Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review: Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison

Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith.

When Michael Walden--a deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricane--arrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above.

Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist?

Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts.
Plot: 4/5
Leesie's life revolves around her rules. Rules strictly following her Mormon faith, rules strictly forbidding anything that has to do with the wrong boy. But Michael comes along, and Leesie sees something in him that's beyond anything she's ever imagined- pain, tenderness, adventure- which eventually leads her to question her own faith. Full of twists and turns in Michael and Leesie's turbulent relationship, the plot is a hurricane of events that'll have the reader feeling warm all over one minute, and in the brink of crying the next.

Creativity: 5/5
The entire novel is presented in Michael's and Leesie's points of view, but with a twist- Michael's thoughts are presented in the form of his diving journal which served as his makeshift diary, and Leesie's are presented in her poetry and chat conversations. Although there are a few books that tell stories primarily through e-mails and intant-messages (like Rosie Dunne by Cecilia Ahern and Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot), mixing both poetry and online conversations as a medium was a refreshing take on storytelling, since the reader did not only catch a glimpse of the characters' thoughts, they were also able to experience Leesie's creativity through her narrative poetry.

Characters: 5/5
The characters of Leesie and Michael get the most exposure in the novel, but they alone are enough to captivate the readers' hearts. Both of them are such deep, complex characters that there's something new to unravel in every chapter, leaving readers wanting to read more and more. They're far from the typical stereotypes found in a lot of novels nowadays, since they have unexpected quirks that don't seem to fit their characters at first, but make them all the more believable and, on some level, relatable.

Writing: 5/5
Angela Morrison has a way with words that pulls on the readers' heartstrings. Everything, from the flow of the sentences to the selection of the words, made the imagery so crisp and vivid. The emotions that were portrayed in scenes translated effectively and beautifully because of her meticulous writing. Although the text throughout the entire novel was captivating, one instance where the writing shined the most was in Leesie's poetry- she was able to tell the story in a clear manner without sacrificing the beauty of the poems or the personality of the character.

Impact: 5/5
The story is one emotional roller coaster- there were times that were incredibly high up, but they were sometimes followed by the lowest of lows. As complicated as the characters and their intertwined stories got, though, the reader is drawn in by the genuine feelings that Michael and Leesie have for each other. The chemistry and connection between the both of them is so obvious, it can't be shaken.

Overall: 5/5
I don't usually read books with this kind of format. I'm more into prose, since I think I get more out of it, but with Taken by Storm I was not disappointed. I actually really enjoyed reading it, especially the poems. There was just so much fire between Michael and Leesie, that even though they were both going through complicated phases in their lives, their love for each other always followed through. Dramatic, romantic, heartbreaking, and touching, this story of two teenagers' unwavering love for each other is probably one of the most emotionally-evoking novels I've ever read.


  1. Excellent review. This sounds like a really interesting book. I've enjoyed some books in verse or written as letters so I might like this too.