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Taken by Storm

Taken by Storm

4.3 36
by Angela Morrison

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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


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.

Readers will be swept away by this tale of forbidden romance told in online chats, Leesie's chapbook poems, and Michael's dive log. It's as steamy as Twilight and just as clean.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

First-time author Morrison offers her take on the theme of forbidden romance in this moving novel. Leesie, a devout Mormon, lives by her church's teachings ("No parking. No necking. No petting. No fornication") and is looking forward to attending Brigham Young University, where there will be "thousands and thousands of the hottest guys on the planet who all live by the same rules." But that's before she falls in love with "outsider" Michael, a scuba diver. Michael awakens a passion in Leesie that she doesn't know she possesses, and Leesie provides a soothing distraction for Michael, who still has nightmares about the hurricane that killed his parents. Through Michael's dive-log journal entries, Leesie's poetry and online chats, Morrison conveys underlying tensions that threaten the teenagers' relationship and test their moral codes. By contrasting Leesie and Michael's often opposing backgrounds and points of view, she handles the topics of religion and premarital sex gracefully without passing judgment. The message has less to do with religion than learning to respect and cherish others while staying true to one's own beliefs. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

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Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
The tensions of a seemingly impossible romance constitute the core of this YA novel told in two voices. The first voice is that of Leesie, self-described "Mormon Ice Queen," whose life is dedicated to keeping the rules. She wants to get into Brigham Young University. She wants to keep her faith. Her story unfolds through chat logs and a series of briefly lineated unrhymed poems in "Leesie's Most Private Chapbook." In less capable hands this combination could have come across as happy naivete, but Morrison blesses Leesie with conflict from the outset, her Mormon identity at odds with the grabbing hands of jocks in the school hallway and the exhortations of her chat-mate Kim ("...you can't stay Virgin Mary forever.") The second narrative voice is Michael's, delivered in sections of taut prose each prefaced by a dive log entry. He is in recovery from the loss of his parents while diving in Belize. The storm that killed them is evocatively named for a 2002 hurricane, Isadore, incrementally personified as the story moves forward. In stark contrast, the first-person pronoun in Michael's narrative is almost invisible, subsumed to his grief and expressed in lowercase in a voice that is intense and anguished. Leesie's episodic text also feels genuine, and the choice between beliefs and the tugs of adolescent love will feel real to many teen readers. Structure serves content well in this debut novel. Taken By Storm reads easily and showcases characters both realistic and larger than life, their fervent hopes and desperate needs heading for inevitable collision in its pages. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Leesie is a beautiful, straight-laced Mormon desperate to escape high school and the boys who torment her there. Michael is a scuba diver whose parents were killed on a dive trip. He desperately longs to dive again, but terrifying flashbacks of the hurricane that killed his friends and family plague him. Leesie is drawn to Michael's brokenness—she feels she can save him. He is attracted to her purity and beauty. Soon, all the rules Leesie has found easy to obey in the past (no hot-and-heavy kissing, no dating an unbeliever, no sex) are no longer cut-and-dry, and her plan to attend BYU no longer seems so important. Both Michael and Leesie must figure out what matters most to them. This book explores the teens' relationship through poetry, instant messages, and journal entries. Although the format is clever, the author doesn't fully commit to sharing this story in the characters' own words. Leesie's poetry is full of emotion and does a great job of expressing her feelings, but Michael's journal entries are unconvincing as the writings of a grief-stricken teen. Also, he is selfish and disrespectful of Leesie's beliefs, and she is too willing to forgive him when he has sex with a classmate. Their relationship is uncomfortably codependent, and when the teens split up at the end, it is a relief.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Kirkus Reviews
In this debut novel, after a belief-stretchingly unexpected hurricane kills high-school senior Michael's parents while on a diving vacation, he's sent to his grandmother's in Washington. There he encounters Leesie, a devout Mormon targeted by every obnoxious boy in her small school, mostly because of her determination, following church rules, to remain "morally clean" until marriage. The narrative alternates between his grief-stricken yet hormone-ravaged point of view, in the form of his "diving log" (an overworked gimmick), and hers, through her poetry and Web chat. His sexual enthusiasm seems implausible given his disabling level of grief. Angst abounds, sex drive periodically besting self-control, as the stock characters, hunky boy and driven girl, seek resolution. Possibly of concern is Michael's use of apparently hyperventilation-like deep breathing-"venting"-to free dive, a technique that may be dangerous for the inexperienced and is sometimes connected with shallow-water blackout and drowning. Teens seeking a dose of religion and romance may enjoy this superficial tale, but a warning to untrained swimmers would be welcome. Many readers may want to just swim by this mundane effort. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.64(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Angela Morrison grew up on a pig farm in Tekoa, Washington, which she used for Taken by Storm's setting. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English and received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College. She currently lives with her husband and four children in the Sonoran deserts of Scottsdale, Arizona, after living for eleven years in Canada, Switzerland, and Singapore.

