*After the Storm is a standalone companion novel to Waiting for the Storm*
For most people, starting senior year at a new high school would be a nightmare, but for Ella O’Dell it’s the new beginning she desperately needs. Two months after her mother’s death, Ella is ready to leave behind the miserable, rebellious person she became when she found out her mom was dying.
When Ella meets River Maracle and Sadie Fitzgerald, she begins to learn it’s okay to be herself, even if that means being different. River and Sadie aren’t ashamed of their misfit status—River didn’t grow up on the island like most other people did, plus his mother is the school counselor; Sadie stands out with her funky homemade clothes, and is a master at ignoring the whispered rumors that have plagued her since the beginning of high school.
Ella finds a kindred spirit in Sadie, and something more in River. After almost a year of pretending to be someone she’s not, she finally embraces life and allows herself to have fun without constant guilt. But despite her budding happiness, something is off with her new life. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past, but Angel Island is a small place, and she soon realizes her demons are harder to outrun than she thought.
About the Author
Marie has the best job in the world—one where she gets to make stuff up for a living and shamelessly eavesdrop on everyone around her. She writes happily ever afters while dreaming about the day she’ll have her own epic love story to tell. Most days you can find her writing, reading, fantasizing about traveling the world, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece. For more on Marie and her books please visit http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca. She also loves to chat with fellow book lovers, so feel free to tweet her @SweetMarie83 any time!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My Thoughts: Welcome to awesome. I mean, hey! You guys! It's time to talk about After the Storm. This is the... *counts* ...5th book (full-length and novella) that I've read by Marie. And like a good bottle of wine, her writing continues to get better as times goes on. ATS is the second book in the Angel Island series, and follows Waiting for the Storm. WFTS is Charlotte's story, but in ATS we get to see things from Ella's POV. Going in, I already knew I was going to need a tissue (or two or three). Ella has been through a lot, and her eyes have seen a lot. She's learning how to be a better person again after spending so much time being terrible to everyone she came in contact with. It's still a struggle to refrain from turning into that person she was, but she's fighting it. Seeing Ella go through this, thinking back on the past and wishing for something different, I could feel her pain and frustration. We meet some new people in ATS: some great, some not-so-great. I'm going to focus on the great. Ella's new best friends, Sadie and River, are wonderful. I loved seeing Ella become friends with Sadie--it was genuine and a true friendship, unlike Ella's previous friends over the years. And Ella and River, that was truly amazing. My favorite part of this budding romance was that it was realistic and honest, not just thrown together because they were in the same vicinity or met through friends. They had a true connection, a friendship that developed into something much deeper. After the Storm takes you on a journey through the spectrum of emotion. You feel the loss, the regret, the hope, the pain, the love. And you can't help but connect to Ella. Marie Landry is a superb writer who knows how to create fictional characters that feel like real people. I don't think it will be possible, ever, to not love a story written by her. This one is another must read. My Rating: Exceptional
After the Storm is the story of Ella, a character we first got to know in Waiting for the Storm. The good thing is that you can read this book as a standalone, as it gives you all the background information you need. However, I highly encourage you to read Waiting for the Storm. It's such a sweet and sad and lovely book, and by reading it first you'll get even more insight to Ella, and to the side characters, especially Ella's sister Charlotte and Charlotte's boyfriend, Ezra. Ella is most definitely a complicated character. In the past she's been spiteful and harsh to her sister, acting out with boys and alcohol. Then one night that goes too far shakes Ella awake and brings her back from the brink, changing her and her relationship with her family. In the things we hear about Ella's past we see how she was simply a young girl, lost, confused, and hurting. She was coping in the best way she knew how, which was to put on an act. The Ella we get to know in After the Storm is trying to reconcile the Ella of the past, the Gabriella she was pretending to be, and the Ella she is now. This is definitely an internal journey sort of book, where Ella has to learn to love herself, to forgive herself, and to see that she's worth caring about. It's a journey of self acceptance, and I loved the roles that both friends and trained adults had in this. It really showed how sometimes we need help and support, even with things that we ultimately need to decide and work out for ourselves. Marie Landry knows how to write a fabulous romance, and After the Storm is no exception. River was such a sweet love interest for Ella. I loved how he encouraged her and treated her well. Their relationship was based on strong friendship, and that made it seem all the more real and strong. I also enjoyed the friendship that both Ella and River shared with Sadie. She was an interesting side character, one with a very well developed back story. I was saddened by her situation, and intrigued to know more about her. I'm glad that we'll get to read about her story in the next Angel Island book. The reason why I love the Angel Island books so much is that Marie has a great talent for emotional stories which tug at your heart strings. She really makes you feel like you know the characters. It's so easy to think of Angel Island as a real place to visit where you could run across Charlotte and Ezra or Ella and River while on your travels. I highly recommend Waiting for the Storm and After the Storm. If you're at all a fan of contemporary romance and stories that combine romance, friendship, and family, I can almost guarantee that you'll enjoy these books.
A beautifully written story that is full of emotion and self discovery. The love of family, good friends, and her own self determination help Ella overcome a loss and self destructive behavior to become a responsible person once again. There is such detail in the storyline and to character development, you are captivated as you read. I found it hard to put down as this book deals with many issues; loss, bulling, true friendship, acceptance and attraction. Look forward to more from Angel Island and Marie Landry. Gifted a copy for review.