We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen


Pages: 304
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Growing up across the street from each other, Scott and Cath have been best friends their entire lives. Cath would help Scott with his English homework, he would make her mix tapes (it’s the 80’s after all), and any fight they had would be forgotten over TV and cookies. But now they’ve graduated high school and Cath is off to college while Scott is at home pursuing his musical dreams.

During their first year apart, Scott and Cath’s letters help them understand heartache, annoying roommates, family drama and the pressure to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. And through it all, they realize that the only person they want to turn to is each other. But does that mean they should be more than friends? The only thing that’s clear is that change is an inescapable part of growing up. And the friends who help us navigate it share an unshakable bond.

My Thoughts:

So I know I said in my original review I wasn’t going to post anything because I am going to do a video review, I am still planning to do this but I wanted to make a written review for people who don’t necessarily subscribe to my YouTube channel.

So We Are Still Tornadoes is a book that I got sent to me unsolicited from St. Martin’s Press (thank you!!) and boy am I glad I did! This book follows two best friends, Cath and Scott, who are being separated for the first time in their lives. Cath is going off to college and Scott is staying in their home town. This book is a series of back and forth letters to one another over their first year apart and their friendships, the ups and downs in each other’s lives, and how to maintain a friendship from so far apart.

So to start, I say a lot that I don’t really find contemporary a compelling genre. Well I’m starting to eat my words because I absolutely loved this book. I am constantly reading contemporary that’s cute and maybe not something I will pick up all the time, but I like nonetheless. So I think I’ll give this genre a bigger chance and maybe start checking out authors I’ve been hesitant to read.

Anywho, I digress. This book had such a simple plot but it was so cute. I loved reading about the two lives of these characters. They were so distinct and their lives so different that I enjoyed reading it. I also enjoyed the letter style and the relationship these characters had! I think the letter style made me love this book in a way I don’t think I would have if it was a normal novel. I enjoyed that we got the short snippets and the least description possible. Letters also meant that we got a whole years worth of events without the boring stuff and we got as much as possible. I’m not sure if any of that made sense but like yeah trust me the letter style was really the best thing for this!

Characters were the best part. I related to Scott more than Cath for the most part. I felt everything Scott was feeling. I understood him and when he went through hardships I empathized with him a little more than Cath. I loved Cath still but I didn’t empathize with her. I found her a very understanding and forgiving character and while I think those are amazing qualities, I also had moments where I didn’t want her to be so kind. Their relationship was adorable and their friendship was one I wish I had with someone. Overall I just loved them.

Random last snippet, I love that the year was 1982, presumably to have it so the fact that they sent letters instead of emailed/texted make sense. I just enjoyed that little extra detail.


IT by Stephen King


Pages: 1090 Pages
Publication: September 1986.
Publisher: Signet

Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real.
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers.

My Thoughts:

Wow was this ever a journey and I have a lot to say about it so buckle up my friends.

To start, I feel the need to say I DID like this book. I did. IT is a movie I have always enjoyed and have always wanted to read where the story came from.
But wow am I ever disappointed with it in all honesty.

I listened to this entire book as an audiobook because I did not have it in me to read 1100 pages right now, that amounted to about 45 hours of listening. For the first 15 hours, or about 350 pages, I was super into this. I was enjoying myself, I really was, but then I just started to getannoyed. It’s not that anything annoying was happening, but I was listening to the same man for 15 hours and I was only 1/3 of the way done the book. I was getting irritated at the like excessive details that Stephen King puts into his books. I appreciate details, I really do, but I don’t need a play by play of someone going pee. I know that it involves removing pants and sitting and washing hands and all that but you can cut out half a page of text just by saying “soandso went to the washroom.” So about the last 300 pages I just wanted to be done. I wanted it to be over. I wasn’t enjoying myself because it was so long and I was just losing steam. So unfortunately that really took over a lot of my time when it came to trying to enjoy the story.

So the actual book. Here’s the thing, even when watching the movie IT, the end has always kind of bored me slightly. I just loved THE story of IT but I’ve never actually liked where he went with the whole idea. So it does make sense that the end of the book was boring me. But the book just made it WORSE. I don’t know but there was so much confusion with the back and forth between childhood and adulthood and it was so confusing at times. There was a lot of other character’s perspectives I didn’t fully understand, and given the fact that there is 1100 pages, I felt like there were some aftermath parts missing near the end. So overall the ending wasn’t good but I still LOVE the idea of IT.

