Book Review: Hurricane Kiss
Published By: AW Teen
Publication Date: May 1, 2016
Page Count: 256
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary
Hurricane Kiss was a fast paced book about Hurricane Danielle, a category 5 storm headed straight for Houston, TX. The book is not very long so I knew things were going to have to progress quickly for the story to take shape.
Since I live in California, I can relate to earthquakes. Hurricanes are a whole different beast so this book had a completely different element that intrigued me. I grew up in the Midwest and I remember our tornado drills in elementary school. A hurricane seems exceptionally terrifying! Deborah Blumenthal painted a truly believable picture of surviving a frightening hurricane, at least for someone who has never experienced anything like it. Here we have two teenagers who escape from a gridlocked freeway and flee to their high school to try and ride out the hurricane. They both have a strong survival instinct and an unexplored attraction between them, which made Part 2 of the book exceptionally hard to put down.
I had to warm up to Jillian's character a bit before I could decide if I liked her or not. She starts out being very indecisive and the author makes a huge deal about it. However, once she and River are holed up in the high school, her indecision seems to be a non-issue. I did appreciate Jillian's willingness to truly listen to River about what had happened to him and try to help him sort out his problems.
River had me from the start. His brooding and pain was palpable and I was anxious to find out what had brought about that pain and suffering in such a young man. Even with all that he had been through, he still wanted to try and save both his father and Jillian...although he wasn't willing to stick around and sacrifice himself. I didn't understand him getting so angry and physical with Jillian while they were running back to the school, and that was never really explained later in the book.
Jillian and River's attraction was clearly evident and I'm glad it was slowly built up as they were trapped in the school. They made some stupid choices regarding going outside during the bad weather, but they are teenagers who don't always make the best decisions, so I was willing to forgive that. I do think they should have tried to break in to the nurse's office given the injuries both of them sustained during the storm.
My favorite part of the book was the fact that they were able to clear River's name, at least as much as possible considering the circumstances. And those who survived seemed to be on the road to recovering from the horrible things that had happened to them. But I'll admit, I did shed a few tears for those that died.
I really enjoyed Hurricane Kiss and I recommend it for those looking for a quick read. This is not a fluff book though. It's gonna tug on your heartstrings.
For sixteen-year-old Jillian McKay, the threat of Hurricane Danielle means a long car ride with her neighbors including River Daughtry, the former star quarterback of Harrison High. The guy who was headed to glory until suddenly he disappeared to a West Texas juvenile detention center. Once cocky and flirtatious, he's now silent and angry. When their evacuation route is gridlocked, River is the first to recognize the danger they're in. Together he and Jillian set out to seek shelter in their abandoned high school. As they wait out the storm, they confront the past and realize survival is about more than just staying alive it's about fighting for yourself."