Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Book review - We Are Still Tornadoes

Title: We Are Still Tornadoes
Author: Michael Kun and Susan Mullen
Genre: realistic fiction
Similar books: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
                     Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Summary (provided by publisher): Growing up across the street from each other, Scott and Cath have been best friends their entire lives. Cath would help Scott with his English homework, he would make her mix tapes (it's the 80's after all), and any fight they had would be forgotten over TV and cookies. But now they've graduated high school and Cath is off to college while Scott is at home pursuing his musical dreams.
During their first year apart, Scott and Cath's letters help them understand heartache, annoying roommates, family drama and the pressure to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. And through it all, they realize that the only person they want to turn to is each other. But does that mean they should be more than friends? The only thing that's clear is that change is an inescapable part of growing up. And the friends who help us navigate it share an unshakable bond.
Co-written by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen, We Are Still Tornadoes is a funny yet deeply moving book--set to an awesome 80's soundtrack--that captures all the beautiful confusion and emotional intensity we find on the verge of adulthood...and first love.

My opinion: At first I didn't really know what to make of this book, but it quickly won me over. Both Cath and Scott's voices are charming and distinct. Even though the narrative is a series of letters, they are letters that show the perfect level of detail. We get to know secondary characters simply through the description and stories provided by Scott and Cath, to the point that we can begin to predict their behaviors. The setting is spot on. Cultural references place us in the 80's but remain subtle. There is an undercurrent of humor  in each letter that speaks to these characters being lifelong friends but doesn't detract from serious moments and the heart of the novel. The letter format helps to keep the plot moving. While the ending is a little more happily-ever-after than I generally prefer, it remains an enjoyable read and one that I would easily recommend for most teens.

Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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