Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Waiting Sky” as Want to Read:
The Waiting Sky
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Waiting Sky

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,215 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
One summer chasing tornadoes could finally change Jane's life for the better.

Seventeen-year-old Jane McAllister can't quite admit her mother's alcoholism is spiraling dangerously out of control until she drives drunk, nearly killing them and Jane's best friend.

Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left the problems at home years ago for college. A
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Putnam Juvenile
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Waiting Sky, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Waiting Sky

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 29, 2012 Giselle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, own, contemporary
Twister was one of my absolute favourite movies. I used to watch it over and over, fascinated by the tornadoes. Even now, years later, I find myself mesmerized by all natural disasters. They're terrifying and set on destruction, making us seem incredibly small and powerless. When I learned that The Waiting Sky consisted of storm chasers, I simply couldn't wait to get all over this! However, storms are only one of the parts that constitutes this invigorating, intense story.

Our fantastic main char
Aug 15, 2012 Keertana rated it really liked it
I have to admit it: I only picked up The Waiting Sky because of its cover. While I was definitely intrigued by the unique premises of this novel, its cover really drew me in with its desperation and overall feel of melancholy. In fact, I think it’s such a perfect cover because this novel itself has a feel of such deep sadness to it, but it thankfully never becomes overwhelming. If anything, The Waiting Sky truly surprised me with its depth, unique take on alcoholism, and more than anything e ...more
May 01, 2013 Cara rated it really liked it
There is something to be said of a storm's beauty. As rational as we are there is this awe that takes over when you see something that has so much power and elegance. You can't help feel something so incredible could be that horrible. Then you realize the storm doesn't care a whit that you are struck in wonderment, not even a little. Kind of cruel isn’t it?

Well our protagonist gets to get up close and personal with storms, more specifically tornadoes. Ethan, her older brother, is part of a torn
Jan 13, 2013 Mitch rated it liked it
The Waiting Sky has a pretty cool and unique premise, a summer of tornado chasing as sort of a catharsis after narrator Jane McAllister's relationship with her alcoholic mother hits rock bottom. So there's both meteorology and a tough personal story, plus parallels between the two. But even though Jane's personal growth worked for me in the end, the way she and several of the other characters are handled during the course of the book left me less than satisfied.

First off, Jane's an enabler. She'
Jul 26, 2015 Nic rated it it was ok
The voice of the novel is one I like, one I'd love to read from again.
However, Jane was quite annoying, even though i understood her position. And I truly do understand.
Also that higher power question annoyed me, when she said there was no way she believed in that stuff. But hey, to each her own. It was also a contradiction when the main character said "Thank God" at the beginning of the next chapter... Seriously? Sorry, the little details get to me, instead of the bigger parts. That's just me.

Thank you to Jenni for trading me for a copy of the book!

Why I Read This Book

Aside from the gorgeous cover, with the beautiful covers and the twister in a bottle, it was simple: I’m a huge lover of storms. I’m also a big fan of the movie Twister which features storm chasers. I always thought it was a crazy thing to chase these big, disastrous creations of Mother Nature, but books and film always make it look so exciting.

My Thoughts

From start to finish, I loved this book. I loved every single lit
Jul 18, 2016 Octavia rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star
Happy to say I was pleasantly surprised by this one! I struggled with it a bit in the beginning, but as time went on I found myself beginning to care for the characters and in the end I really liked it.

I love tornadoes. Sounds a bit odd, but I’ve watched shows like Tornado Alley, and I find these weather phenomenons so fascinating! The fact that the sky can drop these funnels of wind and destroy a town in seconds is terrifying, which also makes them really interesting. Whenever I see books with
Jenni Arndt
Jul 25, 2012 Jenni Arndt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-own
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

I was lucky enough to receive The Waiting Sky along with my ARC of Black City, I wasn't expecting any other books and was so surprised. I was once again surprised when I finished reading it because it is a fantastic novel. It is full of heart, great characters and wonderful writing. Jenna has grown up being the parent in her house, her mother is an alcoholic who would rather spend money down at the local bar than pay to have electricity and runnin
Aug 09, 2012 Lili rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
If I had to describe this book in one word it would be powerful. Zielin's writing left me breathless as I experienced the chaos of living with an alcoholic through Jane and the ripples it causes through an entire family. This heartbreaking yet wonderful read is not one to miss if you are in the mood for something slightly heavier, though quick and easy to get through.

