“If I were just a boy and you were just a girl, I wouldn’t kiss you once like you asked… Eden, I’d kiss you long, and I’d kiss you often.”
OhMyGod. OhMyGod. OhMyGod!!!!!!! This was OUTSTANDING!!!
Captivating. Powerful. Unique. Thought-provoking. Unforgettable. My heart was racing from the first word to the last. Mia Sheridan’s flawless writing is something every reader should experience. Calder and Eden’s love story captured my heart and this is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read!!
There’s a special feeling you get right before you start a book by an author you love. The anticipation makes your heart beat a little faster, you get butterflies in your belly, you smile to yourself, and excitedly dive into the first chapter. That’s how I felt before starting this book and from the first few pages, I was utterly captivated and felt every word of the story. It grabbed a hold of my heart and didn’t let go even for a moment. I think it’s truly the sign of a gifted author when she can make you feel completely connected to the characters from the very beginning, even before you’ve gotten to really know them or their story.
We begin the book with a girl lost in the city, with nothing to her name but a few precious keepsakes from a life she was forced to leave behind. As we read more of her story, little snippets of her memories are inserted in. Heart wrenching glimpses of a powerful love that was torn away from her. But why was she here? Where was the boy she loved now? What had happened to them? …. This book is their story.
There is a place in modern day America with no electricity, no plumbing, and no modern conveniences. In this place, there is no room for dreams, no space for self-expression, and no tolerance for ambition.
In this place, there is a boy with the body of a God and the heart of a warrior. He is strong and faithful and serves his family honorably. But he dares to dream of more.
In this place, there is a girl with the face of an angel and a heart full of courage. To her family, she is the vision of obedient perfection. But she dares to want that which she has been told can never be hers.
Becoming Calder is the story of good versus evil, fear versus bravery, and the truth that the light of love has always found its way into even the darkest of places… From the beginning of time, to the end of the world.
In a secluded community isolated by choice from the rest of the world, Calder’s people live a life without modern conveniences based on pure faith in their gods and true devotion to their leader. Selfish desires are seen as sinful and free choice is not even a consideration. But the teachings instilled in them from childhood make them live this life willingly and believe that what they’re doing will lead them to paradise.
It was in this world that Calder, a lowly worker, first set eyes on Eden. Though they were both children when they first met, a strong connection grew between them, even just at a glance. But they were not destined for each other for she was promised to another. Their powerful leader claimed that it was foretold that he should marry her when she came of age so any feelings between them were strictly forbidden.
“I’d never have him. He’d never be mine — not even his laughter.”
But love is an emotion strong enough to overpower all others. As they got older, hidden meetings, stolen glances, secret kisses, and every single moment together grew into an unstoppable love that forced them to chose between the life they were told to live and the dream of a life together they so desperately craved.
“I had loved him for so long… Somehow… it feels worth the risk.”
This is the story of two people whose love for each other was so strong that it gave them the power to fight for the life they wanted and the freedom to choose how to live it, to walk away from the teachings they’d grown up with and to find the courage to try build lives of their own even if their future was unknown.
“I’m going to take you away from here, to a place where my bed is your bed, and my home is your home. And in that place, I’ll never be more than an arm’s reach from you.”
MY. HEART. WAS. POUNDING!!!!! With every new page, the emotional intensity grew until it felt like I couldn’t breathe. Some lines would be laced with so much emotion that tears would fill my eyes and I’d have to stop for a moment to gain composure. I felt every word of this story with every part of my heart.
The world they lived in was so stifling it made me want to scream. And when I realized what was truly happening to them, it felt like I was watching a train wreck without being able to save them. There’s more to the story I’m not telling you. I don’t want to give it away too much but the last line of the blurb is a big hint and it added a dangerous edge to the already-overwhelming intensity of their forbidden love.
We started the story when they were kids and the way their connection in this part of their lives was described was incredibly beautiful but still naturally very innocent. But as they got older, their feelings grew into a powerful, passionate, all-consuming, undeniable, desperate love. When they finally came together, it was explosive!!! And as a result, I would absolutely call this an adult read. Guys, it is HOT!!!!
“I’ve wanted you for so long. So long. Every waking minute, in my dreams, too. I want to bury myself in you, drown in you, and never come up for air. I want you to be mine, and only mine… You trust me, right?”
I was completely swept away in the intensity of Calder and Eden’s love for each other. So desperate for them to find a way to be together. I felt their emotions projected onto me as though they were my own.
Calder kissed me in a way that made me believe I had not only always been his, but I would be his forever. In this life or any other. In his kiss was the promise that wherever he and I existed, we would belong to each other.
At times, my heart ached too much to even keep reading. I loved them so much and I couldn’t watch this happen to them. I was so scared for them. Worried. Angry. Terrified. Desperate for them to find a way out of this nightmare. I was practically shaking. It was almost TOO MUCH to bear. I’d have to stop and put the book away for a moment. Then desperately grab it again and read more. Freak out again. Close it. Grab it back and read more. I was scared to read the next page but too desperate for more to stop reading…
This book literally took over my life and my heart. It consumed me. Captivated me. I didn’t just read the book, I lived this story through Calder and Eden’s eyes. It owned me. AND I LOVED IT!!!!!
“My heart is yours. My life is yours. My body is yours…
You own each and every part of me.”
When you read this book, please remember to be open-minded about their culture. You’re not supposed to relate to it, you just need to understand where they are coming from. It’s a totally different world than the one most of us live in. Respect it for what it is and accept that they’re trying to find their own best balance between what feels right to them and what they want out of life. It’s their journey. And it’s a beautiful one.
“Promise me once we get out of here, we’ll never say goodbye again.”
Becoming Calder is the first book in a completed 2-book series. Both books will be released on the same day. I fully understand why they were separated because this book alone was a full length novel and every single word mattered. It’s also has a beginning, middle, and end. And while it will leave you desperate to dive into the next book immediately, it also makes complete sense to have them as two separate books. I do however how so much respect for Mia Sheridan for choosing to release the two books together. To me, this is a sign of an author who is thinking of her readers and her story first by giving a complete reading experience by allowing the emotions from the first book carry through to the second without delay.
Mia Sheridan is truly one of the most gifted authors I’ve ever read. Her unique stories, flawless writing, and the deep emotions she conveys through her words stay with you long after you finish the book.
Calder and Eden’s love was so intense, so passionate, so forbidden, and so powerful. The writing, the story, the emotions, the message, everything came together so beautifully. This was an unforgettable, captivating must-read!!! The only word to truly describe this book is EPIC.
Rating: 5 STARS!!!! Contemporary Adult Romance.
Click here to read my review of the sequel, Finding Eden.