Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: A Taylor Made Life

Title: A Taylor Made Life 

Author: Kary Rader

Publisher: Kary Rader

Genre: contemporary, new adult

Reviewer: Storm Goddess

Review Rating: 5 LIGHTNING BOLTS

Blurb: They lived the life they were given; they loved the life they made.

Cheerleader Taylor Smith doesn’t want to die a virgin. Unfortunately, if the terminally-ill leukemia patient doesn't find a lover or a stem-cell match within months, her fear will become reality. When her cancer mentor is revealed to be a hottie entrepreneur from California, it seems fate might finally be on her side.

Tech-geek Gavin Taylor has everything he ever wanted, except someone to grieve for him when he's gone. With his melanoma cancer beyond the help of his riches, he agrees to participate in a cancer patient mentoring program where he's matched with a dying teen from Texas. Despite his immediate attraction, the Silicon Valley whiz intends only to provide friendship and happy memories to the beautiful, young woman who is determined to win his love.

When it's discovered that his frozen sperm and her harvested eggs could lead to a cure, Taylor's mother offers to be a surrogate. And Gavin must decide if he can risk the heart he has never given and a child he'll never know to a girl he just met.

Review: The clock is always ticking. We are always aware of the passing of time. But when you're young, time shouldn't be such an enemy. But when time isn't on your side...the enemy is near. Always. Watching, waiting. Claiming. 

For seventeen year old Taylor Smith, this is the time she should be thinking of things such as proms, the nearing of high school's end, choosing a college. Maybe even having a little frivolous fun. Instead, she's fighting one of the hardest battles ever- cancer.  There's so many things she wants to do and see in life before her time is through, but as the days draw closer and there's no match to be found, things are really beginning to look grim.  Taylor is one of the sweetest teens I have ever read about. I love her. I admire her wit, her continuation to live as normal as possible, knowing that time doesn't have her best interest at heart. She's so full of life, and even though she's lost so much of her sense of normal while fighting this battle, she's a strong willed character that I easily connected with. I love the open, honest bond she shares with her mother and how close knit her family is. I rooted for Taylor the entire time. 

Gavin Taylor doesn't have time on his side, either. He's built up his company from scratch at a very young age, but despite the money rolling in and the people surrounding him that he works with, he's a loner. He doesn't have a family to back him up and honestly, he doesn't know who is true friends are.  All he wants is to know someone is going to miss him if he doesn't make it out of this battle.  Let me tell you, that breaks my heart!   I adore Gavin. He's a little hard to read at first, but I think it's understandable considering the situation. He's stuck in a hard place when he meets Taylor. She's determined to do everything it takes to win him over and he fights it. Can you guess who wins? 

I love that Taylor and Gavin have so many things that bond them. They are such a sweet, young couple with so much stacked against them. Taylor is unlike any other woman he's ever met. She is one of his biggest fans and players of the games he's created, and how could he not love a woman like that?  

The future is slim, and it's time to make some of the biggest decisions people this young should NEVER have to make. The realism of this story hit me right in the heart and broke it into a million pieces.  Every day, people are fighting illnesses that threaten to take time away from them, and the reality of that made me really think about my own life. We complain over little things every day, how time is limited but really, it's so trivial in comparison to those that have a lesser amount of time to spend doing the things they want to. Could you just imagine what Taylor and Gavin have to go through? This could easily be someone you or I know, and that hurts.  

I have to applaud Kary Rader for taking on such an emotionally charged story that took me on a journey I never expected.  I bawled like a baby so many times, my heart raced faster and my stomach knotted up to the point I had to put the Kindle down to stop and catch my breath, yet I had to pick it back up quickly to find out what happened next. This isn't your ordinary every day story. It's a bittersweet, heartbreaking journey through the process of dealing with cancer, but it's a story I feel everyone should read because it's an eye opener to what people are going through in real life.  The characters in this story became more than just people in a book- I felt like they were someone I knew and so every scare, every tear, every great moment, I found myself feeling the exact same things they did with such intense power.  A Taylor Made Life is one of the best books I've read this year and it's not one I'll soon forget in the near future.  Taylor and Gavin stole my heart and my breath and I wasn't ready to let them go.  Bravo, Ms. Rader, for writing a story that I feel people are going to be talking about for a very long time. 

A Taylor Made Life Isn't available quite yet, but if you want to add this to your Goodreads Want to Read list, here's the link where you can do so. 


  1. I think I'm crying just reading the excerpt and the review! I can't wait to read this! Tweeted

  2. Nikki,

    Thank you so much for reading and sharing. You have no idea how precious your words are to me. This book is more than just a story to me -- it's an experience that I tried my best to give life. Thank you for connecting with that life and encouraging me. The truth of this story is that no one is promised tomorrow. We think we have it mapped out but we don't--we never did.

    1. You're welcome, Kary. I know this story is the story of your heart, and it shows. I'm getting goosebumps again just talking about it right now. I wish you so much success with this book. And I do hope for a sequel...*Bats eyelashes sweetly*

  3. This is an excellent story! I loved it.

  4. Wow, that is one of the most awe-inspiring reviews I've ever read. If you don't read the book after this, you probably need a heart transplant.

    Well done Nikki on the review.
    And super well done Kary for the book you wrote.

  5. Oh wow...This review is so beautiful. I'm a huge fan of Kary's, and I am so excited to read this book.
    Nikki, your review was so so so beautiful!!!

  6. Congratulations, Kary. Though I read your rough draft nearly a year ago, this story still resonates within me. Beautifully written, compassion in every word.

  7. This story is really special! Congrats, Kary!

  8. I'm so looking forward to reading what sounds like a fascinating book! I can't wait!