I have to say that, hands down, my favorite aspect of this story was the tornado chasing. I live in New Jersey, tornadoes don't t
Ever since her older brother Ethan left for school, Jane McAllister has been taking care of her mother, paying the bills, cleaning the house, making excuses for her mother's mistakes. When when a drunk driving accident injures Jane and her best friend Cat, Cat gives her friend an ultimatum and insists that she must quit enabling her mother's alcoholism. Jane temporarily leaves her mother to spend the summer chasing tornadoes across the midwest with her brother and a crew called the Torbros. ...more
Selena Yukino (The Lioness: hear me roar)
I found myself skimming and skimming. Wasn't for me. :(
Jul 14, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it
Jane's mother is an alcoholic.

It's not just a problem with drinking alcohol, though. Jane's mother's actions are much more dangerous and life altering, and Jane feels a heavy sense of responsibility for her mom's behavior. After (view spoiler) Jane knew she had to get away -- at least for a little while. Nothing sounds more appealing than interning with the tornado chasers her brot
Joy (joyous reads)
Aug 20, 2012 Joy (joyous reads) rated it really liked it
I’ve been known to dislike characters for their obliviousness - those that appear weak and stupid because they refused to acknowledge the severity of their situation until it’s too late. More often (and on my own accord), Jane drove me head first into a wall. Why?

- Her definition of “normal mom behavior” defies every conceivable logic known to man.

- She was so quick to blame her brother for helping himself – for getting out of a situation and for thinking that there was a life outside of cleanin
Aug 20, 2012 Chelsey rated it really liked it
This book reminded me so much of Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols and I mean that in a totally good way. This is the story of a girl who is drowning in the misery and problems in her own life and most of them are created by her alcoholic mother. Jane McAllister goes out to Oklahoma to stay with her brother, Ethan, and help him and his storm chasing team, Tornado Brothers, locate and photograph a few bad tornados. This is more than just an escape for Jane; it’s a way to be released from the grips ...more
Donna {Book Passion for Life}
“Max's lips part slightly, and mine do the same. His tongue inside my mouth makes fireworks of color burst behind my closed eyelids. We explore and taste each other again and again, until Max finally pulls away. I want more-- I think I could survive on nothing but his mouth for weeks--but I try not to let it show too much.”

This is one of them books that I've had on my Kindle since last year and never managed to get around to it. Finally, I can say I've read it and honestly, it's such a unique re
Jen Halligan
Aug 19, 2012 Jen Halligan rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on A Book and a Latte:

4.5 stars! The Waiting Sky hooked me from the moment I saw its cover and read the synopsis! I’ve always been fascinated by storms, and I was obsessed with the movie Twister when it came out in the mid-90s… When I saw that Zielin paired storm chasing with a girl struggling to figure out how to live life for herself when she has an alcoholic mother; I knew immediately that this was a must read for me. I was quickly gripped by this story, and was not disappoi
Jun 13, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing
Going into The Waiting Sky, I had no expectations. It was my first book by Lara Zielin and I had heard pretty much nothing about it. However, had I gone in with the highest expectations The Waiting Sky would have exceeded them. I was completely blown away by this book (pun totally intended!)

Jane is a very realistic character. She’s seen so much sadness in her life that she doesn’t really expect happiness, especially not with the brother who abandoned her. She’s reserved and pretty unwilling to t
Kat Hagedorn
Feb 28, 2012 Kat Hagedorn rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, teen

Third time is definitely the charm.

The most fun of paying attention to a particular author is to see how her writing transforms over the years, from the first book onwards. It is beyond clear that Zielin's confidence in her writing has vastly improved since the beginning: I may have loved Donut Days but I really LOVED The Waiting Sky.

