Read Kind of Like Life by Christina McMullen Online


All Renee Ward ever wanted out of life was two things: Good friends to share her love of fantasy and fairy tales, and for magic to be real. When her family moves to the quaint coastal town of Waterside, it seems as if her dreams have finally come true. But after a visit from the mysterious Blake Carter, Renee’s new utopian life suddenly turns into a never-ending nightmare.All Renee Ward ever wanted out of life was two things: Good friends to share her love of fantasy and fairy tales, and for magic to be real. When her family moves to the quaint coastal town of Waterside, it seems as if her dreams have finally come true. But after a visit from the mysterious Blake Carter, Renee’s new utopian life suddenly turns into a never-ending nightmare. With the line between fantasy and reality blurred, the teens find themselves the unwilling pawns in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Their very survival now hinges on Renee's overactive imagination. Unfortunately, that's also what got them into this mess. ...

Title : Kind of Like Life
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 22432049
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 214 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Kind of Like Life Reviews

  • Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger)
    2018-10-22 19:28

    This is a great story that kept me on my toes. I thought it was going one way, then it took an unexpected and interesting sharp turn. The path of the entire story was written so well, I had no clue what would happen next. The story line is completely original. I've never read anything like this before. The action is paced just right and kept me turning pages. Last night I could not put the book down. The suspense kept me up until 2 AM to finish it. The two main characters are realistic and likable. I felt their pain and routed for them throughout the story. I particularly liked how they worked together and helped each other. The world in which they lived was very vibrant and alive. I like how the author gave them vivid imaginations of their own. It was fun following them around as they made the best of their situation. And I really liked how it ended.I've never commented on a book cover before. This cover is beautiful. The colors and shading are perfect. I was pleased to learn at the end of the story that the author created the cover herself and the girl in the photo is a relative. Very nice.The creative imagination and artistic ability of this author is not to be missed.

  • V.M. Sawh
    2018-11-13 16:49

    As usual, I'm skipping the plot recap, because it's in the description for all to see. This one was quite a showcase of a story! It certainly reads like a classic. I wouldn't be surprised to find this in the YA section of your local bookstore, with it's own fan following. If it doesn't have one yet, "Kind Of Like Life" deserves one! McMullen's prose is effortlessly engaging. Her characters are well defined for their age and the genre of the book. I bought into the stakes for both Renee and Blake and was invested in their endlessly inventive adventure. Jumping from genre to genre and dream to reality like Inception-meets-Dreamscape, this tale is told with both skill and excitement. I was never bored and always wanted to know what happened next. Good pacing kept me coming back.Come to think of it, this could easily be a very engaging YA movie.Mind you, there are some things that weren't 100%, but they're mostly personal nits in terms of the characterization of the villain and some of the supporting players, as well as the drawn out nature of the coda. Thankfully these are not nearly enough to detract from the excellent overall experience.Pick this up. Read it. Give it to your teen.

  • Marie
    2018-11-12 17:45

    Amazing storytelling I loved this book. The writing style immediately pulled me in and the story just got better and better. The characters were relatable, the idea is a great spin on some classic science fiction/fantasy stories, and the tone of the book was just perfect.

