First Lines: Even though there’s a black wedge of sky in front of me that might drop a twister at any second, I can’t get my mom’s voice out of my head.
This was a book that caught my attention by the cover and the description. (Now that I say that…I think that’s how most books get me…) What I mean is that there was something unique about both: storm chasers. I can honestly say I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve read on storm chasers. I was looking forward to this.
Jane’s life has been anything but normal, living with an alcoholic mother. Jane can’t even admit to herself that her mother is spiraling out of control until her mom crashes the car with Jane and her best friend in the car. Jane turns to her older brother Ethan, who left home years ago for college. A summer with Ethan and his friends chasing storms might just be what Jane needs to put her life in perspective. But the anger and guilt build up in her–how can she trust the brother who walked out on her six years ago? Is she leaving her mom just when her mom needs her most? This trip might be more about self-discovery than Jane had bargained for…
First off, I just want to say that this book is an incredibly quick read, if that’s something you’d like to mix in to your reading list. At just shy of 250 pages, it only took me a few hours to finish. It’s nice when a book is that quick, but I usually feel like something’s left out or it’s rushed. With this book, I thought things felt rushed. But I’ll probably talk about that more later.
Jane’s character is pretty average, really. There’s nothing about her that stands out as unique or extraordinary, which I think was part of the point. She’s simply a Plain Jane that we can all relate to on some level. Her mom has made it virtually impossible for Jane to have a normal life, which does give Jane some interesting tidbits of “wisdom” along the way. There was something touching about how much Jane cared about those around her, even when they might not have deserved it.
The other characters were nice too, but I didn’t feel like they were fully fleshed out. (This goes back to the book being short.) The only character who seemed to be fleshed out was Victor, who isn’t exactly a main character. He was the only other one that I could more or less predict what he would do ahead of time. I wish some of the other characters were that defined, like Ethan and the only other girl on the team, Hallie. It would’ve been nice for Jane to have a girl to bond with.
The storm chasing was really neat. It was well described and featured pretty prominently in the story. This was a nice introduction to how real storm chasers…um…chase storms. There was a lot about it I didn’t know.
It really was a touching story. Jane deals with more than she should have to, and it became clear in those moments how much those around her cared about her, even if Jane doesn’t see it herself. Still, it was a touching story about friends, family, and what it means to live for yourself.
Overall, a cute story. I just wish the characters were a little more developed!