"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum

A Plume Book
Published by The Penguin Group

This is a story about a brother and sister that are twins, Karena and Charles.  Charles suffers from rapid cycling bipolar disorder.  They have not seen each other for 20 years when Karena receives a call from a mental hospital in Kansas telling her they have admitted her brother. She rushes to the hospital only to learn that he had been released and the doctor there knew nothing about his bipolar disorder.   

Charles has always been obsessed with tornadoes, even when they were children.  He has been taking off and chasing storms his whole life. He went missing after a terrible accident that occurred when he and Karena were chasing a storm.  

It is prime storm season and Kansas is in the part of the United States known as "Tornado Alley". If she is ever going to find her brother now is the time.  She signs on with professional storm chasing tour group under the guise of her real job as a journalist writing a story about storm chasing. She hopes she will find her brother while touring with this group and get him the help her really needs.

I was so psyched about this book. I loved the first part, learning about chasing the storms and the part where they actually got caught up in one and witnessed the aftermath.  After that this book became very disjointed for me and a bit repetitive.  It starts out in 2008, then goes back to the twins past, then back to 2008 and then ends with an epilogue in 2009 to tie everything together.  Written this way the story seems to lose the natural flow, some of the relationships seem forced and not believable. The ending seems rushed and again unbelievable.  It seems people either loved this book or feel like I do.  This is my first Jenna Blum book and this may be her writing style and it just isn't "my cup of tea.  The premise is very good and seemed well researched but I would recommend that unless you are a true fan of this author, this would be a good library pick, not one to rush out and purchase.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Plume Books, a division of Penguin Publishing . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Tami said...

Thanks for the honest review. I've been eyeing this one at the library. I may still give it a try, but won't bother buying it.

dollycas aka Lori said...

Tami, it is hard to write reviews like this. Then I remember if we all liked the same thing life would be pretty boring. I love having this blog to promote good books and good authors but I also vow to myself and my followers to give you my honest opinion and I will always do that.

Steve Capell said...

First of all thanks for your honest review. I have been reading several reviews of this book and they seem to be all over the chart. I keep a list of books that I may want to add to my TBR platter and this one hasn't made it to the list at the moment. I have so many books that I want to read and I am a bit choosier with the books that will be added to my list. I have read several of Oprah's book club nominations, but I am very careful to get other opinions before I read the books they recommend. Case in point, they recommended Jonathan Franzen's book "Freedom" and I thought it was a complete disaster. The language was over the top for my taste and the ongoing dialog between the characters seemed far from realistic. I so appreciate your reviews as I have found them to be very honest and ones that I can count on!


mike draper said...

I agree with your opinion that we all have different tastes. I liked your review.

Happy Easter.