17 December 2012

Review: When the Storm Passes by Julie Jett

When the Storm Passes by Julie Jett

Published: 13 February 2012

Pages: 198 (ebook)

Genre/s: Fiction, Natural Disaster

Source: Own library

Check it out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK


It's May 22, 2011, in Joplin, Missouri, and thirteen-year-old Avalie Milner has just finished dinner. Within minutes, a mile-wide tornado will change her life.

After being rescued from the rubble of her home, Avalie sets out on a mission: to find her loved ones, to restore her home, and to survive on her own in a world that will never be the same.

My Thoughts

Although the story itself is fiction, When the Storm Passes is actually set during the 2011 tornado which damaged 75% of the towns houses and killed more than 150 people. This gives the book an incredible sense of realism, particularly when I finished reading and went and Googled it to find out more.

Avalie's story is nothing short of harrowing, but also incredibly brave. At home with her mother when the tornado hits, she is later rescued from the rubble by two men and taken to the local hospital.

Realising that her mother has not been seen nor heard from since the tornado, she sneaks out and sets off to search for her mother herself, with her small, disabled dog as her only companion.

Showing incredible resilience and initiative, Avalie sets herself up to live in the house that her former neighbour inhabited, helped by local teenagers while keeping up the pretense that her mother is living with her, but is busy working in the local hospital. As time progresses, and Avalie's search for her family starts to really hit home, events threaten to overwhelm her completely.

Julie Jett has really built a story with characters that I felt an incredible sympathy and awe for. She perfectly captures the devastation wrought by the tornado, and the attempts of the town to support the impacted citizens and to rebuild their town.

Although it is a relatively short book, When the Storm Passes is chock full of emotion, survival and also the coming-of-age of Avalie and all the characters are realistic, down-to-earth people who care greatly about the well-being of their fellow townsfolk.

The ending is sweet and poignant and fits perfectly with the tone and message of the story.


  1. I like how this one has elements of truth in it, that's the best kind of fiction. It sounds like a really great story for only 198 pages. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It was quite realistic, if I didn't know it was fiction I would possibly have believed almost all of it! It was a quick, interesting read.

  2. I've got a feeling this book would have me holed up in a corner, a blubbering mess, especially because it's based loosely on fiction (and not just some awesomely amazing apocalyptic experience). But nonetheless, it sounds like an incredible book that speaks to the power of human compassion.

  3. "she sneaks out and sets off to search for her mother herself, with her small, disabled dog as her only companion."

    I'm getting teary and I haven't even read the book. It sounds grueling. I'll have to look for it when my emotions are in a better place.



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