  • Richard
    2018-11-03 20:53

    I think it's only fair to warn you from the start that this review isn't quite what it seems. In fact it's an experiment, the idea of which is to see whether I can give you a clear picture of this book without actually telling you anything about it. What prompted the idea is that Kind of Like Life is virtually impossible to write a normal review of; you can't really describe much of it without committing horrendous spoilers - the book's own blurb covers only about the first fifth or so and doesn't give you even the remotest idea of the story because, where the blurb ends, the plot then goes up a gear - and up, and up. There's also its genre: not just YA because I reckon people of any age will enjoy unpeeling its nested layers; and not science fiction either because the 'science' in it is more like an art student's idea of science.So I thought of trying this experiment instead. It's a pretty original idea, you've got to admit - even readers reviewing books by the likes of, say, Philip K Dick never thought of doing anything like this, and a lot of his books (Ubik, just to pick a random example) are as tricky to review......Mm, I don't know. We're not even halfway through this yet and I'm having second thoughts already. I wish I hadn't mentioned P K Dick because many of his novels are also concerned with the nature of reality: is the world you think you're living in real, or is it some kind of illusion (a dream or hallucination maybe, or even something more sinister) and how can you tell? Well, what's just crossed my mind is that, although this is a clever idea for a book review, is it too clever, too good to be true - could there be more going on here than I'd realised as well? I mean, where did this whole 'experiment' idea come from in the first place? Think about it: why should I try to persuade you to read someone else's novel - it doesn't make sense. Has someone been messing with my head, sort of tiptoeing about in it, tinkering with the wiring in there (which would explain one or two other oddities I've noticed, like a certain song by The Smiths which has been going round and round in my brain on a loop ever since I 'had' this review-as-experiment idea?) But who? And why? Someone who's trying to get me to write an inventive review of her book, that's who: faced with the problem of how to get a few decent reviews, this author has mulled it over (or, I suppose, mcmulled it over) and came up with the clever idea of a review-as-experiment, then telepathically projected it into my mind...Hang on though, telepathy isn't possible in real life, only in stories - so where does that leave me and what I thought was 'the world'? I'm left (as usual) with the suspicion that there must be more to all this than meets the eye...kind of like the book this review is about in fact. And kind of, now that I come to think of it, like life...

  • Jane Jago
    2018-10-28 20:46

    From somebody who really doesn't get on with a lot of YA, five stars says a lot. But I was hooked. I found the characters appealing and even the baddies had depth. The story engaged my interest, and it was both complex and chilling at times. Even the happy ever after wasn't so cut and dried that it felt formulaic.I loved this book and would have no hesitation recommending it.

  • G.G.
    2018-10-30 23:27

    Wow! For a surprise, this book gave me a rollercoaster ride. What starts like a normal YA with school, friends and all, soon turns into something much deeper, something I would never have imagined and very different from other books I've read. While the blurb outlines the story, the real big 'boom', what's really happening, isn't explained. I don't know why Ms. Mullen decided to keep this part out of the blurb. As it is, I went into the story without knowing and while well written, I still wasn't sure if it would be my kind of read. If I had had a hint of the true story, I would have picked up the book earlier. I almost missed on a little jewel. The characters, Renee and Blake, kept me on my toes the whole time. They made me wonder how they could ever get out of this nightmare. They also had me smile and yes, cry too. They aren't perfect: Renee is some kind of recluse who doesn't feel at ease with people, and Blake hasn't had it easy with abusive parents. Together, they learn to trust each other and it all feels so natural. 'Kind of Like Life' is classified as science fiction and adventure, but it has a huge paranormal feel about it and I would most definitely recommend it to lovers of that genre.

  • Sue Perry
    2018-10-20 18:37

    This is an original and memorable book. (For me, actually, the most memorable moment was when I realized that I had discovered a writer I really like, who is prolific as well as enjoyable. What a treat!) I loved that the heroine is so strong and on top of things. Throughout, it's the characters that make this convincing. The people are so real and recognizable they bring authenticity to some astonishing situations. I thought one villain was going to turn out cartoonish but then we got to a twist that explained that behavior and I felt sheepish for doubting.The story is a maze of plot twists that McMullen somehow keeps clear and easy to follow. I never knew where this was going (even the times I thought I did) and for that I am grateful. I thoroughly enjoyed the initial "normal" situation and characters, so it was hard for me to let them go; and because of that I had to empathize with the characters' losses.This could have been manipulative and artificial but instead it is plausibly fantastical. Quite an achievement!

  • ReadyOrNot
    2018-11-18 21:53

    Kind of Like Life has every element I could ever want in a YA book. McMullen's writing is intelligent, creative and thoughtful. Things don't just happen--events occur that make the reader think about what's happening. There's also a touch of romance that's meaningful and not overdone.What I like best about this book is that the twists and turns are layered, kind of like the movie Inception. Just when you think you're about to settle into a fantasy or paranormal tale, the story deepens. The focus changes in unexpected, yet understandable, ways that shift the story back and forth between fantasy, sci-fi and (perhaps most shockingly) reality. When you get to the meat of the tale, you're still not safe. The surprises continue throughout the book which is well worth the read.I have several favorite quotes from Kind of Like Life, but I'll leave you with this one: "Nothing good could ever come of entering random doors that appeared in the woods." Or does it? I guess you'll have to read Kind of Like Life to find out.

