Growing up across the street from each other, Scott and Cath have been best friends their entire lives. Cath would help Scott with his English homework, he would make her mix tapes (it's the 80's after all), and any fight they had would be forgotten over TV and cookies. But now they've graduated high school and Cath is off to college while Scott is at home pursuing his musical dreams. During their first year apart, Scott and Cath's letters help them understand heartache, annoying roommates, family drama and the pressure to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. And through it all, they realize that the only person they want to turn to is each other. But does that mean they should be more than friends? The only thing that's clear is that change is an inescapable part of growing up. And the friends who help us navigate it share an unshakable bond. This funny yet deeply moving book--set to an awesome 80's soundtrack--captures all the beautiful confusion and emotional intensity we find on the verge of adulthood...and first love.
We Are Still TornadoesFeatured
There are two things that really makes this book original and special. The first thing is the writing style. Instead of just reading about what the characters do, Michael and Susan choose to write in letter style. As a reader you get to know the main characters through the letters they write to each other. In the beginning I didn’t like it. At all. I was confused about who was writing who and felt like there were gaps in the story. That was until I realized I really had to check the dates of the letters: sometimes time has passed between two letters and the Scott and Cath met in that time. You aren’t missing anything there, it’s just that you ONLY read what they are writing to each other, and nothing more. After a few chapters I started to adore the very thing that irritated me at the beginnen. The letters they send each other are funny, honest and sometimes a bit painful. But this really makes the story original and unable to put down.
The second thing you should really know about this book, is the time it is set in. And that is the 80’s. 1982 if I’m not mistaken. At the beginnen I was telling myself: they should just text each other to avoid further drama. And also: why is he calling her at her college paid phone? It took a while for me to realize that mobile phones didn’t exist yet and people hadn’t heard of the concept ‘texting’ yet. It was quite interesting to read bout their struggles (as letters starting crossing), and it made me realize how much I love whats app. It also made me value letters in another way. Besides the mobile phone thing, you also have the ‘music thing’. In the book, Cath and Scott talk about Micheal Jackson music. I. LOVE. IT. Cath is explaining to Scott that her roommate just loves the newly released Thriller and plays it all day long. These references make the story seem more real.
So the writing style is lovely and the world building is really realistic. But what about the plot line? I think they could’ve gotten it deeper and to a higher level if they had invested a little more in the characters. The plot line was pretty basic, and even though I really liked it, it wasn’t mind-blowing or original. It just went on and on (I kept reading tho, because of the lovely writing style). Some parts were pretty ‘exciting’ in a way, but I missed some action here and there.
The characters were fun. Cath become a real student over the course of the book and Scott finally started to realize that maybe he made a mistake and was now ruining his life. Kind of. They developed. But it still felt like something was missing. And I’m not sure what exactly that could’ve been.
Overall the book is a really nice read and I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in three (working) days and laughed a lot. I also teared up at certain parts of the story and was so happy to see that their friendship was strong enough to survive the most terrible things. I really recommend you to read the book: it’s funny, emotional, quick and original!
- lovely letters
- very funny and lots of humor
- references to music
What I liked:
My favorite part of We Are Still Tornadoes is hands down the friendship between Cath and Scott. Even though the events take place in the '80s, many readers will be able to relate to their relationship as they exchange letters back and forth. Both of these characters are smart and funny, and I love how they pledged to continue their friendship through the written word despite their distance. It IS tough to maintain a long distance relationship, even when it is between friends. So many misunderstandings and fall-outs can happen during extended periods, but these two manage to form a stronger bond even when their friendship is tested. I admire them for it!
Cath and Scott have great personalities, but if I had to pick one of them who I would love to exchange letters with, it would have to be with Scott. His antics had me laughing from the first letter and I love how he grows throughout the story. I am so jealous of Cath for having him in her life!
I must also mention that I highly enjoyed Michael Kun's and Susan Mullen's writing styles. They have a way with words that makes it seem as if letter writing (also known as epistolary) is such an effortless thing to do while it's truly not.
What left me wanting more:
Although We Are Still Tornadoes is well-written and an enjoyable read, I must admit that I sometimes wished for the story to not have been entirely told through letters. It's an amazing format, but I often missed the emotional connection you get with characters when you have access to their inner thoughts and reactions. I wish I could have felt every single emotion from each character--their excitement, pain, insecurities--rather than just be told about it after things happened.
I'm also a bit torn about the ending of this book. It ends how one hopes for it to end when starting to read this book, but I hoped for something less rushed. A few extra letters would have been nice to slowly enjoy the new relationship development between Cath and Scott. To FEEL all the feels.
All in all, We Are Still Tornadoes is a sweet read that I recommend to readers searching for a fast-paced book full of humor, friendship, and all matters of the heart.
Scott and Cath go through a lot over the course of the year, and even without the budding romance, I would have loved this book! Their potential romantic relationship and UST (unresolved sexual tension) was just the icing on the cake. Cath is dealing with her parents' relationship and Scott is dealing with death. Both use the letters and unrecorded phone calls (mentioned in the letters) to communicate with the other about the events and piece back together their lives.
I absolutely adored the book and loved their relationship, their adventures and misadventures, and the overall tone of the letters. I laughed out loud so many times I lost count. It's witty and beautiful, and I loved every second of it.
Please note that I received an uncorrected advance proof from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for my honest review.