Customer Reviews for

The Stormchasers: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
( 39 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointment

    This book was so bad I did not even finish it. when I say bad I mean that the story was ridiculous and the characters were emotional twits. This book was a big disappointment to me after reading "those who save us". I expected a more mature read from this author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not A Perfect Storm

    This is a story about a brother and sister that are twins, Karena and Charles. Charles suffers from rapid cycling bipolar disorder. They have not seen each other for 20 years when Karena receives a call from a mental hospital in Kansas telling her they have admitted her brother. She rushes to the hospital only to learn that he had been released and the doctor there knew nothing about his bipolar disorder.

    Charles has always been obsessed with tornadoes, even when they were children. He has been taking off and chasing storms his whole life. He went missing after a terrible accident that occurred when he and Karena were chasing a storm.

    It is prime storm season and Kansas is in the part of the United States known as "Tornado Alley". If she is ever going to find her brother now is the time. She signs on with professional storm chasing tour group under the guise of her real job as a journalist writing a story about storm chasing. She hopes she will find her brother while touring with this group and get him the help her really needs.


    I was so psyched about this book. I loved the first part, learning about chasing the storms and the part where they actually got caught up in one and witnessed the aftermath. After that this book became very disjointed for me and a bit repetitive. It starts out in 2008, then goes back to the twins past, then back to 2008 and then ends with an epilogue in 2009 to tie everything together. Written this way the story seems to lose the natural flow, some of the relationships seem forced and not believable. The ending seems rushed and again unbelievable. It seems people either loved this book or feel like I do. This is my first Jenna Blum book and this may be her writing style and it just isn't "my cup of tea. The premise is very good and seemed well researched but I would recommend that unless you are a true fan of this author, this would be a good library pick, not one to rush out and purchase.




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Plume Books, a division of Penguin Publishing . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Good but not Great

    I loved Jenna Blum's first novel, For Those We Saved", so I looked forward to reading her second novel. Liked it but wasn't the same caliber as her first book. The characters were interesting but kind of shallow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Recommend

    While not as gripping as Those Who Save Us, Stormchasers was a well written novel with excellant characters and a believable plot. Enjoyed it immensely!

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    Excellent read!

    I wish she had a whole library filled with books. I love her style and her stories. Excellent!

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Amazing Book

    The Stromchasers has been in my TBR pile for a while. However, recently I decided to give it a chance, and boy, was I surprised at the final product, because not only was it fully unique and enthralling, but it presents a complex sibling bond- one that I have never quite seen before.

    The Stromchasers opens up the day of Karena Jorge's birthday. For Karena, birthdays have never been the cheeriest time of the year, not only because of the fact she's getting older, but because she's reminded of what she lost all those years ago- her twin brother Charles. However, this birthday is different, because with one single phone call, Karena knows the location of her brother for the first time in years, and it seems he wants her to come after him. With this, she leaves and begins a path like no other- one filled with deadly storms, figuratively and metaphorically, a possible chance at love and redemption, and the chance to make everything good again with her brother. However, what happens when a problem of the past comes into view again? Will it leave Charles and Karena farther apart than ever before, or will it bring them closer together? Only time and more pages can tell in this fascinating tale of twins, love, and disease in their best and worse.

    With The Stromchasers came several memorable aspects and one of those was the characters. Complex, interesting, and distinctive, Jenna presented each in a notable way. However, the most interesting out of then would have to be Karena and Charles, not only because of their fascinating bound, but because these two were the ones who had so much to gain as well as loss. With Karena and Charles also came feelings that continually rocketed over the page, making the reader feel for them, even when they were not exactly likable.

    Furthermore, the plot in this was also absorbing. I enjoyed the focus on storm chasers, because not only is what they do thought-provoking and dangerous, but it also lead to many thrilling moments in the book, as storms truly represented the trouble that had plagued the characters over their lives with the beauty and the horror. It was interesting and I loved every moment of it. The romanced subplot between Karena and Kevin was also a high point, because it lead to Karena to find yet another missing puzzle piece of her life. Better yet, as I mentioned before, I loved the focus on siblings and the bonds between them in this, and with the fact that Charles was bipolar made it even more interesting.

    Lastly, Jenna Blum's writing reached the amount of wealth the characters and storylines had. Truly, she did such a fantastic job of getting the emotions of the characters down and with making the bipolar aspects of Charles's character real and relatable. Better yet, I loved the ending she gave. It was not picture perfect, instead it left off in a place where it could really go any which way and I loved that because life isn't picture perfect.

