Published by Self-Published on April 9, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Seventeen-year-old Charlotte O’Dell knows this summer is going to suck. Her mother just died, her sister hates her, and her dad has completely checked out. Fulfilling her mother’s final wish, the family heads to Angel Island for the summer to stay in a beach house her mother once loved.
After a year of being shut away taking care of her mother, Charlotte is numb and practically afraid of her own shadow; she hopes going to the island will give her the time and space she needs to begin healing, and an opportunity to bring her family back together. When she meets her mysterious neighbour, Ezra, it doesn’t take long for Charlotte to confess the issues she’s developed. Ezra begins giving Charlotte assignments to get over her fears, and although she accepts his tasks, all she really wants is to be with him. When she’s with Ezra, she’s able to forget the hollow ache in her heart and the fact that her family is falling apart. But Ezra has secrets…
Can Charlotte pull what’s left of her family together, mend her broken heart, and allow herself to fall for Ezra? Or is it all just a storm waiting to happen?
Disclosure:I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
// COVER TALK //
The cover is very pretty! The blues and greens are eye-catching, and I like the simplicity of it. The scene depicted on the cover and the title are perfect and make total sense after reading Charlotte’s story.
// EXPECTATIONS //
I was looking forward to this one after I read The Game Changer by Marie Landry and really enjoyed it. This one sounded really emotional and like my kind of book so when Marie put out a call for reviewers I jumped at the chance!
// MY THOUGHTS //
Just as with my review of The Game Changer, I feel I need to give a little disclaimer: I interact often with the author, Marie Landry, often on Twitter and on her book blog. However, while personally knowing an author can sometimes cloud a reviewers judgement, I found that right off the gate I was looking more critically at what I was reading, perhaps in a subconscious attempt to counter-act any favouritism. Despite that, I quickly found myself falling in love with this book. Anyways, I’d just like to say that this review is my honest opinion – as always.
This book is full of great, complex characters! Charlotte appeared to have it all together on the outside, but was really struggling with many anxieties and her own grief on the inside. I loved that she was a bookworm and blogger! Charlotte’s connection with books felt authentic, especially while she was grieving, and I loved reading about her time at the library and her blog post about the importance of reading. Gabriella/Ella, her younger sister, was a handful for sure! Her character was very jarring in contrast to Charlotte, and the spite and hurt that was directed towards her older sister in her time of grief was so painful to read. Ella’s character development and the bond between these sisters had me crying by the end! Ezra was a great character as well, and was a very thoughtful, caring guy who had many more layers to him than I originally judged (I’ll admit, I thought he was going be a bit boring at first, but Marie Landry proved me wrong!).
I really liked how Charlotte and Ezra’s relationship was built around their developing friendship throughout the book. However, at times, things could get a bit cheesy between the two of them, and at first I was worried it was going to be an instance of instalove. But they did take it slow, despite how comfortable the two were with each other upon first meeting. Like I said before, Ezra was a truly nice guy, demonstrated by not only his thoughtful and caring words, but more importantly, his actions. I think in the end I felt more of an intense friendship chemistry between them than I did romantic love, but I can accept that these two were perfect for each other at that specific point in their lives.
As much as there was romance in the plot, this book really focused on grief and the many ways you can love someone: as a friend, as a family member, as a romantic interest, etc. I felt the portrayal of love and grief to be incredibly realistic, both in how it affects one individually and as a family. I’ve had a super close friend lose a parent recently and I could see her grief, thoughts and actions mirrored in Charlotte and her family. The last few chapters were BEAUTIFUL (and really swayed me to up my rating to a 4.5 from a 3.5!!). I was tearing up and crying from chapters 19 onwards. Landry dealt with grief and depression in such a positive, but authentic way and my heart was just bursting with happiness at the end!
Waiting for the Storm really reminded me in some ways of Stay and Deb Caletti’s style of writing. If you are looking for a good (Canadian!) contemporary read that deals with love and grief authentically and has complex characters with great character development (and I mean, really, who wouldn’t want that?) then I definitely recommend you check out this book!
// Share your thoughts… //
Have you read Waiting for the Storm? What did you think? Is this book making its way onto your TBR list/pile? What are your favourite books about grief and loss?