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Taken by Storm 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Teamulrich More than 1 year ago
Taken by Storm is a beautiful love story between two characters with totally different ideas of what love is. For Micheal it is physical and for Leesie it is emotional. My daughters and I all read an advanced copy of this book and we all loved it, even Carly who didn't like "Twilight". It is a quick read because you can't put it down, and it left me wanting more. I hope there will be a sequel! After my girls and I had all read Taken by Storm we had great teaching/learning discussions about love, dating, and morals. Morrisons writing style is quite captivating. It was great to see both sides of the story through Leesie's chapbook and IM chats, and through Micheal's dive log. I think this book is a must read. I'm excited to read more from Angela Morrison.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Angela Morrison's TAKEN BY STORM is a romance with heart - a tale of love, not lust.

Leesie is a good Mormon girl, living by her faith and following the rules of her church in all realms of her life. Even though kids at school think of her as a prude and call her the "Ice Queen," Leesie is proud to be Mormon. From the official bathroom graffiti tally, Leesie is deemed by her male classmates to have the best behind in school. However, even the most persistent of the boys know that there is no hope of ever getting with her.

When Michael Walden arrives in Leesie's small town, barely surviving a tragic scuba diving storm that killed both of his parents, everyone is intrigued. Anti-social and enveloped in his own post-traumatic stress, Leesie is the only person that Michael will open up to. The two may seem to be an unlikely match, innocent Leesie and disturbed Michael, but each offers the other priceless comfort and care.

As their relationship progresses, Leesie learns what love means for the first time, exploring the boundaries of her Mormon beliefs and bending her strict rules to the point of breaking. It is not easy to hold back when she experiences a snowballing passion unlike anything she has ever imagined.

Meanwhile, Michael longs to return to the scuba diving that is in his blood while overcoming the pain of his parents' sudden death. His relationship with Leesie is especially valuable at this vulnerable time, in spite of the self-imposed boundaries of her Mormon faith.

Can Michael and Leesie's love blossom despite their differences in background?

TAKEN BY STORM is never preachy, but a genuine and heartfelt struggle of faith. Morrison portrays teenage romance from an unusually elegant perspective. The importance of physicality in a relationship is never denied, but Morrison shows that teenagers are capable of rising above carnal temptation to appreciate a more spiritual and emotional side of love.

