If you or your littles have ever dealt with some kind of major upheaval, this is a good book to make you feel not so alone. It deals not just with the aftermath of a natural disaster, but with the minor upheavals that can come out of nowhere in a teen’s life. I believe it can really help a teen who is going through changes realize that his or her feelings are completely normal. And that rocks. Because remember how alone and different you sometimes felt as teen? A good story that makes you realize you’re not is one of the best things you can get your hands on.
Jules Blacklin is having a normal teenage Friday night in football-loving Texas when a freak tornado changes everything. A boy from school saves her and some of her friends, leading them to cover when the storm hits, but he is not her boyfriend, the star quarterback, all-American boy she has been with for years. He is West, the loner bad boy of the school, and he is breathtaking and pretty amazing when Jules gets trapped in a basement with him, 2 stories of house tumbled between them and freedom. He is pretty amazing, period. In fact, I may have fallen a little in love with him myself.
Michele Miller captures the confusion and heartache that follows a small town losing 45 people to an unstoppable force. The story starts out with Jules making a recording for a time capsule, and it flips back and forth from the real time of that recording to the night the tornado happened and all its aftermath. It makes the story seem so real, that after so much time has passed Jules still has to collect herself (often) before continuing her story.
I absolutely loved that Jules was not just dealing with the effects of the disaster but also with her own changing emotions–things that had begun to change inside her before the storm even hit. I loved that West had been in love with her pretty much forever and wavered only when he doubted himself. I loved that every single character in this book was real and raw and had a truly human response to everything that was happening. The storm did not just take lives, it changed everyone and everything who remained behind.
Miller’s voice made me believe in the story, her strong writing skills moved it along at the perfect pace, and I’m happy to tell you that there is a second installment already available. This book stood alone just fine, but I think it would be intriguing to read about how Jules continues to deal with her guilt about living and the changes she has wrought in her life since the storm.
From the Wreckage is a perfect tale full of hope and healing that I think you and your littles would both benefit from reading. And the happiest part? It’s free for your Kindle on Amazon right now.
What on Earth are you waiting for?
Yes, there were affiliate links. They won’t bite.