    Beguiling, unique, and startling, Jenna Blum's The Stormchasers is one novel you simply cannot miss! Making things even better, it is now available in paperback!

    Grade: A-

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book, do read!

    Karena Jorge, a reporter celebrating her 38th birthday. It's on her birthday; she can't help but admit her feelings of emptiness as she longs to be with her twin brother, Charles. She hasn't seen her twin in more than a decade and has no idea where he is. As she blows out the candles on her birthday cake, it's no wonder she wishes to reconnect with him. Later that night, Karena believes her wish came true when a hospital calls looking for Charles next of kin. She takes off in hopes of finally reconnecting with Charles, her storm chasing twin who suffers from bipolar disorder. Sadly, he has left the hospital before she gets there. Having missed him once again she decides to follow 'his' work by taking a storm chasing tour in hopes of finding him. As Karena sets off on her odyssey to bring him home, she is forced to confront the storm that separated the twins and she realizes she must go through the storm if she ever wants to find the rainbow that awaits her on the other side.
    I personally loved reading all the information about storms and how the storm cashers go after them. I one of those people who when the tornado sirens go off.I run outside to see if I can anything. I felt this first part of the book gave a lot of story, but I really didn't feel any real connection to the story. I didn't really get the why Karena was so determined to find her brother (I mean yes; he has a disorder and wants to see him safe).
    When I hit part two of the story I was hooked. Part two takes you into the twins past. I really understood Karena on a whole new level. I just was so engaged in what was going on. I felt so many emotions-moments where I was holding my breath. The story goes from a story about twins with one having bipolar and the other one being responsible for the other, to a story with a deadly situation. I was so impressed with Blums' writing causing me to feel such a range of emotions.
    Part three is back to present day. I felt like I was waiting for a storm to blow-up, and Blum delivered! Karena has spent the last twenty years of her life running from a storm so big, so intense.and it's finally come for her.
    A gripping novel bringing a face to bipolar and showed how an entire family is impacted over a lifetime when one member is diagnosed with it. For me, I found I enjoyed the book the more and more I read. It was really in the second half where I could connect to Karena and that was a huge turning point for me. I loved the range of emotions the three main characters go through even though we only see them through Karena's perspective. For me, The Stormchasers is a novel you read and then take the time to savor. Definitely a great read and I will be looking forward to reading more by Jenna Blum!

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read! What's it like inside a real tornado and a tornado of emotions?

    The Storm Chasers by Jenna Blum In an attempt to locate her manic brother whom she has not seen for twenty years, Karena joins a Storm Chasers Club. Members of one of this unique group loves storms, any storms, but in particular, tornadoes. When storm conditions appear imminent on computer screens and via the news media indicating that opposing wind patterns might develop into their cyclic tornado funnels, thrill-seeking storm chasers hunt down these damaging, often life-taking, twisters. Karena, however, is not a genuine club member. She has tagged along with the Storm Chasers because her brother, Charles, had always loved the horrific storms. Rather than search for him in any normal way, Karena knows Charles is out there somewhere in "tornado alley" because as a child, he could not get enough of the dramatic twisters. He had studied them through library books, pictures, and most recently, through dramatic television footage and his computer. Karena's brother Charles is a wanderer. He has no real home or purpose. He more or less lives out of his automobile in any place flat and conducive to the vertical intersection between two dynamic wind masses. He eats what he is offered, and during the months when tornadoes are not so active, Charles takes simple jobs to earn enough for gas mileage and lodging. During early childhood, Karena felt responsible for Charles. Why? Charles is her twin. Karena wonders why she is not an afflicted manic like her brother; afterall, they shared the same embryonic sac for precisely the same amount of time. Still, she has some symptoms of daily melancholia: bouts of depression each day during the time when daylight is resolving thru dusk. Karena has always taken care of her brother. Sister and brother share a deadly secret. Twenty years ago during one of Charles' automobile rides into the savagery of a storm, he drives wildly to keep up with the cycling winds. His sister immediately recognizes his manic high but does nothing to control it. Unintentionally, a lone cyclist thuds into the side of their car, loses control of his bike, and is sliced along the ground as if against coarse sand paper to his death. Karena tricks her brother into committing himself into a mental facility, fearful about his moods and seeking her own freedom. Why does Karena seek to find Charles after twenty years? Does she feel pent up guilt after twenty years? Is she equally responsible for the savage accident after twenty years? And, if she does find her twin, is it too late to undo their lawful punishment for leaving the scene of such a deadly accident twenty years ago? I would highly recommend The Storm Chasers for several reasons. Jenna Blum has already proven her innate ability to write. Her first book, Those Who Save Us, is a 5-star treasure which I've never forgotten. This second book of Blum's shows an enormous understanding of what it means to be manic, and what it means to become truly emotionally involved with a manic kin. The characters in this book are well developed, particularly Charles' and Karena's who at one and the same time love one another, yet can never share whatever the chemical imbalance that tips the scale to set off a psychotic incident for Charles. This is a book for everyone. You will ride inside the storm of emotional tornadoes and the ghastly wrath of the real tornadoes seeking to tear you asunder. Read it-it surely will not disappoint.

