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The Waiting Sky

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,090 ratings  ·  149 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 su
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Putnam Juvenile
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Community Reviews

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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
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
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
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'
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
Jenni Arndt
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
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. Etha ...more
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
Jen (A Book and a Latte)
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
Joy (joyous reads)
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
Kat Hagedorn

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
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 o ...more
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
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
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, d ...more
I was kind of half-disappointed, half-surprised by this book. It's got a great premise, I just wish they'd have been a lot more tornado chasing and a lot less mama-melodrama.

While it touches on some very dark and interesting topics, I found myself completely unemotional while reading it. I didn't feel much sympathy for the protagonist, Jane. Not that she does not sound like a completely realistic, living character, she does, but she sounds so real that I found her so annoying I don't even have
Sally Kruger
Jane's life revolves around her mother. Her mother is an alcoholic, but definitely not the kind of alcoholic who admits the problem and attends AA in an attempt to lead a normal life in hopes of holding a job and supporting a family. Nope, Jane is the one who must to hold it all together by paying the bills with whatever money she can earn babysitting and whatever she can grab before her mother drinks it away.

This is the only life Jane has known for years. She does have vague memories of a time
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.
Let's be honest here, I picked this up because I loved the cover. I mean wow, she's holding a tornado. But little did I know how accurate it was. Jane is an old woman living inside a teenage girl. She's exhausted of trying to hold together the tornado that is her mother. She's always tired, covering for her mother, trying to pay the bills and keep their life from falling apart.

It's frustrating and shocking. This was the first book I've read that addresses alcoholism. I never realized how awful
Mar 08, 2012 Angela rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.
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.
The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin follows seventeen year old Jane who is unwilling to admit that her Mother is not healthy enough to care for her because of her alcoholism. Jane is sent to spend the summer with her brother who works as a storm chaser. Jane has to deal with her feelings of abandonment by her brother and her anger that things in her life aren't going the way they should while also traveling the midwest following storms.

This is a fantastic book that puts the reader into the adventurou
Aufaadlia 07
I can't beleive I have to wait for 8 months to red this book :(
Bookness Knows Why
I loved this!! I was so frustrated with Jane's mum, how could she be so ignorant? It was also heartbreaking to see Jane suffer as a consequence of this. I absolutely loved the sibling relationship between Ethan and Jane, although they argue, it warms my heart to see them love and care about each other. I don't really think I've read a tornado chaser book before so this was very interesting.... The romance was very cute! Highly recommend for a quick short read about family relationships and torna ...more
I really wanted to read this book just for the storm chasing. Would I ever be able to do that in real life? Nope. Hence the appeal of reading about other people chasing storms.

This was an incredibly fast read, for starters. A few hours of continuous reading and I was done with it. It's nice when they're quick reads, but they also don't feel like they're fully fleshed out or something's been rushed. I had that feeling here, that it was rushed.

Jane's a nice girl. I don't want to say she's a specta
Wow. Wooooooow. Just…wow.

The Waiting Sky was freakin’ awful. Like, wow was it bad. So, so bad. This is an overdramatic, melodramatic, cheesy, stupid piece of nonsense, bundled up in the “cool and gritty” wrapping of being a storm chaser in the Midwest. Just, no. All the no. I don’t know what was going on with this, but Lara Zielin has definitely not found a fan in me. No sir.

Basically, Jane has been enabling her alcoholic mother for pretty much her whole life. I hate Jane. She’s childish, selfis
Everyone has that one "filler-book", they chose because the cover was gorgeous, the summary was not hideous-sounding, and they just can't seem to find anything else to read at the moment.

For me, that was "The Waiting Sky" by Lara Zielin.

I enjoyed the novel's premise; how Zielin manages to craft sufficient back stories for each character, and intertwine them through their scavenge for tornadoes. I mean, right off the bat, I knew these kids had to have some serious baggage if they were chasing t
First Thoughts: I never thought storm chasing could be this fascinating!

(Originally posted on Alexa Loves Books)

People who chase storms have always managed to intrigue me. I’m in awe of their bravery in the face of this crazy chaos that Mother Nature can cook up, but I’m also thinking that they’re being reckless and risking their lives. It’s a fine line they manage to walk, and I’m certain I’m not the only one who finds the idea of storm chasing absolutely intriguing.

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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
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“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.” 11 likes
“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.” 10 likes
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