We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund
**We were lucky enough to pick up a copy of this at Bookcon! We’d like to thank Natalie and Philomel Books for the opportunity. This book comes out on September 3rd and you can get it here!**
Reviewed by Ginny while on the Jolly Trolley!
A powerful and haunting debut novel about friendship, acceptance, and learning to let go as the balance between the living and the dead is upended, perfect for fans of We Were Liars.
It’s been more than 50 years since a tornado tore through a drive-in movie theater in tiny Mercer, Illinois, leaving dozens of teens — a whole generation of Mercerites — dead in its wake. So when another tornado touches down in the exact same spot on the anniversary of this small-town tragedy, the town is shaken. For Brenna Ortiz, Joshua Calloway, and Callie Keller, the apprehension is more than just a feeling. Though they seem to share nothing more than a struggle to belong, the teens’ paths continue to intersect, bringing them together when they least expect it, and perhaps, when they need it most. Both the living and the dead have secrets and unresolved problems, but they may be able to find peace and move forward–if only they work together.
A beautifully told, haunting yet hopeful novel about pushing past the pain, facing the world, and finding yourself.
Synopsis from Goodreads
What I drank prior: some champagne but mostly lemon xrishes (thank you rehobeth)
Spoiler-free Overview: a tornado devasted a town in the 1960s. 50 years later another storm toiches down and three teens see ghosts of people who were affected by the storm in the 60s. These kids all have stuff going on and dont know wht they see ghosts but recognize the ghosts might be helpful. Josh is the one gay kid ind middle america, brenna is mexican in a suoer white town, and callies mom is dying of cancer. The tornado happens to be a liminal space and the ghosta are trying to helo them deal while also fulfilling a final request.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: this boom starts out slowly enough that I thought I wasn’t going to enhoy it. And I was r3ading it at bookcon where I got so many good options. But boy did this book hook me. I liked the combination of characters and the geoth that took place pver the novel. In all three cases it was more that the characters started to believe in themselves rather than anything else major changing (even though major things did change).
Characters: all three main characters were desperately afraid of some things. Callie was scared of her mothers disease, Josh was scared of the kids at school and the loneliness they brought, and Brenna was scared of living between the two worlds the overwhelmingly white world of their small town and her families Mexican heritage. The three od them together made for really interesting comparisons. The ghosts in the books qere alsoninteresting choices to see what the main characters felt they lacked.
Plot: this is a pretty quiet book, character driven rather than plot driven. The plot honestly comes eown to three teens find themselves with the help of ghosts. That doesnt really tell you all the much about this actual book. Thats because moat of the events in this book are not the important parts. The important parta are the conversations and the interactions of the characters.
Writing Style: very pretty. Theres a lyricism to this book that I liked. I thonk magival realism tends to do that well.
World Building: nice. The combo of hearing the thoughts of the long dead vs the modern day story was intriguing. the town they lived in felt small but real.
What to pair it with: lol. You know how I said I soent the day dribking Lemon Chrushes? Welp thats what this is. Its light and refreshing and then yiu find yourself crying ik the final third becausw “there are just so many emotionals”
Rating: 4/5 i think originally thia might have been a 3.5/5 but Ive found myself thinking about the book afternthe fact and in this instance of that its a good thing.