Now this next section is going to be a little spoilery so if you haven’t read the book you will be spoiled (even if you’ve seen the movie).
To start, the adultery between Beverly and Bill made no sense to me. Like the inclusion of it just was a bit confusing to me. I don’t really understand why it was included and honestly I preferred in the movie where she just ends up with Ben because Bill is happily married. Again, that’s just a preference thing but yeah one little irksome moment.
My biggest ?????????? moment though is in the last 100 pages. I don’t actually understand the scene when ELEVEN year old Beverly had sex with all 6 boys in some sort of orgy moment.. I just don’t understand and I have actually tried to read up on it to see if I could find an explanation but I haven’t found anything so if any of you who have read this book have ANY sort of explanation as to why this was included I would love to know because it was very uncomfortable to read.

So umm yeah Idk I liked it, I didn’t love it. I am not sure after these last 2 books if Stephen King is the author for me. He has VERY atmospheric stories to me where the atmosphere and tone he sets up are the best parts of the book. I still own Salem’s Lot so I will read it one day and I have always wanted to read Misery, The Green Mile, and Pet Semetary so I do have the desire to try him again but yeah overall I wasn’t hugely impressed with this book and I think it has to do with the size.
Big is apparently not always better.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson


Pages: 841 pages
Publication: August, 2005.
Publisher: Penguin Canada

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from the secluded island owned by the Vanger family. No one saw her leave the island, and no body was ever found. Her uncle, Henrik, is convinced she was murdered by a member of her own dysfunctional family. Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired to investigate.
But when Blomkvist uncovers new evidence, it suddenly becomes too dangerous to proceed alone. Enter Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker with the wisdom of someone twice her age – and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it. She’s unwilling to take orders, rides a motorbike like a Hells Angel, and handles makeshift weapons with a skill born of rage.
Together this unlikely team unravels a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out how far they’re prepared to go to protect themselves.

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that I always knew I should read, but never actually did. About 3-4 years ago I tried to start this but the beginning just bored me intensely so I quit but damn I wish I didn’t.
This ended up being SO good. I haven’t been this invested or sold on a book in so long! I read 841 pages in 5 days and that’s with me watching 2 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in the same time period. I absolutely flew through this book and have already begun reading the second book because I just need more.

The plot is actually why I picked this book up when I did. Long story short, I was in the mood for mystery books and I was in a short supply so I had to choose this one! I loved the mystery, the intricacy, the intensity and the chaos and honestly I just loved the entire plot. It was everything I needed, I loved the setting, the writing was so so riveting, I just adored this book from page 1 to page 841.

Characters though. Blomkvist is someone I really grew to just love. I loved his attitude and his intensity and his desire to do good and his emotions. Larsson wrote him so well and fleshed him out perfectly. I love his lifestyle and his personality and I feel like I know him so well now even though I don’t remember this happening.
And Salander, I love her deeply. I will admit she did things I didn’t fully agree with, nor understand. But they were so in character for her that I didn’t really care in the end. She’s such a strong independent character but is also so incredibly childish and broken sometimes that it hurts your heart. The end of the book, literally the last 2 pages, broke my heart for her just a little bit because we saw one instance of emotion from her and it turned out so poorly.

So yeah I mean I loved this? Like deeply. Something like 75% of the people I’m friends with on here gave this a 3 star or less and I just can’t understand where they saw flaws when I did not. I will say there were like 3 things that did bother me but they did not hugely impact my overall feelings about the book. For the 4 people on Goodreads who haven’t read this book, I really advise you to because it was just so engrossing!
Now to go watch the American movie and read the rest of the trilogy. After those I will determine my mood about the 4th novel and I will watch all the Swedish movies.

If you want to buy the book with free shipping, you can do so here 🙂 BUY THE BOOK HERE: http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Girl-with-the-Dragon-Tattoo-Stieg-Larsson-Martin-Wenner/9780857054036/?a_aid=mel