  • David Kelly
    2018-11-18 00:51

    This book is very much aimed at a YA audience. I'm not part of that audience and it's probably fair to say I was never what is considered a "young adult" even when I was :-) Not only that, but my background is from England, rather than North America and cultural differences abound. Because of this, I found the very first part of the book a little slow and hard to identify with the characters at this point. That's not a fault of the writing, just my own personal tastes and background.What happens then is nothing short of remarkable and makes me so glad that I persevered. Once you get to the "meat" of the story you are dragged in to a helter-skelter ride that takes you into realms that are at once familiar, but also utterly surprising. It's more than fair to say that the opening in no way prepares you for what is about to come!There is plenty of mystery in here and some adult themes that will certainly get you thinking. The characters are very well delineated and appealing once they start to move through the main part of the story.The author doesn't pull any punches, but is also very sensitive to the audience, so there are only limited descriptions of certain aspects of the story. This isn't a criticism but rather a recognition of the talent of Ms. McMullen in handling some difficult topics in a way that other authors would simply avoid or gloss over with a lot of hand-waving. Here the author tackles the issues, but limits the detail in some areas in respect of her audience. Personally I think this is commendable, not just for a YA audience but also in general terms in a world where sometimes the "nasty " stuff is glorified for the sake of supposed "shock value" alone.Definitely a five star read and heartily recommended to anyone, especially lovers of YA fiction.

  • M. Ray Holloway Jr.
    2018-10-29 19:51

    Surprisingly for a man of my years, I get to read a lot of YA books. It started out as something that I did to build a bridge between my teenage grandson in Houston, but I soon found that I really enjoyed it. It gave us something to talk about, a common ground that we could share.So, Ms. McMullen, although an author I had never read before caught my eye with "Kind of Like Life". The story begins as if it is going to be a sweet tale of Renee, a sixteen year old girl who moves to a new town, and is fortunately able to make some really good friends in a short period of time. There is even a love interest that seems to have some potential. All is looking up for the new girl in town until some strange people attack her and her possible boyfriend in a local abandoned light house. When the dust has settled, she has met Blake, another sixteen year old who tells her that nothing that she is experiencing is real...I won't tell any more of the story, but from that point on, the tale takes off in the most amazing directions. The characters are very believable and present their story with depth, leading you through the tale, building to a climax that leaves the reader breathless. It was very enjoyable to read and the only disappointment I had was that I became attached to the characters and wanted to know more about what happened after the book ended. I could see "Kind of Like Life" as a successful film, but that's just my personal opinion.

  • Timothy Bateson
    2018-10-21 19:33

    Kind of like life, but more so...This is one of those rare books that demands to be read though to completion. There are twists and turns at every step of the way, in a tale that takes place in an ever changing world.Renee Ward's family have just moved to a new house... It is the home of her dreams, as is so much else about the community they have moved to. Always an outsider at school, Renee is a little weird by the standards of those she schools with but she soon makes new friends... Then the rules of her world change, and nothing will be the same again...Start the book for a thrilling look into an exciting realm where a teen girls wild fantasies come true... Continue to read to find out why not all is as it seems...

  • Ryan Guy
    2018-11-02 16:52

    Pick a genre, any genre. Now pick four more and mix them all together. Chances are you'll end up with a convoluted mess. But if done right, you will have created a captivating novel with broad appeal. Kind of Like Life gets it right. It lead me down a familiar path, and then, just when things started getting too predictable, pushed me over a cliff I never saw coming. Humorous, insightful, disturbing, and featuring main characters with depth, this book never failed to entertain.Kind of Like Life packs a wallop! Cliché, I know, but so fitting for this compact thriller.

