This book has good points and bad points.
The story itself was fairly interesting. As someone who has lived in the midwest for over a decade, severe weather is pretty fascinating - so the premise of the book was compelling. The characters, though, weren't all that interesting. I found Karena to be pitiful and Charles to be scary (I guess that was the point). My favorite was actually Kevin, but I'm not sure we got to know him well enough. I think some parts of the story were rushed, and others just dragged on and on. I appreciated that the story wrapped up at the end -- but it was all a little too convenient, even for me (who likes things wrapped up).
For the most part, the writing was pretty good - but there were certain stylistic aspects that drove me crazy, and that prevented me from really enjoying the book. The biggest one was the incessant use of nicknames in the dialogue. Charles calls Karena "K", and Kevin calls her "Laredo". The use of nicknames is fine, but not in every single sentence, and especially not when the characters are talking TO each other, and not ABOUT each other. NOBODY talks like that, it was so unnatural. The person knows you're talking to them, you don't need to say their name/nickname all the time! I started to notice it halfway through the book and it was so distracting for the rest of the book. This was something that the Editor really should've insisted be changed before publication.
The other thing that irritated me more than it should have is that Charles and Karena's mother's name is Siri. Really? Granted, this book appears to have come out just before Apple invented Siri for iPhones, but it was also distracting because it was unrealistic. I mean, come on, this is Minnesota, not Berkeley.
Also, just a minor irritation -- at one point, Karena is in Wichita, KS, and goes to the airport to catch a flight to Oklahoma City, OK. First of all, no airline flies between those cities without first connecting in some airport in another state (hence, an unrealistic and time-consuming flight itinerary). Second of all, it's only a 2.5 hour drive between the two cities. Karena was going to rent her infamous Laredo in OKC anyway - so why not just drive down there from Wichita instead of the unrealistic flight scenario? If the author is going to write a novel centered heavily around about driving around the midwest, she should probably be more realistic in matters like this.
I did enjoy the relationship between Karena and Kevin, and the camaraderie between some of the stormchaser tour guests (what little we got to know them). And I'll give the author credit for including accurate jargon for the couple British characters. Too many authors give a British 'voice' to American characters and vice versa, which is really annoying - so this one was done right.
All in all, the story was entertaining and I read it rather quickly. I'm not going to say I hated it, but I won't be recommending it to anyone else, either.
Released 3 mos ago (1/23/2018 UTC) at Little Free Library in Medicine Park, Oklahoma USA
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