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In the Storm by Karen Metcalf

No one escapes fate without sacrifice, but is the price more than Carly is willing to pay?

"Every now and again, a story comes along that shakes up your world. Something that you didn't expect, or see coming. A book like this is why I read YA!..." -- Trisha Wolfe, Young Adult Author, YA Bound Book Blog

Abandoned by the world around her, Carly believes she is fated to a life of torment at the hands of her stepfather and is desperate for an escape. When she can bear the abuse no longer and gives in to a thunderous rage, she suddenly finds herself in an unfamiliar, yet beautiful, storm world. This limbo between dimensions appears to be her private sanctuary, but it may just be her purgatory.

In The Storm is a unique, enthralling, and heart-breaking young adult contemporary science fiction fantasy from Karen Metcalf.

Buy now and get a free Kindle book download with paperback purchase via KindleMatchbook!


Most of this town -- my tomb -- consists of fields and woods and is deathly quiet. I pray for thunderstorms; they are my only escape. I get lost in them, and, for those precious minutes, I am anywhere but here. And the thunder disguises my crying.

I sit at my open bedroom window, watching the curtain flutter, and enjoy the rain. I smell the recently mowed grass and the steam from the asphalt as it cools. The pine trees are swaying, and I like the quiet rustle of their needles. They are the words of comfort I get nowhere else. The breeze toys with my hair, brushing it from my shoulders. It is an arm consoling me that belongs to no one. When my own storm of tears is over and the thunder ceases, they will disappear again but will tell no one my secrets.

The lightning brightens the entire world for seconds at a time. It is a purple world and more beautiful than the real one. The leaves are a more vibrant green than any daylight has ever exposed. It is a glimpse of an alternate dimension, one in which I wish I lived. Sometimes the flashes freeze the raindrops mid-air and time stops. I wish it would stop forever, allowing me to stay in this other world. Unfortunately, the storm will pass in another half an hour, and I will be left alone again. Luckily, it is the season for them; I will have this escape often in the coming months. This is the only bearable part of the year.

My brother Mitch is curled up on my bed, thumb pulling at the corner of his mouth as it has fallen away as he sleeps. He is eleven years younger than me, only five years old. His eyelids flutter with the thunder. I watch his cowlick bobble in the breeze. As his sister, I am his only source of comfort, just as these storms are mine. These opportunities, however, allow me to bring him with me to this alternate world, and, for that, I am grateful.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615480534
Publisher: Vagabondage Press
Publication date: 04/20/2011
Pages: 86
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.21(d)

