Friday, November 11, 2011

The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum

Published in 2010. 373 pages.

First sentence: Karena Jorge's birthday starts as a quiet affair, but she doesn't mind.

Plot summary: Karena and her bipolar twin brother Charles share a violent secret. After twenty years of estrangement, Karena receives a call that leads her - quite literally - into the eye of the storm, back into Charles' life and on the road toward love and redemption.

Why I read this book: The Stormchasers was a Salt Lake County Library Reader's Choice nominee for July-October 2011.

What I thought: Jenna Blum provides a fascinating look at storm chasers as well as a heart-breaking view of bipolar disorder. I couldn't help but think of the musical Next to Normal (which I recently saw) as I read. Storms are a great metaphor for the novel's themes. I'm eager to read Blum's first novel, the bestselling Those Who Save Us.

A favorite passage:

[The sun] appears first as a gray patch in the east, then shoots white rays over the buildings across the highway. Finally, when it casts a fine gold net over the Sandhills lawn, they get up to go back to their room. Karena is stiff from sitting, and chilled and damp with dew. But while they are crossing the grass their movement startles a flock of birds in the vacant lot next to the motel, and she stops to watch them rise as one and circle into the sky. It seems an omen of something. Karena just doesn't know what.

For more information: Discussion questions can be found here. Susan at Bloggin' 'bout Books interviewed Jenna Blum here. The Stormchasers page of Jenna Blum's website is here.



  1. I read Those Who Save Us (my thoughts here) and thought it was good, but not great. I think I'd like to give this one a try.

  2. Joy: Although this one is contemporary rather than historical fiction, I understand it explores some of the same themes as Those Who Save Us, particularly regarding family and what one is willing to do for a loved one.

  3. Those Who Save Us is VERY graphic! Be prepared. It wasn't my favorite.
    I have this on my shelf...but reluctant to read it.