  • J.K. Norry
    2018-11-16 19:24

    When I started reading “Kind of Like Life”, by Christina McMullen, I felt the comforting landscape of a familiar genre begin to unroll before me. Renee is an awkward young lady ready to make a fresh start in a new town. She finds that there may be a chance at the life she always wanted in her new surroundings, and her dreams seem to be coming true one by one. By the time a special kind of magic touches her new life, Renee seems poised on the brink of happiness for the first time in all of her angst-riddled years. McMullen sets the scene up perfectly for a heart-warming love story steeped in supernatural discovery, ushering the reader toward excited anticipation at what happens next. Then she pulls the rug out from under you in the most delightful way, and a new pace sets in as a whole new story begins to unfold.We meet Blake just as we discover that Renee is a more complicated character than we may have supposed. We see her multifaceted nature through his eyes, and in the looking he comes alive. The tale takes an unanticipated turn when he steps in, and Renee’s world comes alive to turn her own depth and darkness against her. I found myself transported from a comforting fantasy to a harsh and bitter reality right alongside Renee. I needed to know if she was going to be alright, if there was any way for her to ever be alright; or if the doom surrounding her every moment was going to overtake her, as seemed inevitable. One vivid scenario after another unfolded within this beautifully layered story, and it added a special poignant element to the connection between Renee and Blake. It wasn’t until the pacing drew me quickly to the conclusion that I saw the beautiful shining heart of the tale.I am hesitant to say much more about the actual story, at the risk of being vague. There were so many pleasant surprises for me, as a reader of many genres; and the greatest surprise was that the story grew more believable, and at the same time more fantastical, as it revealed itself. This is a well-crafted tale that I would happily recommend to readers of any genre. I am not a huge fan of romance in and of itself ordinarily, but I was particularly touched by the love story woven subtly into the dark descending hopelessness of this book. Like the story itself, it evolves and grows to reveal layers of meaning that the reader gets to discover right along with the compelling characters.The darkness is an intriguing place for many of us, but there’s always the chance that a story is going to take us too deep into it or leave us feeling too steeped in it. I am personally unable to see the point of a dark story if there’s not some light to be found in it, just as I am often frustrated with an unrealistically light ending to a story rooted in tragedy. While still being as vague as possible, I have to say that the end of this book was as rewarding as its unfolding for me. If you see a good book as being akin to a good fireworks show, and anyone who enjoys both can surely draw an easy comparison, you know the finale is as important as the show itself. This finale left me with all the light I needed, bittersweet tears on my face, and some cold hard reality to think about in a refreshing new way…all the things a good book needs to be great.I look forward to reading the other books Christina McMullen has written. Her easy voice and skillful pacing already have me wondering what other wildly realistic ideas she has brought to life, and her light personal commentary made me feel like I was getting to know her along with her lifelike characters. I can sum up this entire review by reiterating what I said earlier…if you like to read great books in any genre, and especially if you are a cross-genre reader like myself, you are going to love this book!

  • Marnie Cate
    2018-11-12 18:33

    Fantastic ReadThe story was a roller coaster of suspense and imagination. The characters were real. The author painted a world like none other I had imagined. Anyone that enjoys a book with adventure, a bit of romance and a thrilling storyline will love this book as much as I did.

  • Ben Mariner
    2018-10-29 16:32

    I got this book for free when the wonderful author put it up on Amazon a few weeks ago, but I was in the middle of another series at the time so I kind of forgot what this book was about when I started it. That being said, it started off a little cheesey, and to be honest, I didn't have high hopes. I thought it was just going to be your average, run-of-the-mill YA para rom.Then chapter four ended and holy cow was I wrong. The plot kind of snowballed out of control at that point, but in the most fantastic, controlled way ever. Every few chapters I felt like I was kind of getting in the groove of the story and then shit would go haywire again. I've never been tossed around by a book so much and actually enjoyed it. A lot of jumping but I never lost the story and it always kept me engaged, which is really quite a feat all things considered. I don't know that I've ever read a book that ended so far away from how it started before and actually liked it this much.Chrisitna McMullen is such an awesome writer and you're a terrible person if you haven't read any of her stuff yet. There's no better place to start than Kind of Like Life. MUST READ!!!

