Tuesday, May 31, 2011

THE STORMCHASERS BY JENNA BLUM


Karena Jorge, a reporter celebrating her 38th birthday. It’s on her birthday; she can’t help but admit her feelings of emptiness as she longs to be with her twin brother, Charles. She hasn’t seen her twin in more than a decade and has no idea where he is. As she blows out the candles on her birthday cake, it’s no wonder she wishes to reconnect with him. Later that night, Karena believes her wish came true when a hospital calls looking for Charles next of kin. She takes off in hopes of finally reconnecting with Charles, her storm chasing twin who suffers from bipolar disorder. Sadly, he has left the hospital before she gets there. Having missed him once again she decides to follow ‘his’ work by taking a storm chasing tour in hopes of finding him. As Karena sets off on her odyssey to bring him home, she is forced to confront the storm that separated the twins and she realizes she must go through the storm if she ever wants to find the rainbow that awaits her on the other side.
I personally loved reading all the information about storms and how the storm cashers go after them. I one of those people who when the tornado sirens go off…I run outside to see if I can anything. I felt this first part of the book gave a lot of story, but I really didn’t feel any real connection to the story. I didn’t really get the why Karena was so determined to find her brother (I mean yes; he has a disorder and wants to see him safe).
 When I hit part two of the story I was hooked. Part two takes you into the twins past. I really understood Karena on a whole new level. I just was so engaged in what was going on. I felt so many emotions—moments where I was holding my breath. The story goes from a story about twins with one having bipolar and the other one being responsible for the other, to a story with a deadly situation. I was so impressed with Blums’ writing causing me to feel such a range of emotions.
Part three is back to present day. I felt like I was waiting for a storm to blow-up, and Blum delivered! Karena has spent the last twenty years of her life running from a storm so big, so intense…and it’s finally come for her.
A gripping novel bringing a face to bipolar and showed how an entire family is impacted over a lifetime when one member is diagnosed with it. For me, I found I enjoyed the book the more and more I read. It was really in the second half where I could connect to Karena and that was a huge turning point for me. I loved the range of emotions the three main characters go through even though we only see them through Karena’s perspective. For me, The Stormchasers is a novel you read and then take the time to savor. Definitely a great read and I will be looking forward to reading more by Jenna Blum!

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