Friday, 4 April 2014

Review: After the Storm by Marie Landry


Title: After the Storm
Author: Marie Landry
Author Info: Author Blog|Blog|Facebook|Twitter
Series: Angel Island #2
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Author
Publication Date: 8th April 2014

Tell Me About It
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, she’s ready to leave behind the rebellious, unhappy 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 grew up on a reservation, and 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…

After the Storm is a standalone companion novel to Waiting for the Storm
My Thoughts
The minute I found out about After the Storm it was immediately added to my to-read list, I enjoyed Waiting for the Storm, and getting the chance to see inside Ella's head, try to understand what she did what she did, was an opportunity that I could not miss. Before I began reading After the Storm I had a few ideas in my head, one of them was that I did not want to like Ella. Her previous actions in waiting for the storm left a lot to be desired, and I know that she was grieving and this is how her grief was portrayed, but she took it far too far and so far above the threshold for what was tolerable and understandable. Within the first few pages of After the Storm everything I thought of Ella was thrown out of the window, and I actually saw this broken person, who had been wandering lost and alone and not knowing exactly hat to do with her life.

Moving to Angel Island means Ella has to start a new school, Ezra and her sister very supportive but Ella is still nervous about this new endeavour. Starting a new school is scary to anyone, but Ella soon realises that her antics over the summer have not escaped the school, and a lot of students already 'know' Ella through rumours. While her new life in school isn't filled with lots of adoring friends, she does form a great friendship with Sadie and River.
River is the son of Ella's counsellor, Mrs Maracle, and I really like his laid back attitude and honest approach towards Ella, openly admitting that her knows about her past but that it doesn't bother him at all.
Sadie was someone who I instantly liked, not only is her dress sense unique, she is an individual, choosing not to follow the crowd and others expectations, but she has a spunky attitude that goes with it perfectly. She is obviously the school outcast but doesn't let it show too much how much it affects her, it's not until later on into the book that we get to see her real feelings and find out why there is so much animosity between Sadie and the school Queen Bee, but also the secret the tries so hard to hide. I love how this duo welcome Ella into their Misfit group and treat her as an equal and as one of them.

At one point in After the Storm, Ella is talking to River about her behaviour after her mothers diagnosis, and he says something that is one of the most sweetest things I have read, and it also touched a nerve with me and is something I have even found myself doing.
It teaches you not to take the people you have left for granted. It knocks your priorities into line, and makes the stupid, petty things seem unimportant. It can mess you up so many ways, bit it makes you stronger too. It makes you want to seize every opportunity and hold onto the things that matter.
[Location 1855 of 4486 kindle copy]
After the Storm was an emotional read, but with Marie's books you are automatically prepared for lots of tears and have a nice supply of tissues waiting. The candle in jar moment broke my heart, it was such a perfect way for Charlotte and Ella to remember their Mum, I had to stop reading and wait for my tears to stop falling before I could continue. I picked up this book and read through it in one sitting and even once I had finished reading I was hoping for more. After the Storm is another great book from Marie, and a great companion book to Waiting For the Storm, it also comes with one fantastic cover that I fell in love with the minute I saw it.

About Marie
Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood she's had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece. She's a hopeless romantic, an unapologetic eavesdropper (occupational hazard), an equally unapologetic squeeing fangirl, and a lover of swoonworthy book and TV characters. 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!

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