Title: Zyla & Kai
Author: Kristina Forest
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publishing date: 7th June 2022
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
A fresh new YA romance novel by Kristina Forest, Zyla & Kai is an epic star-crossed love story about first love and not just the will they, won’t they— but why can’t they?
While on a school trip to the Poconos Mountains (in the middle of a storm) high school seniors, Zyla Matthews and Kai Johnson, run away together leaving their friends and family confused. As far as everyone knows, Zyla and Kai have been broken up for months. And honestly? Their break up hadn’t surprised anyone. Zyla and Kai met while working together at an amusement park the previous summer, and they couldn’t have been more different.
Zyla was a cynic about love. She’d witnessed the dissolution of her parents’ marriage early in life, and it left an indelible impression. Her only aim was graduating and going to fashion school abroad. Until she met Kai.
Kai was a serial monogamist and a hopeless romantic. He’d put a temporary pause on his dating life before senior year to focus on school and getting into his dream HBCU. Until he met Zyla.
Alternating between the past and present, we see the love story unfold from Zyla and Kai’s perspectives: how they first became the unlikeliest of friends over the summer, how they fell in love during the school year, and why they ultimately broke up… Or did they?
A big thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for including me and sending me a copy to review for this Blog Tour!
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My thoughts: Zyla & Kai is a cute, ‘us against the world’, slow burn story about first love. Zyla is a cynic about love and Kai is a hopeless romantic. They meet one summer at the amusement park where they end up working the same booth.
I really enjoyed reading the way this book was written. It alternates between the past and present and shows the progression of Zyla and Kai’s relationship through their own points of view and through flashbacks.
I loved seeing Zyla and Kai’s relationship develop from friends to becoming a couple, and them dealing with the their own ideas of what love is. You can see their bond get stronger and stronger while working the games booth together.
I feel like a lot of this book could have been cut out as parts of it did drag on a little, but overall it was a very enjoyable read and you just can’t help but fall in love with these characters. I would definitely recommend this for summer reading.
Hope you all enjoyed my review! I absolutely loved reading this, it was so cute! Happy reading x
About the Author
Kristina Forest is the author of romance books for both teens and adults, including I Wanna Be Where You Are, which The New York Times called, “a big hearted story,” and Now That I’ve Found You, a Book Riot Best Book of 2020. Her next YA romance, Zyla & Kai, will publish with Kokila Books on June 7, 2022, and her adult romance debut, The Neighbor Favor, will publish with Berkley in Spring 2023. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing at The New School and she can often be found rearranging her bookshelf.