About the Author

There's a phrase in the South, "telling stories," which means telling lies. Growing up, Karen Metcalf told a lot of stories, which wasn't always a good thing. She was raised on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where she spent most of her time reading science fiction and horror. She continues to explore those worlds through her writing today. Karen is 24 years old and lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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In The Storm 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite When Carly Matthews is at the end of her tether with the life she and her brother, Mitchell, are subjected to, she discovers an amazing escape. In the Storm by Karen Metcalf poignantly and heartbreakingly describes the force of Carly’s will as she discovers an alternate universe into which she escapes. In this special place that opens to her after tremendous stress, and is represented by varying degrees of weather and severe thunderstorms, Carly meets Morgan, who is supposed to try to protect her. Unfortunately for Morgan, Carly is too stubborn and finds out more about this different path of reality than she is supposed to know. Torn between protecting her little brother from their drunken, dangerous step-father and enjoying the peace of her special clearing at the base of a tremendous tree, Carly tries to find a way to save the two of them and escape the horrors of home. What happens is a lesson in determination, but is tempered by the whims of fate – knowledge that Carly should not have had. In merely 86 pages, Karen Metcalf provides a universe full of amazing action, emotion and personal choices. In the Storm gets right to the heart of a teen’s struggle with the horrible reality of her life as she takes responsibility for her 5-year-old brother while she wishes that things could be different. Vivid descriptions of nature provide a stark backdrop to the feelings Carly experiences and heighten the impact of the story. With several amazing twists, the story leaves you breathless, with plenty to think about long after you close the book. Incredible story that is as gripping as a full length saga! It's hard to believe that so much emotion fits into so few pages! This is an amazing read for YA and adult readers who are looking for something different and quite stimulating.
AVoraciousReadr More than 1 year ago
3.5/5.0 Well-written and heartbreaking *Book source ~ Many thanks to the author for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review. When Carly’s mom takes off leaving her and her little brother Mitchell to an abusive stepfather, Carly despairs of ever escaping. When the abuse escalates and she bursts out in a fit of rage she suddenly finds herself someplace else. In a world different and yet similar to the one she left behind she needs to figure out where she is and how she got there, so she can return for Mitchell and escape for good. Unfortunately, it’s not going to turn out how she hopes. This story strongly reminded me of the Star Trek: Next Generation episode ‘Parallels’ where Worf found himself shifting through his alternate timelines. Infinite timeline theory (I’m not sure that’s an actual term, it just sounded good) always makes my head hurt because I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around it. This is what happens to Carly when she goes to her storm world.  This was a hard story for me to rate. Well-written and heart-breaking the only reason I gave this 3 bites and a nibble is because I just didn’t understand what was happening to her. Not the author’s fault, but my brain’s. It’s explained very well, but like when I took Chemistry in college I was just lost. Plain and simple. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that will get it. Don’t let my brain stop you from reading this one. I’d love to hear if you liked the story and if you ‘got’ it. Just do us both a favor and don’t try to explain it to me. It won’t be pretty. :D
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
Startling, mind-boggling, unique, and enthralling, Karen Metcalf's In the Storm is the perfect read for one stormy, rainy afternoon. In the Storm tells the story of Carly, a girl who has never had an easily life. For one, her mother deserted Carly and her brother Mitch a few years ago, leaving them stranded and with only one house to go to- their abusive and frightening stepfather's. There they face punishment like no other- punishment that Carly and Mitch don't know how to escape from or stop. Though, one day when Carly is pushed too far, she lands herself into a stormy yet perfect world, but is it a sanctuary or a purgatory? More importantly, what happens when Carly meets the stunning and secretive Morgan? Will he help her save her brother in time, or will everything fall apart? Only time and more pages will tell in this fast-paced read that will leave nearly any reader breathless. For a short story, Karen Metcalf's In the Strom leaves quite the impact. For one, the premise of this one is fantastic. I loved the idea of a sanctuary in which Carly could retreat to when she desired an escape. Luckily the execution was even better, because not only did it leave my mind reeling but I constantly was amazed by how in depth Karen went in such few pages. Carly was a character I admired and liked from the beginning. She was strong, determined and let nothing get in her way, not her stepfather's cruel antics nor the misery that kept landing in her life. I especially liked the scenes between her and her brother because they managed to show just how caring and loving she was towards her brother. Well-written and mesmerizing, In the Storm packs quite the punch, which leaves me with only one request: you all must give this book a try. Karen is a great author, and this short story is even better! Grade: A
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
In The Storm captured me from the first page and kept my attention. Yes, it is a short story, but it is a well written one with well developed characters. This is very emotional and it deals with tough issues, but it's woven with fantasy. Carly is a great main character, she has a great voice and she has a personality that I gravitate towards. I really liked the relationship between her and her brother, it was sweet and I could feel the emotion there. Morgan is a great interest with mystery, and awkwardness. I'd love for him to be in my safe-haven. Its a very fast paced read, but it didn't feel rushed to me. The ending sat well with me, and made my imagination run as to what could happen next (in a good way).
MoonlightGleam More than 1 year ago
After the death of their father and their mother long gone, Carly and her younger brother Mitchell are left to live with their step father, a man who insists on making their lives miserable. Richard, their step father, has a drinking problem and often goes after Mitchell to hurt Carly even more. One time Carly reacts to his violent behavior but, 'CLICK', she enters a storm world where she meets a boy named Morgan. Carly is not supposed to believe the storm world is real and by her knowing it is affects everything and everyone around her. Carly has so many questions, yet each time she finds herself in the storm world and faces Morgan, she cannot seem to remember them all. Morgan tries his best to explain the other world dimensions that exist. They involve alternate paths that Carly directly influences with each decision she makes. Although this storm world seems beautiful and safe at first, Carly soon learns that this world is not as stable as she thought and those she cares for are in danger, including herself. Carly's emotions are the focus of the novel and from the very beginning she is portrayed as a well-defined and strong protagonist. Although at times she lets her emotions get the best of her, she learns to overcome her fear and does everything she can to protect her little brother. In The Storm is a short story with emotional depth that will stay with you long after reading the very last words. This novel deals with a lot of heavy issues such as alcoholism, abuse, love, and sacrifice. I believe there are many lessons readers can learn through Carly's actions, one being that with each choice there are consequences which must be accepted, good or bad. Karen Metcalf has presented a wonderful concept of unique worlds that are represented by people's emotions that will leave you wanting to create and enter your very own. I also appreciate that readers can easily relate to the emotions portrayed by the characters and can understand each threat involved without any use of graphic details. This novel is appropriate for most age groups and I would definitely recommend this to all who enjoy YA Fiction with more depth. 4/5 - An Enjoyable Read, Well Written, Recommended