After a tornado ravages a small Texas town, Jules Blacklin is faced with a variety of losses that turn her world upside down. Based on the book’s description, I was expecting more about how the storm devastated the town and how Jules deals with all of the devastation. Instead, more than 75 percent of the book focuses on her newfound feelings for West, a classmate who was by her side when the storm hit, and her dwindling romantic feelings for her boyfriend of two years.
The story begins with Jules recording herself as she recounts the day of and the days following the tornado. (She is making a video to contribute to a time capsule.) Throughout the story, the point of view shifts back and forth from first person (Jules talking to the camera) to third person. While this was a unique way to set up the narrative, it became distracting at times.
Even though the story lacks detail pertaining to the physical effects of the storm, the resulting relationship between Jules and West sucked me in so much that I was okay with the storm storyline falling by the wayside. Their relationship made me reminisce about what it felt like to be a confused teen in love lust.
Lines that touched my heart:
“My hand misses your hand.”
“I swear my hand tingles waiting to touch yours again.”
“One of these days, Jules Blacklin, I’m going to kiss you again, but it’s going to be when you’re mine…Because when I start kissing these lips, I don’t want to know he gets to kiss them after me.”
“She would go anywhere with this boy. She knows it right then and there.”
“Is it the experience they went through that pulls them towards each other?” (This one didn’t just touch my heart. It also made me wonder. Will this issue come up in part two, causing them to question their desire for each other?)
“I want to be near you all the time. Like, freaking stalk-your-house-and-stand-outside-your-window, near you.” (Yes! This is exactly what it feels like when you are a teen and you REALLY like someone.)
“She turned her attention back to him, catching his eyes focused on her. As if they were his lips touching her, she melted as his eyes lingered on her mouth, moving across her jaw and then down her neck.”
If you’re expecting to read about how a town picks up the pieces after a natural disaster, you might be disappointed. However, if you’re like me and you enjoy young adult stories in which the main character is filled with lust and relationship-related indecision, then you are likely to enjoy this book. I will definitely be reading part two: Out of Ruins.