Morrison's experience with scuba diving and her Mormon upbringing add a very personal and realistic element to her story. Like fellow Mormon author Stephenie Meyer, Morrison approaches the theme of romance from a rare angle, shying away from the crass and blunt. Fans of Meyer's TWILIGHT will enjoy this non-vampiric tale with similar romantic chords.
DreamcatchersLair More than 1 year ago
Belonging to the only Mormon family in a tiny town means saying "no" to a lot of things. Seventeen year old Leesie Hunt learns it the hard way. She is harrassed by the jocks and mocked as the "Mormon Ice Queen". Her salvation lies in poetry; the Lord above; and BYU, her dream school, her escape. Michael Walden, a free diver, arrives in Tekoa to live with his grandmother after a devastating tragedy snatches away his parents' lives. Disillusioned in a desolate world, Michael need Leesie to save him from losing himself. But how can she give him what he wants when abiding by the Mormon rules she has to keep her feet firmly on the ground? TAKEN BY STORM is beautifully written. A compilation of Leesie's poems, Michael's dive journal entries and chat logs, it's like a breath of fresh air drawing the reader in instantly. The characters are well fleshed out and relatable. It is easy to understand why Leesie wants to protect Michael. He is beautiful and broken, drowning in his own tragedy. Inspite of the religious undertones TAKEN BY STORM doesn't come across as preachy. Leesie isn't a fanatic. She is sensible, trying to hold on to her beliefs. Angela Morrison writes like a dream. Lyrical and poetic, Leesie and Michael's story is heartrendingly touching as their very different worlds threaten to tear them apart. This book is special. I loved it so much that I had to write a justifiable review which is why I started this blog in the first place. Leesie and Michael might have two more books to them -- UNBROKEN CONNECTION and CAYMAN SUMMER. Here's wishing this exciting new author congratulations on her lovely debut and good luck for her writing career.
E-C-D More than 1 year ago
I hesitated to read this book because I don't particularly like to read books that deal with religion. I saw so many people talking about the romance of this story that I finally picked it up. I sat down and read this book in one afternoon. And that isn't something that I normally do because I am the type of person that likes to get outside and do something when the sun is shinning, but this book had me captivated. And if there was a more descriptive word to use right there, I would use it because I was comsumed by this book. Just ask the laundry machine repair guy that was at the house. ;-] If you are nervous about the religion in the book I will say this: The religion isn't preachy. You will learn about the Mormon faith, but the author doesn't try to convert you. Mormanism is what defines Leesie and is her backbone, until she meets Michael. This is a major speed bump in their relationship and a huge part of the story that makes it so compelling. You read the story from Leesies POV through poems and chats that she has online with her friend Kim and with Michael. Then you get the story through Michael's journal that he keeps in a dive log. The tragedy of Michael losing his family and many of his friends to hurrican Isadore is another major aspect of this story, and how he deals with the death of parents. I was so entralled in his need for Leesie and the rules that she set for their relationship. Only to be drawn in even further to see how she deals with her desires for him and what that means for her and everything that she believes. It really is such a captivating story. I honestly can say that I haven't read a book like this in a long time. I live about 30 miles from where this book was set so I love hearing about all the places that they go in the story because I can sit there and picture it completely. I think there is always something neat about reading a book that takes place where you live or have lived before. This was my first book that I read by Angela Morrison and I will most definetly be picking up all of her future books as well. Her writing is almost magical and I am very excited to read what stories she comes up with next.
blogginboutbooks More than 1 year ago
TAKEN BY STORM offers a unique and very intimate look at what it means to be a "good girl" in the face of overwhelming temptation. Mormons are known for clean living, and Leesie is no exception. She believes in her faith, and tries to live by its principles, even when this means enduring ridicule from her classmates. When bad boy Michael moves into town, she faces a crisis - she wants to show him how much he means to her, but her religion has a firm "no sex before marriage" policy. How can she show him how much he means to her while still keeping herself pure? Will he stick around when there are plenty of other girls who are willing and ready to give him exactly what he desires? Leesie's internal struggle is one everyone should recognize - How does a person keep their own personal convictions in the face of temptation? Most novels about Mormons make LDS teenagers look impossibly clean-cut and cheesy - Morrison's is a refreshingly honest approach. It's realistic, edgy and never preachy. I highly recommend it. You can see my full review of this book as well as others on my blog: http://blogginboutbooks.blogspot.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really good read though michael was a little clingy. Poetry is rich and deep
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Kelsey Cossio More than 1 year ago
This book was so amazingly awesome ! I l love it. The ending could have been alittle different but other than that thumbs up for Angela (:
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thebookscoop More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed getting to know both Michael and Leesie. My heart went out to Michael and I was so glad when Leesie finally came into his life because she was just what he needed. He needed someone to help him grieve for his parents and watching the both of them get closer and closer was too freaking sweet. The story is well written and it's easy to follow along. I loved the personal touches with Leesie's poems and Michael's dive log, it made their world seem so much more real to me and I totally ate everything up. This book is a good one and I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a cute romantic YA story. Mothers out there, I recommend this book to all kids 13 and up.
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BookFiend10 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book a great deal I thought it showed how romance can make people doubt there beliefs and religion, or make them do crazy things when their in love. Even though Leesie Hunt, the goody goody mormon girl, and Michael Walden, who's a 'bit' obsessed with diving, sometimes got on my nerves I thought they made a great, but odd couple... This book was great and I recommend that you pick it up and give it a try, who knows you might end up enjoying it!
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I was excited to see what the book had in store but i must say it took awhile for me to get into the book...I did enjoy the book but at times i felt i wanted to skip some pages...but i didnt i read through it...it does show how far love can go true love that is but i kinda felt it skipped a little and the way it was written i didnt much care for a wanted a follow through if that makes sense...it wouldnt be the first book i would recommend to friends but it was worth reading..i finished it in one day...the story did get better toward the middle of the book...
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2britt13 More than 1 year ago
Such a good book! It shows what some people will do for the people they love. Telling them what they think is best for the both of them. A good book to read over!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago