Friday, December 3, 2010

Review: Taken by Storm and Unbroken Connection by Angela Morrison

Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison

From the back of the book:

Leesie Hunt’s Unbreakable Rules:

No Kissing (at least not of the French variety) . . . No Sec (hah! Not even close to happening anyway) . . . No Dating Outside the Mormon Faith (what would be the point?) . . . ABSOLUTELY No Falling in Love with the Wrong Boy (would ruin everything)

Leesie thinks she has her whole life planned out: get into the school of her dreams, write her poems, meet the perfect guy, and settle down. Then she meets Michael—a boy whose parents were killed in a diving accident during a terrible storm.

Michael is drowning in tragedy. And all Leesie wants is to save him. With each day, her heart hurts more. Could it be perfect Leesie is falling from grace? Or is she just falling in love?

But if Leesie gives in to temptation, who is going to save her?

My Review:

I have never read a book like this. Leesie and Michael take turns telling their story through Michael’s dive logs and Leesie’s poems and chatspot conversations. The dual perspective propels the story forward while allowing the reader to understand both sides of the relationship. Michael is struggling to come to terms with the storm and the loss of his parents. Leesie’s trying hard to reconcile her beliefs and upbringing with the passionate feelings she has for Michael. His emotions are raw and poignant. When she reaches out to him she becomes the air for his drowning soul.

On top of their personal struggles, they constantly disagree on how their relationship should play out. Leesie believes that love means more than the physical part and has made a commitment to save herself for marriage. Michael doesn’t understand her need to wait and thinks that her rules will kill the growing love between them—that the only way to truly love is to share everything with each other. Sprinkled throughout the book are Leesie affirmations of her strong religious beliefs as she reinforces her will and occasionally preaches to Michael in an honest attempt to help him heal.

At this point I have to say that the content is definitely PG-13. It’s listed as a book for age 12 and up but I think it depends on the 12 year old. For someone confronted with similar issues at school and in their own personal relationships, this is a great book on finding your limits and exploring the pros and cons of premarital sex. For other teens who are perhaps more sheltered, this book delves pretty far into passions with frank sexual talk and discussions. On a personal level, since my three teenage daughters are more on the sheltered side, I will not be recommending this book for them to read. However, if I felt one of them were dancing a little close to the lines, I might pull it out and have them read it.

The writing is perfection; the story is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Angela does a masterful job of developing her characters. I enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it for the right audience.

Check out Angela’s website: You can read the first chapter and see a trailer for this book. You’ll also hear the beautiful song she wrote for her book SING ME TO SLEEP.

Unbroken Connection by Angela Morrison

From the back of the book:

Against all odds, the couple that swept you away in TAKEN BY STORM is back. Michael is in Thailand diving his dream. Leesie is at BYU living hers.

And they just can’t leave each other alone.

Their romance rekindles, deeper than before. They grow desperate to see one another again. To hold one another again. Michael decides there is only one directin their relationship can go and asks Leesie the ultimate question. Her answer challenges everything Michakel is and wants to be.

Can she change for him?

Can he change for her?


My Review:

Written in the same format as TAKEN BY STORM, UNBROKEN CONNECTION picks up the story of Michael and Leesie’s romance. Even though they are on opposite sides of the world (symbolic of how incongruent their beliefs and behaviors are) they can’t suppress the passion that pulls them together. The questions that keep coming up challenge their relationship. Can they find a way to make it work or will they have to give up too much or who they are? How important are core beliefs in the face of all consuming love?

Once again, I enjoyed the book and the growing relationship between Leesie and Michael. I can’t wait until I can read the third book, CAYMAN SUMMER. If anything, this book was more passionate than the first so I must add the same strong cautions. This is a great book for the right audience.

Check out Angela’s website: You can read the first chapter and see a trailer for this book. You’ll also hear the beautiful song she wrote for her book SING ME TO SLEEP.

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