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Kindred Hardcover – February 8, 2011

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Miriam drops out of college near the end of her freshman year after failing to save another student from bodily harm. She lands a newspaper job in a small Tennessee town but discovers soon after her move that her cramps and weight loss derive from Crohn’s disease. Miriam has a lot with which to cope: her new independence, her physical deterioration, a possible boyfriend, and a boss who is more interested in scooping news than caring about those who make it. Oh, and she also has visions of angels—and her twin brother is in cahoots with Satan. The multiple plot strands, as well as Miriam’s relationship with her twin and her mission to help a young local who seems intent on avenging himself with heavy artillery, are wound together to form a credible world, featuring a flawed but admirable heroine. The story demands thought and reflection from readers about the gray area between good and evil and the real differences between faith and systematic religion, tasks made easier by smooth writing and an engaging cast of rounded characters. Grades 8-11. --Francisca Goldsmith

About the Author

TAMMAR STEIN is the author of Light Years, a 2006 ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and High Dive. She lives in Florida with her family and her bilingual dog.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (February 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375858717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375858710
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,995,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of the young adult novels LIGHT YEARS, HIGH DIVE, and KINDRED. My fourth novel, SPOILS, will be published by Knopf in December, 2013.

I've led a vagabond sort of life having lived in Israel, Italy, Germany and all over the United States. I recently moved from Florida and I'm still in sunshine and beach withdrawal. The doctors say this might be a permanent condition. When I'm not working, chances are I'm reading or taking the dog out for a walk.

I love to hear from fellow readers, so drop me a line. Visit me at my website:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on February 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Eighteen-year-old Miriam has grown up surrounded by spiritual concerns. Her parents, both theology professors, often engage their children in discussions and debates about religion and God. And with a mother who is a former nun and a father who is a Jewish rabbi, Miriam has a complex understanding of belief, even if she wouldn't necessarily call herself a believer.

That all changes, however, when the archangel Raphael crashes into her dorm room. The terrifying presence speaks a command to her in ancient Hebrew and then disappears. When Miriam, justifiably troubled by the vision, translates his words, she realizes she has a mission to carry out, but she's reluctant...or maybe just skeptical. But when a horrific event proves both the accuracy of Raphael's prophecy and the inadequacies of Miriam's actions, she grows wary. What is God's plan for her? Does He have more expectations for her future actions? And will He punish her for failing to carry them through as He had hoped?

Meanwhile, Miriam --- who is so shaken by her encounter with the angel that she drops out of school and takes a job at a small newspaper in rural Tennessee --- learns that her twin brother Moses also has had his own encounter with spiritual forces. In Mo's case, however, the power is not godly but demonic, and Mo has been chosen to carry out the devil's own work on earth. Is it possible that these twin siblings, formerly so close to one another, are now just pawns in some kind of cosmic spiritual war?

To say that KINDRED is an unusual YA book would be a huge understatement. Angels in young adult literature are not particularly new, but the terrifying, vaguely vindictive angels of Tammar Stein's novel certainly are.
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Format: Hardcover
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: This was an interesting YA contemporary read with a heavy religious presence. The pacing was pretty slow, but it had a good message.

Opening Sentence: The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen.

The Review:

Miriam is 18 and has just recently started her freshman year of college when she sees an angel for the first time. She is sent on a mission to help save one of her fellow students, but not everything goes the way she planned. After a terrible accident Miriam decides to leave school for a while and she takes a job at a paper in the small town of Hamilton, Tennessee. While in Hamilton, she meets a lot of new people and she grapples with what role God really plays in our lives. She is given another mission and she is determined to see this one through.

Miriam has a twin brother, Mo, and he has also been visited by a higher power. Mo's visitor is from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum and he seems to be all too pleased to help. As children Mo and Miriam were always very close. Mo was always the more ambitious one that liked to test the boundaries. As Miriam watches her brother flirt with danger Miriam starts to wonder what her real mission is.

Miriam is our heroine in this story and to be honest, she is a fairly forgettable character. There is really nothing that sticks out about her that makes her unique or really interesting. For most of the book she is really confused about what is going on in her life and she is bitter about it. She really cares about her family and she tries to do what she thinks God would want her to do. I wouldn't say that I disliked Miriam, but I didn't really like her all that much either.
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Format: Hardcover
Why I read this: Looked like an interesting read and I've yet to really fall in love with a book involving angels.

Plot: A good versus evil plot that finally has our lead falling for someone of her own species. I have to say the beginning of the book made me realize this wasn't going to be your average paranormal book (finally!). When Miriam receives a visit from the angel the first time, it's painful and the holy power of God literally makes her pee her pants. No joke. Finally, someone who has captured the real power of angels and how their presence really is stunning.

I like the way that we learn about Miriam. With little pieces here and there and really seeing her interact with the world around her. She does find a romantic interest and I love the real way they interact with each other. It's not all love at first sight and instant kisses. There's dates, there's getting to know each other a little bit at a time and there's not instant commitment to die for one another.

But back to the plot, Miriam becomes torn between her mission and the fact that her twin may be on the other side. She's only human and tries her best to accomplish her mission in the ways that she can. Miriam is not wonder woman, she can't magically fix things, but she uses what she has to accomplish the task.

There were parts in this book that made me cry, I'll be honest, especially towards the end. There's a ton of emotion in what is going on throughout the novel and it truly is a realistic way of threading the good vs. evil battle into the human world.

Characters: I really loved Miriam. She's realistic, comes from a home that reminds me of my own in ways, and just overall really had a cheerful spirit when all was well.
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