Every month, the Fangirls Read It First book club members vote on which book they want to read. May’s winning book was Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler. The following review is based on a verbal discussion between members at May’s meeting.
Tragedy struck outcast Jane True as a teenager and she feels the ramifications years later. Her hometown of Rockabill, Maine, won’t let her move on, with several townspeople holding her responsible for the death of their golden boy. Jane deals in the best way she can – caring for her father, working at the local bookstore with two of her closest friends, and sneaking nightly swims in the frigid ocean waters. Everything changes when Jane stumbles upon a body and discovers a supernatural world existing alongside the regular folk. Has Jane, who has a supernatural secret of her own, finally found a place to belong?
May’s hostess chose this book to be voted on because the main character has humor and positivity despite her difficult circumstances, the supernatural elements are refreshingly unique, and the story is a quick, captivating read.
What We Liked:
There was a lot to like about this story. Without exception, everyone who participated in this discussion chose Anyan as their favorite character. Several of us will continue with the series to find out more about the shaggy barghest. We also appreciated the sexy times between Jane and Ryu, especially the fact that Jane insists on Ryu wearing a condom every time – something that is often left out of romance novels. Jane’s reactions to seeing gruesome dead bodies were realistic, something else that is glossed over in other books. Her inner monologue kept our attention due to her snarky humor and on-point descriptions of such things as the type of books her nemesis Linda prefers to read. Ryu was sexy and charming and we enjoyed his presence as someone to jump-start Jane’s stalled love life, although we had a hard time seeing him as a long term lover. The town of Rockabill and it’s citizens, supernatural and not, were well-developed and full of life and character. Jane’s interactions with Nell, Iris, and Grizzie added richness to the story.
What We Didn’t Like:
Compared to other books that we’ve read and discussed, there are very few things that we didn’t like about this book. Chief among them is Jane’s experience at the compound. While Rockabill was grounded in reality, the compound felt shallow in comparison. A couple of members said that they lost interest in the story while Jane was there. Some also had trouble with Jane’s near-immediate acceptance of the supernatural, although others felt like she should have figured out her heritage sooner. Finally, while most members found Ryu to be charming, at least one felt like he was skeevy and had a difficult time enjoying the romance.
Fangirl Rating: 4/5 stars
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