  • Sarah Sunday
    2018-11-02 23:44

    Kept me on edge - a breezy, twisty read.I am not sure what I expected, but this definitely surpasses any expectations I had. It starts off sort of cliche, but then it starts adding in the weirdness that explains the cliche in a way that it makes it all clever. It has a twist that we all sort of mock or joke about, but it works in this case, as it is fleshed out and is given purpose more than just to be a twist. The idea of characters having to be genre savvy to survive was very cool. The two main characters were probably the least interesting part of the novel, but they worked fine as just vehicles to move through the story. The ending felt a bit rushed, but it was very satisfying considering all the trouble the pair went through. The book was overall very satisfying. Recommend it to anyone looking for something that explores genre and imagination.

  • Eric
    2018-10-19 16:29

    I absolutely loved this book. The story was interesting at the beginning, causing me to be anxious to see what happens next, but when the surprise shift occurs (I refuse to include a spoiler here!), it took me by surprise. From there, things just got better. With a perfect blend of action and thought-provoking mystery, the only thing I disliked was that it wasn't longer. I like the fact that the author writes in several different genres, just whatever story is begging her to get out of her mind and onto paper (or a screen). I've read other books by her and will continue to do so.

  • E.P.
    2018-10-19 21:43

    A really fun, different teen fantasy/paranormal romance story. It starts off going down one plotline, and then there is a HUGE plot twist, which obviously I can't reveal. So I'll just say that the main character is very sympathetic and there's a lot here that's fun and different, with not just one fantasy world but all different kinds, and a sweet ending. If you like the YA fantasy/romance genre, you should definitely check this book out.

  • Charles Hash
    2018-11-13 18:25

    When the walls begin to fall away in this book, the story and characters really spread their wings and soar through an adventure that merges the inner psychological world with the outer psychopathic world, in a classic, tense YA thriller that doesn't stop once the bottom drops out.

  • Melissa Jensen
    2018-11-02 16:40

    An enjoyable read with a fascinating concept. What may start out as a typical "typical teenager meets a world of magic" soon takes a twist that pulls you in and holds on tight.

  • Karen
    2018-11-07 18:41

    A very good and absorbing read.Exploring the possibility of human minds communicating directly and non-verbally as well as the creativity of the intelligent human mind, the book kept me interested until the end. Although this is targeted to a young adult audience, the story holds up for older readers. An interesting voyage into the power of the mind.

  • Kimelene Carr
    2018-11-11 20:52

    I had already been enjoying the first pages when quite unexpectedly, the story got even better when it suddenly transitioned into this amazing sci fi fantasy adventure... at this point it is near impossible to put the book down. Christina McMullen knows how to grab readers' minds, pulling readers into the pages of her story. I loved the surprise twist... I would, without a doubt, recommend this book to others!

  • Julia
    2018-10-24 16:32

    Overall I give Kind of Like Life 4 stars!I'll admit that when I first started reading, I was a bit confused. I was not experiencing the story but being told the story. My confusion was allayed a couple of chapters in, when I realized that this was appropriate to the story itself. I'd go ahead and tell you, but even though it is at the beginning of the book, I feel like it'd be spoiler-y, so I won't. But I will say that once I made this realization, the story became an experience I was inescapably drawn in to.The adventure's Renee finds herself on are continuously mind-bending, and the rules are always changing. Can she and Blake find a way out of this "life," and if they do, what then?Positive:-Once the "real" story began (if it can be called real...), I was sucked into the story and not spit out until it was finished! It was captivating, emotional, and kept me on my toes!-The twists continued up through the very end of the book.-I liked how quick-witted Renee was, especially given the strangeness of her situation.-Blake was an interesting character with quite the backstory, and I enjoyed his emotional strengths and weaknesses.-This was an enjoyable read, through and through. I also liked the ending.Negative:-As I've said, I had a hard time with the beginning until I realized it was a device, not a standard for the entire book.-I thought some of the recovery aspects, especially for Blake, to be quite quick.-I'm not sure they'd be off the hook so easily in the end.Other:-The switch between character point of views was unexpected (I think I've been reading a lot of limited POV and first person POV lately, shaping my expectations). It was not bad, but sometimes it was like sliding from one mind into the other.I certainly think if you get a free afternoon, you'll not be disappointed in spending it with Renee Ward and Blake Carter.*This review also appears on my blog.

