Author: Lara Zielin
Published: August 2nd 2012
Genre: Young Adult
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Caution: May contain spoilers
Seventeen-year-old Jane can’t quite face her mother’s alcoholism even though it sucks to spend all her time and energy keeping them afloat—making sure her mom gets to work, that the bills are paid when there’s money to pay them, and that no one knows her mom is so messed up. But when Jane’s mom drives drunk almost killing both them and Jane’s best friend, Jane can no longer deny her mom is spiraling out of control.
Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left years ago to go to college. A summer away with him and his tornado chasing buddies may just provide the time and space she needs to figure out whether her life still includes her mother.
But she struggles with her anger at Ethan for leaving home and feels guilty—is she also abandoning her mom just when she needs Jane most? The carefree trip turned journey of self-discovery quickly becomes more than Jane bargained for, especially when the devilishly handsome Max steps into the picture.
This story was a quick read even though the content had a heavier edge to it. I think it’s because most of it was focused on the story at present (with flashbacks interwoven here and there), while part of it touched on the serious aspect. I liked how it wasn’t too intense all the way through--because some of these kind of books can be that way.
It was a realistic portrayal of someone’s denial of a family member’s alcoholism. Jane was in denial; her brother Ethan wasn’t. Although she didn’t want to believe him about the reality of the matter, Ethan was still solid ground. She had some trust issues with him since he left home the moment he was able to, leaving her to deal with her mom by herself. Yet, those were the things that drove her to spend the summer with Ethan and his storm chasing team The Tornado Brothers.
There were few other little stories and backgrounds woven in, the different storm chasers. Max, who is on the rival storm chasing team Twister Blisters, becomes close to Jane. He’s adorable and sweet, and oddly enough, you feel you can’t trust him but he proves otherwise. I really liked the side story of Victor and his personal struggles. He was a very real character. I like realistic characters.
The Waiting Sky is the kind of novel that is very simply put although it digs much deeper than that. It’s like anyone can read this and glean the moral easily, even preteens. I liked that. Lara Zielin took this serious topic and added in a fascinating twist and love story. It is a lovely read that I would definitely recommend.