Sunday, April 12, 2020

We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund - OPTIONAL

We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund, 451 pages.  Philomel (Penguin), 2019.  $18.  

Content: Language: R  (37 swears; 7 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13.  



Three teens who are fifteen and sixteen, feel a pull to figure out what happened to some teens who were killed in a tornado fifty years ago.  Brenna Ortiz feels lost since her boyfriend dumped her and she meets a girl named Dot, who seems to understand Brenna in a way nobody else does.  Joshua is tired of being teased or ignored for being gay in his tiny town of Mercer, so when he sees a new tenant move in across the street, he starts to hope that somebody will finally understand him.  Callie is losing her mom to cancer, and losing herself in the process, but when an elderly woman comes into her life, Callie starts to gain control of what feels like an uncontrollable situation.  The problem with all of the new people in Callie, Brenna and Joshua’s life is that nobody else can see them because they are ghosts and they have their own pains to work through.   

The premise of this novel intrigued me, and I really did enjoy the growth that each character had dealing with their own issues.  My biggest complaint is that the build up was slow and repetitive.  The characters were whiny, saw themselves as victims and were selfish in the beginning, and that carried on for the bulk of the book, making them hard to like.  I’m not certain readers will be patient to the end to get to the redemption.  The content includes mention of child molesting, underage drinking and smoking, crass sexual references, animal abuse, a hate-fueled assault and sexual assault.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson

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