Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison
Release Date: March 5, 2009
Lessie is a devout Mormon and since she lives in a small town, it's not that hard to follow her religion's rules. Her goal is to live a pure life and get into BYU. However, when Michael comes into town, her resolve starts to crumble.
Michael is a free diver and lives for his hobby. However, when his parents are killed by a hurricane, he is forced to move to a small town with a relative. His heart still aching for his parents and his past life, Michael slowly sinks into a depression.
Lessie is instantly drawn to Michael when he comes to town. Seeing his pain, she wants to comfort for him, but soon, she finds herself falling for him as well...
Can she still live a pure life? Or will she be unable to stay faithful to her religion and lose sight of her dreams?
Okay, where to start?
Let's start with the writing--it was fantastic, especially for a first novel! It is well written and I loved the switching view points and poems.
However, I was not exactly thrilled with the characters and what they stood for. While I admire Lessie's strong belief in her faith and desire to remain pure by her religion's standards, I was not too happy with Michael's character. Yes, he is not Mormon, yes, he's a teenage boy, and yes, he is grieving, but even under those circumstances, I find it hard to believe that a guy would be so cold towards a relationship and only be lustful the whole time.
The two extremes were a little too extreme. Lessie was pure and the ideal, while those who weren't Mormon were lustful, dark, vile people. Just because you aren't Mormon or religious, doesn't mean you're this horrid person who only ever wants and thinks of sex. I felt Michael was portrayed in a really unflattering and unfair light.
There was another small problem concerning characters for me as well; Lessie's character. Although it is good that she is caring and forgiving, sometimes she seemed like she wasn't really standing up for herself. She needn't take everything lying down, especially when she didn't want to be pushed.
Next, I am a fan of happy endings, as long as they're not too perfect and far fetched. But I felt everything tied up a little too nicely for Lessie at the end. I don't want to spoil anything, but it felt a wee bit convenient. At least it wasn't rushed.
So yes, I have conflicting feelings about this book. It is well written, but rather biased and a little too extreme for me. It's not exactly preachy, but it is still extreme. At times I felt like good vs evil (with Michael being the evil one) was being blatantly stated again and again. I have every respect for those who have a religion, as I am among that number, but a certain amount of tolerance and true understanding is necessary.
My enjoyment may have been a bit marred by these things, but overall, I think I still enjoyed reading this book. The writing, as I mentioned before, was excellent!
Before I end this review, I have two side notes; I love the title, Taken by Storm--it works perfectly! The cover is also wonderful and fits the book. To me, it looked like a notebook, and since Lessie is a poet and often expresses herself through her writing, this cover works nicely as well. I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I think the cover itself looks quite nice!