Sunday, January 15, 2012

Megan Rambles About Tornado Warning

From Goodreads: Parents, teens, and survivors are lucky that Elin Stebbins Waldal has the courage to share her own harrowing experience with teen dating violence. At 17 she unwittingly fell in love with an abusive man. Tornado Warning is the true, honest portrait of how he whittled her down with words, hands, and weapons from a confident teen to the shadow of a woman.

But Stebbins Waldal offers more. Interwoven with her real-life journal, she reflects on how this relationship has affected her since, and how she is working to protect her teenagers from succumbing to a similar experience. Provocative and healing, Tornado Warning is a must-read for parents, women, and anyone who has suffered at the hands of a loved one.

This book....I don't really know where to start. Basically, I read this for school, but I decided to review it anyway. It's obviously completely different from what I usually read, non-fiction for starters, as well as being honestly depressing. I think I would've been disappointed if it wasn't depressing though. Considering it's a story about teen dating violence, if it wasn't depressing, I would be disappointed with Elin Stebbins Waldal's writing. I can honestly say that I wasn't disappointed.

I'll also open this by saying that Rachel and I don't really do star ratings here, considering we would be giving five stars to a large amount of the books we read. Mostly this is just because we read books that we LIKE. If you look at this review on Goodreads, you'll see that I gave this book 4 stars, but it's actually more between 3 and 4.

This is the flower before a reflection
Like the description says, it's written partially in journal entries during the almost 3 year period where Elin was dating Derrick, and partially in reflections from the adult Elin. These are clearly broken up by a whole flower, signaling that it is the adult Elin talking, and a shattered flower, signaling that it's a journal entry. The journals are also in italics. I liked this format, and it made what could have been something really confusing.....well.....not.
This is the flower before a journal entry

Basically, this book was really hard to get into, but that might just be because I read it for school. Some of the characters in the journal entries also seemed to appear out of nowhere/disappear into thin air. This is probably because there are journal entries that weren't included in the book, or some of the stuff just wasn't written down by Elin at the time. So I was slightly confused at time as to who some of Elin and Derrick's friends were when they randomly showed up. If you looked past this though, Elin explained herself and all of her feelings really well.

By the end I pretty much liked this book, and it had some great messages that go along with teen violence and healing/ dealing with our experiences. If you have read Sarah Dessen's Dreamland and liked it, you will probably like this book, because the similarities between them are shocking. This book really made me gain a whole new respect for Sarah Dessen, because she really must have done her research before writing Dreamland, because it was spot on with the real life experience given in this book.

Even though I thought this book was just alright, I still think people should read it. If you're a mom, a teenager, or just a woman/girl in general this is definitely a good book to read. It might teach you a thing or two about protecting yourself from teen dating violence and just how bad it is. So if you don't mind some strong language, and of course the violence, which can be kind of graphic, then I definitely recommend picking this book up. It's a good read.

*sighs* okay. The serious is over. I'm going to go finish the project that I read this book for now. And then I'm going to read a less heavy book to perk myself back up.


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