Saturday 30 March 2019

Review: The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum

Twins are forced to confront a violent secret from their past in Jenna Blum's first novel since her runaway bestseller, Those Who Save Us 

How far would you go to protect a sibling-and at what cost to yourself? 

In Those Who Save Us, Jenna Blum proved herself a master storyteller with brilliant insight into the spectrum of human emotion. Now, Blum turns her sights to the most intimate and mysterious of family relationships-that between twins-in her powerful and provocative second novel.

As a teenager, Karena Jorge had always been the one to look out for her twin brother Charles, who suffers from bipolar disorder. But as Charles begins to refuse medication and his manic tendencies worsen, Karena finds herself caught between her loyalty to her brother and her fear for his life. Always obsessed with the weather-enraptured by its magical unpredictability that seemed to mirror his own impulses—Charles starts chasing storms, and his behavior grows increasingly erratic . . . until a terrifying storm chase with Karena ends with deadly consequences, tearing the twins apart and changing both of their lives forever.

Two decades later, Karena gets a call from a psychiatric ward in Wichita, Kansas, to come pick up her brother, whom she hasn't seen or spoken to for twenty years. She soon discovers that Charles has lied to the doctors, taken medication that could make him dangerously manic, and disappeared again. Having exhausted every resource to try and track him down, Karena realizes she has only one last chance of finding him: the storms. Wherever the tornadoes are, that's where he'll be. Karena joins a team of professional stormchasers-passionate adventurers who will transform her life and give her a chance at love and redemption—and embarks on an odyssey to find her brother before he reveals the violent secret from their past and does more damage to himself . . . or to someone else.

Hardcover384 pages
Published May 27th 2010 by Dutton Adult

Terri's Thoughts

I randomly selected this story while browsing available e-book from the public library.  As I have read this author before and the story looked intriguing, I figured why not.

This story was both interesting and frustrating at the same time. I, who is terrified of storms, was completely taken with the storm chasing aspect of the story.  I gobbled up all the lingo and the action and couldn't wait to see what would happen next.  This was the best part for me.

What I found completely frustrating is Karen's need to save Charles.  OK I get it, they have the twin bond but believe me, as I am also twin, there needs to come a time when enough is enough.  She covered for him, and tried to save him so many times that she lost sight of her own life.  While I know mental illness is a difficult situation, I really felt while she could continue to try to save him by getting the proper treatment, she no longer should have been making excuses for him as she was only enabling him.  By losing herself in thinking she could help him, she instead lost who she was.

I know I am sitting here on my high horse as the situation is much more complex than I am making it sound but I am a firm believer in the airline philosophy.  When the oxygen mask falls, put it on yourself before others as you are useless to help others if you cant take care of yourself.  I digress.

Needless to say the story makes you think. Regardless of your thoughts about Karena,
you still want everything to end up ok in the end.  You will have to read the story to find out.

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