We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun, Susan Mullen
Released: November 1, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
It’s the summer of 1982, and for Scott and Cath, everything is about to change.
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.
We are still Tornadoes is a delightful book with each chapter completely in the form of hand written letters between the two protagonists, Scott and Catherine, set between 1982 to 1983. Being best friends since school, Cath has now joined college while Scott is now working in his dad’s clothing store. The story shows how Cath and Scott deal with new relationships, scandals, follow their dreams, cope with family loss and find themselves over this one year.
To begin with, this book immediately hooked me with the writing style. Being that each chapter is uniquely described through letters between Scott and Cath, I felt personally connected to the characters and could easily relate to them. The pacing is smooth and gradual (for the most part), and we see how Scott and Cath help each other deal with the problems they are faced with. More than Cath, I loved Scott’s character, and how he matures in the book. Being a fan of 80s music, the musical references thrown in were a treat. There are some laugh-out-loud moments (like when Cath throws up in her dad’s car) as well as some tear jerker moments (particularly when reading the fantastic lyrics to Scott’s original songs).
However, there are a few flaws in this book that made me disappointed upon finishing it. Firstly, the ending felt too rushed. This might be a possible spoiler alert, but while reading, I thought Scott and Cath were just friends and nothing more. So it really irked me when their relationship suddenly progressed in the blink of an eye in the last few pages. The authors could have just ended the story without doing this, or if they did want to have a happy ending, they should have made this more gradual. Instead, I felt like they became lazy and forced the last few pages on the reader just to get some closure.
Secondly, while I loved the way the story was written, the downside is that we don’t get a clear description of their surroundings, insight to their families and know what exactly happens when Scott and Cath meet in person. Apart from this, there were some pages here and there where I felt like nothing was really happening, and the dialogue between the two felt repetitious.
Still, this is a very cute book that is definitely worth reading once.