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My parents raised me to avoid public conversations, especially with strangers, on two main topics: politics and religion. (Therefore, I am assuming that blogging about one of them probably wasn’t what they had in mind.) However, I am about to go against their advice because today I am going to blog about RELIGION (Well sorta). (I’ll save politics for …well hopefully NEVER!)
Let me start by saying, I LOVED the Taken by Storm trilogy by Angela Morrison. I really wish I could recommend this trilogy for everyone, but I can’t because not everyone is going to love it! I think a lot of people will really enjoy this series, but some people won’t care for it because of the religious theme throughout the series.
The Taken by Storm series is built around Lessie, a Mormon who struggles with staying true to her religious beliefs. (I am not Mormon. In fact, before I read Taken by Storm my knowledge on the Mormon religion was basically nil.) A large part of the plot in this novel is about Lessie’s faith, and a large part of who Lessie is is tied into her religion. However, Morrison shows us how much Lessie’s faith is a part of her life without being “preachy”. In my opinion, Lessie is a great protagonist. (In fact, she is one of my favs!)
After reading the Taken by Storm series, I developed a strong respect for Mormons who practice their faith because, from what you read in this book, they are very dedicated and have very high standards. Lessie doesn’t drink, smoke, experiment with drugs, cuss, go to parties, lie to her parents, etc. In fact, she lives by a set of rules that are, in my opinion, admirable: Do not go into the house alone with a member of the opposite sex. Keep both feet on the floor. Never go into a guy’s bedroom. No parking. No necking. No petting. No fornication. No tongue. Etc. She also attends church every Wednesday night, Sunday morning, and wakes up every morning before school for seminary- where her dad teaches her and her brother more about their religion. Morrison doesn’t really go into details about what goes on at church or seminary. In fact, she only very briefly mentions that Lessie attends seminary every morning. What I am saying is: Morrison doesn’t try to covert you over to the Mormon faith by writing scripture, she simply shows you how dedicated Lessie is to her faith.
Again, I am not Mormon. But I do have my own values and morals that I live by, and I can understand what it’s like to have those values tested. In fact, when I was a teenager I lived by pushing my limits. I think no matter what your religion, or even if you don’t have one, almost every young adult can relate to this novel (no, maybe not the religious aspect, but having faith in other people, pushing your limits, having your values tested, etc.)
This series is told through Lessie’s poems, Michael’s dive log (which is basically his journal) and IM chats. I appreciated how Morrison gave us her characters raw, uncensored feelings, especially Michaels. He doesn’t immediately love Lessie, and it wouldn’t have been realistic if he did. Also, she tells this story within a very realistic time frame, and we get to see Michael and Lessie’s relationship develop, falter and progress. I really connected with Lessie and Michael and I think it was mainly because Morrison showed us their raw thoughts and feelings.
The Taken by Storm series made me feel such a wide array of emotions: sad, depressed, happy, ecstatic, frustrated, pissed, embarrassed, livid, hopeful, angry. AGH! At times I wanted to punch Michael in his face. A few pages later, I’d want to give him a hug. I’d want to shake Lessie and a second later I just wanted to cry for.
Angela Morrison – Thank you so much for introducing me to your characters and your beautifully written story.
I gave the Taken by Storm series by Angela Morrison 4 STARS. My recommendation: read this series!!READING, EATING & DREAMING