Author: Marie Landry
Published: April 9th 2014
Source: Copy given by author for honest review
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
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Caution: May contain spoilers
For most people, starting senior year at a new high school would be a nightmare, but for Ella O’Dell it’s the new beginning she desperately needs. Two months after her mother’s death, she’s ready to leave behind the rebellious, unhappy person she became when she found out her mom was dying.
When Ella meets River Maracle and Sadie Fitzgerald, she begins to learn it’s okay to be herself, even if that means being different. River and Sadie aren’t ashamed of their misfit status—River grew up on a reservation, and his mother is the school counselor; Sadie stands out with her funky homemade clothes, and is a master at ignoring the whispered rumors that have plagued her since the beginning of high school.
Ella finds a kindred spirit in Sadie, and something more in River. After almost a year of pretending to be someone she’s not, she finally embraces life and allows herself to have fun without constant guilt. But despite her budding happiness, something is off with her new life. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past, but Angel Island is a small place, and she soon realizes her demons are harder to outrun than she thought…
After the Storm is a standalone companion novel to Waiting for the Storm
Welcome to awesome. I mean, hey! You guys! It's time to talk about After the Storm. This is the... *counts* ...5th book (full-length and novella) that I've read by Marie. And like a good bottle of wine, her writing continues to get better as times goes on. ATS is the second book in the Angel Island series, and follows Waiting for the Storm. WFTS is Charlotte's story, but in ATS we get to see things from Ella's POV.
Going in, I already knew I was going to need a tissue (or two or three). Ella has been through a lot, and her eyes have seen a lot. She's learning how to be a better person again after spending so much time being terrible to everyone she came in contact with. It's still a struggle to refrain from turning into that person she was, but she's fighting it. Seeing Ella go through this, thinking back on the past and wishing for something different, I could feel her pain and frustration.
We meet some new people in ATS: some great, some not-so-great. I'm going to focus on the great. Ella's new best friends, Sadie and River, are wonderful. I loved seeing Ella become friends with Sadie--it was genuine and a true friendship, unlike Ella's previous friends over the years. And Ella and River, that was truly amazing. My favorite part of this budding romance was that it was realistic and honest, not just thrown together because they were in the same vicinity or met through friends. They had a true connection, a friendship that developed into something much deeper.
After the Storm takes you on a journey through the spectrum of emotion. You feel the loss, the regret, the hope, the pain, the love. And you can't help but connect to Ella. Marie Landry is a superb writer who knows how to create fictional characters that feel like real people. I don't think it will be possible, ever, to not love a story written by her. This one is another must read.