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  • Posted April 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a terrific family drama

    In 2008, Gail Nelson of the Wichita Medical Center Mental Health Clinic calls Minneapolis Ledger reporter Karena Jorge and tells her that her bipolar twin brother, Charles Hallingdahl was admitted to the hospital due to rapid bipolar disorder mood swings; he refuses medication. She has not seen or heard from her sibling except for photos of Tornado Alley storms in two decades as he left home when they were eighteen following a tragedy. She has searched for him since while he searched for the next storm.

    Karena rushes from Minneapolis to Kansas, but the next morning after the call, Dr. Brewster tells her that Charles is gone. She joins the Stormchasers brigade that travels Tornado Alley while praying she finds her brother before he does something harmful to himself and others. She is attracted to storm tour guide Kevin Weibke, but is ignorant that he and Charles share a history.

    This is a terrific family drama that uses storms as a metaphor for what happened twenty years ago and for what occurs inside Charles' head. The romantic suspense mystery story line captures the reader's attention from the moment hospital liaison Nelson calls and never slows down as several subplots past and present are explored though at times the flashbacks can be distracting. The Stormchasers is an engaging look at the story nature of people and relationships.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2011

    Good but not fantastic

    While I throughly enjoyed her previous book, "Those Who Saved Us" and the historical context that she used, Stormchasers falls short of bringing the reader in. While the reader feels for Karena and her brother Charles, whose mental illness is a drain on those around him, this same feeling comes across to the reader. It becomes a chore to turn the page, as the same emotions go on and on and on.
    While I believe she could have used descriptive language to get the emotions of this mental illness across, after a while, it becomes tedious to get pass the foul language that Jenna Blum seems to use with such abundance.
    If this is your type of reading, then by all means enjoy. Otherwise I would skip this particular book and find one that can tell a story that is much fuller and complex.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Moderately recommended

    If you're a Stormchaser enthusiast, then I'm sure you'll enjoy this book tremendously. Although I felt it was well written, I didn't enjoy the storyline of Stormchasing, and it wasn't until I was 2/3rds into the book, that I became drawn into the central character, her brother, Charles.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    Blum has done it again ...

    Miss Blum has done it again.she has taken me on yet another emotional journey with her vivid, flowing way of storytelling . in Stormchasers we are gently careened into the life of Karena Jorge, a journalist who has not seen her twin brother Charles in twenty years. Charles suffers from bipolar disorder. On their birthday-eve, Karena gets an unexpected phone call that sets her on a course to find Charles within his realm of storm chasing, where she finds love and understanding in Kevin. We are then cast into the memory of the secret that has kept them apart for so long.

    What can I give other than great praise for this story .vivid, witty; an emotional web of brilliance. In the midst of the storms (actual and inner), you become the characters; feeling the need and want of each. The story is filled with great dialogue, mainly Charles . he has wonderful dialogue .his voice brings you into his disease, giving you a close-up glimpse of this disorder, often rabid and vile, yet innocent and sincere enough to want to hold his hand through it all. ".When you get scared for no reason. Then it gets worse. Everything is - tilted. All the surfaces are untrustworthy. All the familiar things seem hostile, and nothing is safe.That's this tarry, oozy place that traps me and holds me while my brain is raked over and over with a comb made of knives."

