Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin

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The Waiting Sky
Lara Zielin
Release date: August 2nd 2012
by Putnam Juvenile


One summer chasing tornadoes could finally change Jane’s life for the better

Seventeen-year-old Jane McAllister can’t quite admit her mother’s alcoholism is spiraling dangerously out of control until she drives drunk, nearly killing them and Jane’s best friend.

Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left the problems at home years ago for college. A summer with him and his tornado-chasing buddies may just provide the time and space Jane needs to figure out her life and whether it still includes her mother. But she struggles with her anger at Ethan for leaving home and feels guilty–is she also abandoning her mom just when she needs Jane most? The carefree trip turned journey of self-discovery quickly becomes more than Jane bargained for, especially when the devilishly handsome Max steps into the picture.

*A copy was provided by Penguin Group USA for review purposes*

Twister was one of my absolute favourite movies. I used to watch it over and over, fascinated by the tornadoes. Even now, years later, I find myself mesmerized by all natural disasters. They’re terrifying and set on destruction, making us seem incredibly small and powerless. When I learned that The Waiting Sky consisted of storm chasers, I simply couldn’t wait to get all over this! However, storms are only one of the parts that constitutes this invigorating, intense story.

Our fantastic main character, Jane, is blind to her mother’s recklessness. Sure her mom’s an alcoholic, but she’s not “that” bad, right? Jane’s denial of her situation with her mother is remarkably compelling. Even though we know it’s out of control, and that Jane should stop making it so easy for her, we’re thrown into Jane’s shoes so completely that we get a first hand look, and feel, at how difficult it is to accept this reality. Regardless of never having been in this situation myself, it felt highly realistic with just the right blend of naivety and cynicism. Her home life is harsh with no light in sight, which is why Jane decides to join her brother’s storm chaser team for the summer.

From one destroyer to another, Jane leaves her intoxicated mother behind to study literal vortexes of destruction: Tornadoes. The perfect distraction from a very emotional plot, this storm chasing side story works incredibly well to turn this dark, dreary book into a richly layered story filled with amazing charm that punctures the bleakness. The team of storm chasers comprises of a gang of excellent supporting characters that have issues and lives of their own. Victor, especially, had me intrigued with his PTSD sufferings. At first I despised his moodiness and inconsiderate behavior, but as time passed I became really fond of how he dealt with the cards that he was given. It’s clearly not just the main character that has true substance in this novel. Aside from Victor, Jane’s best friend Cat radiates with a power and confidence that Jane needs at the moment. She needs someone to tell her that it is NOT ok, how her mom is behaving. Even though Jane may not acknowledge it, Cat is her rock, her fierce bitch slapper. Everybody needs to get their senses slapped into place sometimes.

With fabulous characters comes a wickedly gratifying plot that involves some very serious, relatable issues, plenty of excitement, exceptional family dynamics, and a spritz of romance – It’s instantly engrossing and highly character-driven. The Waiting Sky was far more than I expected; Its two story lines are perfectly tailored together to create a tale of self-discovery that left me equally thrilled and emotionally drained. Twister with a twist, is what it is!

5 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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37 Responses to “Review: The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin”

  1. Danny

    Wooot!!!!!!!! A full 5 star rating!!! I would have passed on this one because it wouldn’t have captured my interest but seeing that there is such a mix on topics addresses it sounds like a well rounded and amazing book! Thanks!

  2. Amy

    This sounds fantastic!! I think I need this book in my life!! You have been on a roll with the awesome books lately, so many 5 espresso reads!!

  3. Christina

    OMG, yes, Twister! Haha, that’s totally why I’m excited. We used to watch it all the time in my family.

    “We’ve got cows!”
    “Actually, I think it’s just the one cow.”

    Anywho, I am super pumped for this now that I see both you AND Jenni gave it full marks. Heck yeah!

  4. Nick

    This sounds awesome! Plus, you gave it 5 hot espressos, so it should be good! I can’t wait to get a copy when it comes out next week!
    Character-driven stories are always great in my book. The whole storm chasing thing sounds very interesting!
    Brilliant review, Giselle. 🙂

  5. Alexa

    This sounds AWESOME. For one thing, I love the idea of storm chasers – they sound really exciting. And I love the fact that this is about Jane’s discovery of the truth about herself, her life and others around her.

  6. Katie @ BlookGirl

    Wow, great review, muffin! So glad that you loved this one, and Jenni did, too. Now I can’t WAIT to read it for myself! Thankfully I won’t have to wait too much longer 🙂

    “…her fierce bitch slapper.” LOL. I love that! We all need friends like that, right?

