I was recently sent an advanced copy of Kaitlyn’s Wheel by Chris Halvorson, which is coming out this September! It’s a great read and somehow seamlessly blends YA romance with science fiction and faith.
The novel follows Kaitlyn Stokes and Zachary Taylor, both 18. Kaitlyn lives in a farming community in Iowa, while Zachary lives a Seattle suburb in Washington state. So how do these two teens find each other half a country away?
Kaitlyn’s father recently passed away from cancer and on the night of his passing, Kaitlyn believes she saw a UFO and that her father’s spirit was taken away by it. She had long believed that UFOs are really aliens, but a craft that transports souls to space/heaven. In the Old Testament, there is a story about Ezekiel’s Wheel – a flying saucer that took Ezekiel to visit with God in the mountains. Kaitlyn believes that what she saw – a flying saucer with flashing lights – the night of her father’s death was a spaceship taking her father to heaven.
Zachary Taylor skipped school one day and fell asleep by the river while reading a book. When the principal asked him why he missed school he joked that he as abducted by aliens. That would normally be a harmless joke, but the nosy secretary sitting outside the door texted her daughter – a student at the high school and the next thing he knew, Zachary was being bombarded with the media outside his home screaming questions asking what it was like to be abducted.
Believing that Zachary could possibly give her some information and insight into what happened with her dad, Kaitlyn reaches out to Zachary on social media. While hundreds of girls were throwing themselves at Zachary now that he was famous and good looking, there was something different about Kaitlyn. The two begin talking and forming a real connection. They begin to care and love each other so much that they begin to plan a future i.e. going to college together.
But what will happen if Kaitlyn finds out that the basis for their relationship – their experiences with UFOs, is based on a lie? Or is it?
I really liked this novel. It was easy to read, fun, and I became pretty invested in Kaitlyn and Zachary’s relationship. As mentioned above, Halvorson does an amazing job of writing a story that weaves together teen romance, the characters’ interest in science, and also faith.
There’s just one thing I wish the story had more of. Slight Spoiler Alert: Kaitlyn and Zachary do actually meet in person at the end of the novel, but I wish that we could’ve seen more of them actually together since almost all of their relationship was long distance.
Overall, I loved the storyline and characters. This book doesn’t come out til later this year, but I’ll be sure to share a link when it’s available to purchase!
P.S. totally unintentional for the lightbulb of my string of lights landed right on top of the book where the UFO light would be on the cover, but a happy coincidence!
*This book was sent to me complimentary, but all opinions are my own.*