Wednesday, 4 March 2009

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB MARCH - Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: March 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: from author

Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith.

When Michael Walden-a deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricane-arrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above.

Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist?

Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts.

Another love is uneasy kind of book, but Taken By Storm is still original through the way it is told - chats, chapbook poems and dive logs. The pace was never the same through out the story, once it was fast and intense, a second later everything was slow and dreamy. The tone also changed logically, whenever Michael voiced it was rough and raw, for Leesie's poems fragile and sweet just like her, and for chats, casual and friendly.

Leesie and Michael, both of their lives are complicated. Michael was still suffering from the great loss of his parents, unable to find his way out from the sorrow even though he believed once he was back under water, everything would be fine. Leesie was restricted in a world of rules - her religion forbid her from doing a lot of things other people considered normal: getting feet off the ground, being in the same room with a guy, using words like "grope" in a poem. They met and naturally became close; Michael needed someone to hold on to, and Leesie's heart told her she needed to save this poor guy. Love sprung slowly, along came more troubles.

Each of the main character had to struggle to survive through their romance. I enjoyed reading Leesie's poems where she poured her feelings into - first her pure soul only urged to heal Michael's, but then she found herself wanting more that that. She started to love his eyes, his hair, everything he did to her - even the scars he accidentally left on her palm. You may go mad at Leesie for making things so hard and difficult but even if you shout in your mind "screw those rules, you'll be happier without them", you'll feel bad for her being torn between her love and her faith. For Michael, he was a very complicated one. Even himself didn't know what he needed. He was stuck in his desire to dive, he was haunted, angry, lost - totally frustrated with himself. He loved Leesie, but sometimes he didn't even care about what she thought and how she felt. For once or twice I disliked Michael for he was so selfish and unreasonable, almost too lustful. But I loved the way Angela portrayed Michael's feelings, because throughout the story I almost felt just as uncomfortable and breathless as him. Like there was no way out.

I was so sad when the book ended. Even though the gloominess followed me from the start, I didn't expect it to turn out that way. It was heart-wrenching, probably something you will dwell on for a while after closing the book. However, I was satisfied, for the emotional ride never stopped, even to the last pages. When you reach the last two poems, you'll know what I mean.

Angela Morrison's debut novel will take you in a violent storm of love, lust and faith, and then, leave you with so much memories of a bittersweet love story.

Rating: 4/5


Kathy Holmes said...

Wow! This books sounds wonderful! Having grown up in a similar type of religious system, I can totally relate and I have thought about including it in a plot. Very inspiring!

lindsey-leavitt said...

Thanks for this! I've read some mixed reviews, but I think I'll pick it up.

Rhonda Stapleton said...

GREAT review. Thank you so much for being so thorough!

Keri Mikulski said...

Sounds like a good one.. Thanks for the review..

This one is on my TBR. :)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Great review--sounds like a fascinating book. And I love the cover!

Barrie said...

That really says something about a book when you're sad to reach the last page! Thanks for joining in again this month!

Barrie said...

Any chance you'll review Change of Heart? I haven't read that book yet.

Bee said...

I just read your author interview, and now I'm even more intrigued with this book. Great review, thanks!

Angela said...

This is one of my very favorite reviews, Thao! Thanks so much. Keep reading and keep writing. You'll get there. Love ya, Angela

Sarah Laurence said...

What a fun blog! I especially enjoyed reading the author interview in conjunction with your book review. Morrison sounds like a most original author with interesting life experiences. Her publication story was fascinating. I admire her for not giving up. Thanks for sharing her story.