  7. A. Knight @ Paranormal Indulgence

    Okay, if I read anymore amazing reviews on this one I’m going to explode with all this pent-up anticipation! Can’t. Handle it. This sounds so remarkably awesome and I just love the idea of storm chasers. Who DIDN’T love Twister, after all? 😉

  8. Meg K.

    I’ve been looking forward to your review of THE WAITING SKY! With a gorgeous cover and an intriguing blurb, I’m not really surprised that you gave it five stars. 😛 It’s nice to see that the characters worked well for you. Your review just makes me want to read it all the more!

    Thanks for the review, Giselle!

  9. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    5 stars rating; this book must be good! I really like the sound of it (and the cover is so pretty ^^) I’m also fascinated by Tornadoes.. there is something about the violence and destruction. It’s terrible when it happens, but it also has a certain scary beauty. But I’m still very glad that we are safe here in The Netherlands :p

    But, I’m talking too much again.. Awesome review and I’m certainly going to check this one out 🙂

  10. bookworm105

    Wow. You’re on a roll for 5 hot espressos this week. I love the sound of the storm chasers and Jane’s best friend Cat sounds like a great character. I need to pick this up when it comes out.

    Great review! =D

  11. Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads

    OMG!!! Im reading this one next! holy cow!!
    Mind blowing review my dear!! I’ll have a tornado of emotions when I read this book. Im SO glad Im starting it today!! HELL YEAH!!
    Thanks for such encouraging review!! Im SO gonna devour this one now! =DDDD muah!!

  12. Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue

    WOW! What an amazing review, Giselle! I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile, but I forgot it had to do with storm chasers. (Fist pound for loving Twister like I do! We STILL turn it on when it comes on TV, no joke.) Jane sounds like a great character, and Cat sounds like a fierce, awesome friend! I cannot WAIT to meet all these characters. 🙂

  13. Keertana

    I’ve had my eye on this book for awhile and I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I love that Zielin really makes you feel connected with Jane and her problems, despite them being so vastly different from your own. Plus, the plot line surrounding a storm chaser team is completely original and I can’t wait to see how it plays out. I’m thrilled this one received 5 Stars from you! Wonderful review, Giselle! 😀

    Ivy Book Bindings

  14. Aneeqah

    Yay, I’m so happy that you loved this one Giselle! I’ve always loved natural disasters and storms in general- they always fascinate me. This book sounds like it’s packed with lots of different things, and I think that I would love that. Cat sounds seriously awesome as well, a nice and fierce character. 😉

    Fabulous review Giselle!

  15. Shooting Stars Mag

    Wow, five stars, huh? This does sound pretty awesome. Tornadoes are quite fascinating, I agree, and I LOVE the cover…how the storm is in a jar, like Jane could open it and let it totally consume her at any moment.


  16. Sam

    Wow, what a beautiful review, Giselle! I hadn’t really considered this book before but you have definitely got me interested. Mentioning Twister was a good move – I loved that movie too! 😉 I will definitely have to pick this up one day.

  17. Kristilyn (Reading in Winter)

    Wooo! You and Jenni have me so excited to read this! Sunday, Sunday, Sunday … that is the plan! I LOVED Twister when it came out and I know the instant I finish reading this I’m going to want to pop it in the DVD player for another watch. I’m beyond excited to read this book!

    Awesome review, Giselle!!

  18. Rachel

    I loved Twister! I’ve seen it so many times, we have a copy of it at our vacation home so when there’s nothing else to watch this is one of our stand-bys. I must pick this up! Great review Giselle. 🙂

  19. kimbacaffeinate

    I laughed at your opening paragraph because that could have been me writing it. When I saw the cover and the twister in the bottle the drool started…hehehe. Adding this one to my list cupcake..awesome review.

  20. Rebecca - Kindle Fever

    Wow 😮 I admit I was a little unsure about this one after first reading about it, but now I’m more than a little intrigued! 5 Hot Espressos is definitely promising! *adds to to-read pile* Fantastic review!

  21. Vegan YA Nerds

    Wow. I recognise the cover of this but I don’t think I’ve read any reviews yet. I feel like I could really relate to Jane and I have to say I am a bit fascinated with tornadoes but the the same time they’re scary! Fantastic review, G!

  22. Lalaine

    Ahh! Ive been waiting for this for like ages already, and with this amazing review I really, I must have this book. It sounds soooooo good, and reading and seeing your 5 hot espressos hell yeah! cound me in! Great review Giselle<3


  23. Aylee

    I loved Twister too!!! I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one, which is super exciting. I think the thing that intrigues me most is that there is quite a bit more depth and realism than you would expect from a tornado-chasing story. I would’ve thought it would be all action, so to hear that there’s a lot more to it than that is really what attracts me. Great review!