Happy Thursday, guys!
We're catching up on our reviews, and sharing our thoughts on We Are Still Tornadoes!
It's a delightful epoistolary novel that takes place in 1982, about two best friends who navigate going in two opposite directions after graduation, and figuring out how to keep their friendship alive.
Published November 1st 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Format read: ARC via publisher
Growing up across the street from each other, Scott and Cath have been best friends for most of their lives. Now they’ve graduated high school, and Cath is off to college while Scott stays at home trying to get his band off the ground. Neither of them realized that their first year after high school would be so hard.
Fortunately, Scott and Cath still have each other, and it’s through their letters that they survive heartache, annoying roommates, family dramas, and the pressure of figuring out what to do with the rest of their lives. And through it all, they realize that the only person they’ve ever wanted to turn to is each other. But does that mean they should think about being more than friends? One thing is clear: Change is an inescapable part of growing up, and we share unbreakable bonds with the friends who help us navigate it.
(Yeah, yeah. I know Love, Rosie was a book first. But as you can probably tell by my review, I didn’t really like the book. However, the movie was fantastic, largely due to the talents of Lily Collins and Sam Clafin.)
Which is why, I eagerly dug into We Are Still Tornadoes. It’s an epistolary tale by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen, covering the first year of college between Scott and Cath. He’s stayed at home to try and become a famous musician, while Cath is at Wake Forest, trying to make it through their first year of college.
Through snail mail letters – remember those? – Scott and Cath spend a year growing both as people, and in their relationship with one another. It’s a growth that comes with ebbs and flows, particularly as Kun and Mullen do a brilliant job of detailing the natural worries of growing apart, as Cath and Scott begin evolving in different directions.
While some readers may initially worry that a worldview strictly isolated to snail mail correspondence will limit their understanding of Cath and Scott, Kun and Mullen’s letters are so rich and detailed, it feels like readers are living alongside the two friends as their year progresses.
Although many of the storylines deserve recognition, my favorite absolutely had to be Scott’s growth as a character. He starts out as a stereotypical guy who is just too cool for school, and learns through trial and error, just what kind of potential he has to offer others. It’s a storyline I’m sure many a young reader will relate to, and Kun and Mullen deserve kudos for including it.
Though the book takes place in Cath’s first year of college, it’s only veers into NA territory once or twice. Think ‘80s YA films a la Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and that’s pretty much We Are Still Tornadoes in a nutshell.
Highly recommend this funny, delightful tale. Full stop.
About the authors:
We Are Still Tornadoes is Susan Mullen’s first novel and first collaboration with Michael. She is a graduate of Duke University, where she studied English literature, and the University of Virginia School of Law. She practices law and lives in Northern Virginia. Sue has been married to her law school classmate Kevin Mullen for 25 years, and they have two daughters.