Summary: It’s 1982, and for Cath & Scott, everything is about to change. Growing up across the street from each other, the pair have been best friends for most of their lives. After graduating from high school, Cath heads off to Wake Forest University, while Scott stays home to work in his dad’s shop and tries to get his band off the ground. Even though the duo definitely expected some changes, neither of them thought life after high school would be this hard. Told in a series of letters, through heartbreak, family drama, and life really, Cath and Scott realize that their friendship means more to them than they could have ever imagined.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Michael Kun and Susan Mullen’s We Are Still Tornadoes popped up on my TBR radar thanks to an awesome post about college-set YA novels from BNTEENBlog. As some of you know, I’ll always love YA, but I’ve been craving college YA a lot more lately–growing pains in your reading life are real.
I loved We Are Still Tornadoes as a college YA for providing two different examples of post-high school life. Cath goes on what I guess is the more “traditional” route, heading off to college the fall after high school graduation. Meanwhile, Scott stays at home and works in his family’s clothing store and starts a band. I think Scott’s life classifies the book as a college-aged YA. It was fun reading about Cath’s adventures and misadventures at college alongside Scott’s on-goings at home. I really liked both protagonists, but I must admit that I liked Scott a tad more because of his humor! There were so many times that his jokes and teasing made me laugh out loud. For the sake of spoilers, I will just say that I did not expect that significant change in Scott’s life to occur (my hand went over my heart when I read that line).
The book acts a flashback to the 80s, taking place from September 1982 to September 1983—I liked how we got to experience a full year with our characters. If you look for books featuring music like how I’m always searching for college YA, We Are Still Tornadoes is the perfect combination of the two! Scott often sends lyrics to his band’s songs to Cath (I admit it was hard to imagine the lyrics as songs, but they can really read like poetry), and the two share a love for music. It was fun being able to recognize some of the songs they talked about, even though I admit I only recognized the bigger artists of the time, like The Beatles and Michael Jackson.
We Are Still Tornadoes is similar to the format of I Hate Everyone But You, as We Are Still Tornadoes is told through letters between Scott and Cath and I Hate Everyone But You is told through text messages and emails between its protagonists. However, in my opinion, We Are Still Tornadoes is the better version of the latter.. While I Hate Everyone But You gets points for its focus on female friendship and diverse character,s and by no means am I bashing it because I had a fun time reading it over spring break. I feel that the character development and story was stronger in We Are Still Tornadoes.
I’m giving We Are Still Tornadoes a 5 out of 5 stars not because it’s the most amazing book that I’ve ever read, but because I had such a great experience reading it. I feel like I keep mentioning in my reviews how great such-and-such book is perfect for a readathon (I guess I do read faster than I think I do!), but I wish I had had the time to read We Are Still Tornadoes in one sitting or over the course of one day. Only 2 weeks left of the semester before I can do this!
Music Habits Tag
A few weeks ago, I was tagged by the lovely Rebecca of bookishlyrebecca to do the Music Habits Tag. Since music plays such a large role in Cath and Scott’s friendship, I thought it’d be include the tag alongisde my review. The Music Habits Tag was created by Sumedha of The Wordy Habitat.
Do you download songs or stream on apps?
Both! I use Spotify to listen to music on my laptop, and I purchase and download songs using iTunes. I know I could easily download Spotify on my phone, but I usually listen to music on my phone while running and I don’t want to use too much data.
What’s your current favorite song?
Blame Love, Simon, but “Rollercoaster” by Bleachers.
Last song you listened to?
“Helpless” from Hamilton
Who are your all-time favorite artists?
Paramore, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, The Beatles… does Glee count??
Have you been to any concerts?
I’ve been to quite a few. My first was Avril Lavigne when I was five years with my best friend (who’s still my best friend today!). I went through my Disney stage (Hannah Montana and Cheetah Girls included) and saw the Jonas Brothers twice. I’ve seen Paramore once, Fall Out Boy twice, Luke Bryan three times, and Train with Gavin DeGraw and The Script.
Do you play your songs on shuffle or choose a playlist?
Playlist, then shuffle.
Where do you usually find new music?
Movie soundtracks (honestly, I think I got hooked on to Ed Sheeran because of “All of the Stars” from TFIOS), and keeping up with my favorite artists on social media.
Name one song that you think everyone should listen to:
“Found Tonight” by Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda
For the sake of your finger cramps, I did cut out some of the questions from the tag, so make sure to check out Sumedha or Rebecca’s posts for all the questions!
Have you read We Are Still Tornadoes? What’s your current favorite song? Share in the comments!