Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review: The Waiting Sky

Author: Lara Zielin
Publication Date: August 2, 2012
Publisher: 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.

When I was younger I was terrified of tornados or twisters, but now I LOVE storms! Isn’t that funny? Thunder and lightning actually put me in a great mood and I always use storms as the perfect opportunity to pull out a great book and read for awhile. The twister in the jar immediately caught my eye! It is a huge symbol for being able to contain chaos and I am so digging it!!!  

This book reminded me so much of Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols and I mean that in a totally good way. This is the story of a girl who is drowning in the misery and problems in her own life and most of them are created by her alcoholic mother. Jane McAllister goes out to Oklahoma to stay with her brother, Ethan, and help him and his storm chasing team, Tornado Brothers, locate and photograph a few bad tornados. This is more than just an escape for Jane; it’s a way to be released from the grips of her mother and make her own life.

I loved Jane from the moment that I was introduced to her. Jane’s story could happen to anyone and I often felt so sorry for the way she was forced to live. Her mother was a severe alcoholic and often times squandered away all of their money for alcohol at the local bar. Jane was always there to protect and take care of her mother, and when Jane left to go out west her mother was completely lost. Jane loved her mother and it was so sad to see Jane struggle through letting her mother go, but she knew that she had to do it for her own good. It was such a heart wrenching experience to read and see Jane struggle, but she became so much stronger because of it.

Then there was the actual chasing tornados part!! It was so full of action and so electrifying to see how the team of storm chasers interacted with one another on the journeys after massive storms. I have never read a story before about chasing storms and I was so pleased with this one that I want more. These people, including Jane, all have to have a little adrenaline junkie inside of them somewhere in order to be able to do what they do. Jane was so used to dealing with chaos, after taking care of her mother for so long, that she fit right in with the team and really seemed to enjoy helping her brother. It was one of the most thrilling reads that I have opened up this summer and I felt as if I were in the van alongside the storm the whole entire time.

You also get a look into what being a part of a real storm chaser team would feel like. They hop from town to town and stay in different hotels every night, which sounds like it might suck but the team is really a family and they seem to enjoy each other’s company more than anything. They are always eating fast food or at some local restaurant, which gives the book a nice cozy feel. The most important thing about this book is the passion that each character brings to the chase! They really love what they do and that makes for an amazing read!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by Putnam Juvenile for review purposes***


  1. Great review! This is the first I've heard of this book but it sounds like a really good one. I've added it to my TBR/WL.

    Happy reading!

    Ashley @ Dr. Pepper Diva

  2. Sounds like a fun read! Thanks for the review! :D

  3. I really have to read this book. It really appealed to me.