  • Rian Nejar
    2018-11-08 22:41

    A highly imaginative, creative YA fantasy, Christina McMullen's Kind of Like Life is anything but ordinary life. Beginning with rote social and lifestyle concerns of a young girl, the story moves with rapidity into twists and turns that surprise and grip even the most skeptical reader. And the intensity - that demands a readers attention - is maintained throughout the work, increasing as it moves toward a predictable yet insanely complicated series of events near its conclusion. This is the first work I've come across that experiments with delving into various themes in fiction genre, all within one story, and does so with commendable success. Ms. McMullen succeeds marvelously in suspending a reader's disbelief as she takes her characters, who are very well developed in the narration, through a number of implausible and life-threatening scenarios that they must navigate through. As they navigate these situations, they develop an awareness of themselves, and each other...leading eventually to a fulfilling conclusion of an intricate plot with innumerable twists. While there may be instances, and scenarios, where a discerning reader may experience bewilderment, or a picky editor may find minor flaws, the story moves along fluidly and seamlessly. It is well written, eminently readable, and quite enjoyable, even for one who is not a YA fantasy fan. I am glad I picked this delectable story up during a promotion, and do recommend it for teens and adults alike!

  • A.E. Hellstorm
    2018-11-02 16:38

    I don’t do all-nighters anymore, nor do I do all-dayers, but... but… this book made me drop all my household duties and leave the kids to my husband. I don’t even remember when that happened last time. ‘Kind of Like Life’ started out as a sweet YA-novel with a fairytale-feel to it, nothing out of the ordinary, but suddenly everything within it changed and I sat with a book of a kind I had never read before. It was a fabulous feeling following the main protagonist as she with all her wit and might and determination tried to solve the impossible situation she suddenly found herself in. I cannot go in further on details since I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you are looking for a unique YA-novel that will take you on a whirlwind ride, this is the one. I have to say, though, that I loved the ending and its beautiful message that even if life changes dramatically, it is still worth living.Don’t hesitate, get this book today, and be amazed.

  • Heather
    2018-11-14 16:39

    What a weird book. This story started out with this girl finding out she's a Guardian of light and the cute boy at school is her protector. Weird. Then they go on a date and he gets killed and it goes off into left field from there. You have some random boy telling her that this life that she think she's living is all in her head because she's actually in a coma. The two run off to adventures on alien planets, some desert land, nothing seems to gel together. And then the end you find out they're being mind controlled by some crazy scientist doctor. It was just so scattered and odd and it was hard to follow the story because they're so much weirdness. I guess the end was pretty good the two extremely damaged people find Love and acceptance in each other. Good ending. Weird story.

  • Igzy Dewitt
    2018-10-20 17:52

    Short and sweet, exotic, challenging, exciting, and at times impossible. What a lovely way to kill an afternoon. Christina McMullen has crafted a fun YA novel that travels through so many of the good parts of various genres any reader might find this a treat. Good twists, sudden turns, and well turned but raw looks at the emotions of a young person learning to become an adult. This was my first YA novel, and I didn't know what to expect from it, but now I'm glad I read it. Definitely worth the price of admission.

  • Stephanie
    2018-11-16 20:52

    Love love love!!This story is a sweet treat for book lovers! With the characters the readers traverse different worlds and embark on an action packed adventure full twists and turns. The story also sends the reader on a roller coaster of emotions with a fantastic plot and excellent character development. The characters also were very relatable. While the beginning of the book moved a little slow, it certainly picked up and didn't let go! I read it in one sitting! Christina McMullen has landed herself on my favorite authors list!!! Can't wait to read more from her!

  • Brittany Goodman
    2018-11-14 16:42

    WowThat was a trippy ride but in anyway it all made sense. While, for most the book, there were only 2 characters, both of them were very we'll developed and very likeable. E world building was interesting and satisfying. The ending was happy and I wouldn't have minded an epilogue a few years in the future. Otherwise this is definitely a great read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys SciFi and fantasy with clean romance.I received this book free from one of the book subscription emails.

  • Steph Mayor
    2018-11-05 00:50

    Absolutely Brilliant! Inception on a New Level. Holy crap. I haven't read a book that fascinated me this month in forever! When it started out, I was close to putting it down because it was so... juvenile, but I am so glad I didn't. At times it was a little cliche with the romance aspects but that's to be expected in a way. I can't stress enough how much I enjoyed this story.