Leesie is the good girl, everything that is expected of her by her parents and religion: kind, thoughtful, driven, and pious. She has a bright future ahead of her, and hopes to attend Brigham Young University. Michael will be lucky if he can just make it until next week with his sanity intact. He's tormented by Isadore, the hurricane that ripped his parents away from him and left him alone in the world, his only family his aging grandmother who lives far away from everything he knows.
At first, Michael is distant and out of reach. But Leesie can't deny her strange urge to reach out and help him. And slowly, Michael learns to trust Leesie. But even though physically, Isadore has run her course, she's still very much alive within Michael: can he and Leesie hold on long enough for Isadore to blow over?
Taken by Storm is a heartfelt and romantic novel told in alternating viewpoints through a unique mix of dive logs, poetry, and online chats, which is a very personal and fitting approach to such an emotional story. The setting of the novel is described beautifully and goes to great lengths at establishing the mood of the story: a bit dreary, mysterious, and overcast, but not without the potential for sunshine. Michael's grief is portrayed very realistically, and his honesty contributes to the authenticity of his character, making him lovable despite his many flaws.
Leesie is a unique character in the sense that she is very religious (a trait usually glossed over in most Young Adult novels) and very firm in her beliefs, but also quite vulnerable as well. Her endeavors to help Michael are admirable, and the roadblocks she encounters along the way realistic. The interactions between Michael and Leesie excite as often as they exasperate, creating a much more believable relationship between the two as they struggle to find common ground between their desires and beliefs. Unflinching, honest, and sometimes sorrowful, Taken by Storm is a novel that is not only romantic and entertaining, but thoughtful and moving. Morrison is a bold and talented author to watch.
Taken by Storm will be released on March 5th, 2009!