I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by TBRandBeyondTours . Thank you for an advanced copy of this book so that I could participate in this book tour. Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Kristy Dallas Alley is a high school librarian in Memphis, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, four kids, three cats, and an indeterminate number of fish. She studied creative writing at Rhodes College in another lifetime and holds a Master of Science in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership from the University of Memphis. In an ideal world, she would do nothing but sit on a beach and read every single day of her life, but in reality she’s pretty happy reading on her front porch, neglecting the gardens she enthusiastically plants each spring, and cooking huge meals regardless of the number of people around to eat them. The Ballad of Ami Miles is her debut novel.
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Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Publishing Date: December 1, 2020
Raised in isolation at Heavenly Shepherd, her family’s trailer-dealership-turned-survival compound, Ami Miles knows that she was lucky to be born into a place of safety after the old world ended and the chaos began. But when her grandfather arranges a marriage to a cold-eyed stranger, she realizes that her “destiny” as one of the few females capable of still bearing children isn’t something she’s ready to face.
With the help of one of her aunts, she flees the only life she’s ever known, and sets off on a quest to find her long-lost mother (and hopefully a mate of her own choosing). But as she journeys, Ami discovers many new things about the world… and about herself.
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Thoughts and Themes: There is so much that I could say about this book and how I read it at just the right moment. The interpretation of my religion and what I chose to follow from it will always be something that I disagree with my dad about. If I ever needed a message from above to let me know that I was okay in what I’m doing then this book was that for me. Books that feel like a welcome home or that help me heal in some way will always be something that I remember. It’s not steeped in religion or faith the way other religious books are but it serves as the foundation and the upbringing for Ami.
I was really excited to read this book as I really enjoy dystopian books and was pleased to find that it was also LGBTQ+. I liked how this book mixed a lot of different themes together and liked how the plot played out. I liked how you didn’t really get to know immediately if what Ami went there for was waiting for her but you really got to see her figure out who she is. I liked that this was a science fiction coming of age story because I feel that I haven’t read many of those. I liked that this story was a reminder that history repeats itself as Ami is taught that interracial relationships are a sin, and that to be worthy woman are supposed to produce children. I thought it was interesting to see that while the world around Ami had progressed her town hadn’t and they had gone backwards in time. I thought that the revelations that happen throughout the story are really well written and enjoyed the moments that they happen in. I think that these moments are shocking to the reader because your reality is very much what Ami has told us.
I really enjoy the old timey feel of this book and how it feels like you are going on an adventure with the main character. I think that the setting really added to making it feel like I was in the future with so many elements and rules of the past. I liked how this book was set in the future but it was as if society had taken several steps backwards. Something that I really enjoyed about it being set in the future is the scene in which they are talking about computers and record players as I thought it was a nice callback to our present times and the past.
Characters: While there is one main characters there are a lot of side characters that you meet throughout the book. I liked how this story takes the time to introduce you to Ami’s family before really getting into the story. I think that it is important that you know them and their role in her life so you understand where she is coming from.
Once Ami leaves her home, she meets a lot more people in the area that her mom is supposed to be at. I really enjoyed her interactions with each of those characters and how vulnerable she is with one of them. I really liked how the relationship between Ami and Jessie develops and the way that Ami struggles through this all. I like how this book shows that this goes against everything that Ami has been taught and how multi layered it is for her.
Writing Style: This story is written in first person through Ami’s perspective which I found to be great. I liked that we always know how Ami is feeling and what she is thinking but we don’t know the inner thoughts of anyone else. I liked that we didn’t know anything about anyone else besides Ami because it let you feel and discover things along with her.