs, Lainey’s world is no longer so certain. Keeper is the young adult fantasy debut of writer Kim Chance, who I have followed for a couple of years on YouTube & social media. She is an upbeat sunny personality who has lots of videos about the writing process, & it is so much fun watching her journey through publication and now her professional career as a writer! To me, there are two very different schools of thought on young adult novels. One is that a book is young adult as long as the main characters are ‘young adult’ age. The other is that the classification comes from who the book is written for, regardless of the age of the characters. In my experience, these are decidedly not the same thing. With that being said, I believe Keeper is the latter. This book feels like it was written for a teenager to read. Which, by the way, does not mean it’s dumbed down or not written as skillfully as other novels. To me, this is what I like to see in a YA novel. There is something in the writing style and choices by the author that make these characters really feel like young people, and that young people could wholly relate to. I’m sure the author’s experience as a high school teacher had a lot to do with this. In some ways it reminds me of Sarah Dessen (who also began as a teacher), and she was my favorite author when I was a young adult (way back in the day) if that tells you anything. Ty was probably my favorite character in the book, and I am most curious to see what happens with him in the sequel releasing this fall: Seeker. There was a twist for him at the end that I just don’t quite believe, and I want to see if my assumptions about him are correct. I’m very pleased to learn that at least part of Seeker will be told through his perspective. I have to admit I was reluctant to read this book, since I follow and admire Kim online. I’ve had big disappointments before from people who share generally great writing advice online and turn out to break every one of their rules in their own writing (I won’t name any names 😒). Luckily, I didn’t experience anything like that in this book. In fact, I feel great that the online community inspired me to read a book out of my usual realm of reading, and I supported my local library at the same time! The book is not perfect, but it is a great story that I think most people would enjoy reading. The main issue that got on my nerves was the recapping. It’s certainly not the worst case I’ve seen of this technique, but I felt like Lainey kept listing out all the worries on her mind as if the reader had lost track of them. I can see the importance of doing that occasionally (and I can totally see the reason it was added as a writer, you always want the reader aware of the stakes and motivations), I just thought it was overdone for my personal taste. However, for readers who pick up and put down books frequently, this type of thing can be helpful. Overall though, I thought the book was well written. The story of Keeper is interesting, but I have to say I was surprised that it ended where it did. I heard Kim say on her YouTube channel a few times that she wrote Keeper so that it could be a standalone (because her original book deal didn’t include a book 2), but I don’t agree! Keeper is merely the beginning of a larger story, and the characters end on the cusp of another big adventure. If there never was a book 2 I would probably have been really annoyed – Lainey’s story is just getting started! Now I can’t wait to read Seeker & I look forward to following Kim’s career for years to come! Fun Fact:: I finished reading this book on the one year anniversary of its publication, which was a happy accident. Happy book birthday Kim! (Yeah, this is super late because of the magic of blog scheduling, but still, kind of cool!) Pages | 408Publication Date | 2018Goodreads Page | KeeperBook Depository (affiliate link) | Paperback