    One of my favorite passages reflects the many rumbles held within the bindings of The Stormchasers: "Karena has always heard tornado survivors say the sound of a tornado is like a train.People must say this because a train is a noise that can be felt with one's feet, in the stomach, as it rumbles closer." No explanation needed . this is the truth of how negativity affects the soul . destroying everything in its path.

    I have also read Those Who Save Us by Blum; it is obvious that she takes the time to invest in all of her characters before placing pen to pad, therefore, we as readers become invested as well. . again, Bravo, Jenna Blum! Bravo! Can't wait to see what comes next.

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  • Posted September 18, 2010

    Great read!

    Karena's life is a bit gritty and it was a relief to read a book where the love interest wasn't perfect. The mom was a good mom, even though she had addictions. And not everything was tied up in a nice neat bow at the end. I enjoyed reading the characters conversations. It seemed very real to me. Usually, authors lose thier fiction audience when they get too bogged down with tons of detail about technical matters. In this case, it would be all of the Storm Chasing lingo and escapades, but Blum kept it fresh and suspenseful the entire time.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    This is an interesting read that explores the relationship of twins.

    Stormchasers, Jenna Blum
    The book started out crisply and grabbed my interest. Of course, it could be because I am a fraternal twin and like Karena, the main character, I, too, have a troubled brother for whom I have often been uncomfortably responsible. I have had moments of a kind of telepathy or "twindar" as Karena calls it in the book. In addition, I once lived in Minnesota, in Edina, actually, where she currently lives. I, too, was also terrified of tornadoes and the accompanying siren and used to hide in the basement bathroom, the only windowless room in the house, having absolutely no idea which corner of the house or which room was safest. I also hated lutefisk, a traditional Norwegian dish, which is Cod soaked in Lye for a number of hours.
    I had a lot in common with the narrator of the book and the tale she told. Like Karena, I feel as if my life is inexplicably "twinned" with my brother's, each one's existence threatened by the loss of the other's and irrevocably intertwined. Karena's twin brother, Charles, has been missing, like mine once was. He has no forwarding address and no phone records. All she knows is that he is a stormchaser, but he leaves no trail for her to follow and find him.
    Karena, was often given unrealistic responsibility for her brother, by her parents. She was really too young to handle the decisions that needed to be made for his well being and far too young to handle the discipline that was required to deal with and control her sibling. Yet, the parents were largely uninvolved with the care and containment of Charles as they were in denial and were embarrassed by his mental illness. It is disheartening to think that a situation like this might actually exist with the burden of one sibling's care placed on the shoulders of the other, who is just a child, herself. This burden was life altering for Karena and debilitating for Charles since he did not receive the proper care or attention necessary for his healthy growth and survival and his life altering experiences were thus reacted to in each moment of catastrophe, without the proper thoughtfulness or judgment necessary, but instead with an impulsive response.
    The book explores the relationship between the twins, which is very close, although many years have passed since they have seen each other. Although, that seems implausible, I know from experience that it is absolutely possible and probable because of the inner sense one twin always seems to have of the other. When Karena meets a stormchaser, who coincidentally knew her brother, a love story develops as she searches for him, no longer alone in her quest. The book begins in one time period and then moves to another in the past, then back into the present again in order to better develop the characters and explain their relationships as the search for Charles progresses.
    Because I identified with so many of the issues facing Karena, the book was able to hold my interest even when the tale seemed to get bogged down in minutia, but I am not certain it would do the same for a non twin. Still, I would recommend it as an interesting read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the better books I've read in a while

    "The Stormchasers" really was one of the better books I've read in a while. One sibling dealing with the mental illness of another sibling is not a new plot idea, but the addition of stormchasing to the story gave it a new spin (sorry for the bad pun). I have always wanted to storm chase and grew up in "Tornado Alley" so this aspect of the book is what enticed me to buy it in the first place and Jenna Blum did not disappoint.

    If you enjoy a combination of a little bit of romance, mystery, and drama, this book delivers on all counts. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good summer read.

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  • Posted June 5, 2010

    Page turner

    I disagree with the reviewer that said she could have done without charles Character.. Charles and his bipolar disease was a pivotal part of the storyline. The comparison to Bipolar Disease and Storms right on target.
    Living in the area where the book is set In Minnesota was great,,I recognized names and places. Have and will recommend this book to those who have not read it.

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    Posted October 12, 2011

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    Posted August 23, 2011

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    Posted January 9, 2012

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