In part, this is because Zielin has adeptly tackled a very difficult subject: that of alcoholism and how it affects entire families. I lea
Jun 15, 2013 Sueij rated it really liked it
While tornado-chasing isn't my thing, I am blown away by the huge topics this author takes on in her three teen novels. (Donut Days is about the free-thinking daughter of pastors in a fundamentalist church and The Implosion of Aggie Winchester is about the Goth daughter of the high school principal and her pregnant friend elected prom queen.) The Waiting Sky takes on a severely alcoholic mother and her inadvertently enabling daughter, plus the older brother who got away to save himself. Guilt, ...more
Mar 08, 2012 Angela rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teen girls
I liked this book. The romance was secondary to the growth of the main character. Unfortunately I thought her big breakthrough near the end of the book happened too quickly and neatly. Still, I would recommend this author and this title to teen girls who want a book that isn't too heavy but deals with some real life issues and isn't all about boys.
The book was well written, the storyline was engaging, but what really stopped me from actually enjoying this book was the main character Jane. There were times when I felt like I should've felt compassion for her, understood better why she acted the way she did and said the things she said, but I just didn't. I honestly just didn't like her and I'm not really sure why.
Mar 12, 2013 LibraryLass rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction, 2013
Great read. The characters were well fleshed out, the emotions driving the daughter and the son were well-written and I could easily relate to it.
The only thing stopping this from being a 5 star, was I felt the ending was a tad rushed and a wee bit safe.
Aufaadlia 07
Dec 12, 2011 Aufaadlia 07 rated it it was amazing
I can't beleive I have to wait for 8 months to red this book :(
Lauren Peters
Dec 07, 2016 Lauren Peters rated it it was amazing
So no, this isn't a masterful piece of art nor was it meant to be. It's YA Fiction. But never has a YA Fiction actually made me relate to it like their supposed to.. not until this one.

My situation is much different than Jane's but in a lot of ways, the same. When I put this book on my 'to read' list almost 2 years ago and finally was able to get it in the last few weeks after happening upon it at a local bargain store, little did I know it was fate. The issues that Jane faced in this novel are
Jessica Madden
Dec 06, 2016 Jessica Madden rated it it was amazing
I have enjoyed every moment of this story, and I'm so happy to have come across it. Tornadoes are very fascinating to me, and I was happy to come across this story about storm chasing. Of course this story is just not about storm chasing or tornadoes, but it's about Jane finding her way in her life and deciding what life is best for her.
Aug 11, 2012 Leah rated it it was amazing

You don't go through things with people and not love them more for it. It's like those guys in the army who fight in muddy trenches and drag each other out of harm's way and are blood brothers for life because of it all. Only in our case, my mom and I faced eviction notices and power shutoffs together.

Guys, I wasn't at all prepared for The Waiting Sky. I went into it expecting a super fun book about storm chasers with maybe a little issue-story in the back
Jenna (Bookiemoji)
Jan 21, 2013 Jenna (Bookiemoji) rated it it was amazing
Also found on Making the Grade

THE WAITING SKY manages to be an insightful, emotional story about addiction and family dynamics as well as a fun adventure story all at the same time. If you love storm chasing or contemporary stories that deal with subject matters such as alcohol abuse and estranged families, this is the book for you. It’s a quick read at just over 200 pages and it will thrill you the whole way through.

Of course, when I popped open the book for the first time, I couldn’t help bu
Aug 28, 2012 Brie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at Romance Around the Corner

This book caught my attention because it sounded similar to the movie Twister. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I’m glad I read it.

Jane McAllister’s mother is an alcoholic. Her brother left home as soon as he could, leaving Jane to fend for herself. She handles the situation as best as she can, or at least as best as she thinks she should. She pays the bills, covers for her mother and is basically the adult responsible to take care of their c
Dec 02, 2012 Jenia rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
Review initially posted at Wyz Reads.

Do issue books bother you? Do you find yourself wishing they weren’t so in-your-face with things? We get it. Cancer sucks. Or yes, I see now that drugs are bad. I didn’t know that before. I’m so glad there’s a book on it now. I don’t mean to pick on issue books — they have their place. But I feel that they tend to be over-the-top and way too dramatic.

Well, guess what. The Waiting Sky is an issue book.

And I loved it.

We start out our story in the eye of the sto
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Counting Backwards
  • Out of Reach
  • Dangerous Boy
  • Narc
  • Perfect Escape
  • Smashed
  • Survive
  • Never Enough
  • Kiss the Morning Star
  • Through to You
  • The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life
  • All These Lives
  • While He Was Away
  • Small Damages
  • Fall to Pieces
  • Fingerprints of You
  • 34 Pieces of You
  • Dreamsleeves
I love cheese! But I might love books more. I have written a few of them, like THE WAITING SKY and THE IMPLOSION OF AGGIE WINCHESTER and DONUT DAYS and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN: THE KEY TO NETWORKING FOR TEENS.

I'd love it if you stopped by my website, or found me on Twitter: @larazielin
More about Lara Zielin...

Share This Book

“His hands are on my back, in my hair, on my hips. His fingers move like I'm Braille, like he's trying to read me just by touching me.” 11 likes
“But in the mouth of Mother Nature's fury, Ethan's totally at ease, and I wonder if it's because he's studied weather for years, or because he figured out a long time ago that the things that really hurt you don't usually fall from the sky.” 10 likes
More quotes…