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The Waiting Sky

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,303 ratings  ·  165 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
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,303 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, own
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
Jul 19, 2012 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
Jan 09, 2012 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
Aug 04, 2012 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'
Jenni Arndt
Mar 20, 2012 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

I bought this book on a whim, when I was on my vacation in Canada last year (Ikr! How awesome is that?) and I got it at a steal, and in such perfect condition! The cover wowed me over and I wanted it, bad. And the story? It totally suited that fantastic cover. Plus, I’ve always been fascinated by tornadoes so this book already had an in with me lol 😉

I’ve never read any of Lara Zielin’s books so I went in without expectations. First off, I have to say, the writing was really good. Case in point,
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 29, 2012 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 bro
Apr 13, 2016 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
✨Selena Yukino✨
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
I found myself skimming and skimming. Wasn't for me. :( ...more
Heather Landskro
this was a great stories and enjoyed reading and learning about the weather.!! i recommend this book.!!
Feb 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
Decent. Thought it was going to be more about the drunk mother, but tornadoes are cool too
Joy (joyous reads)
Nov 11, 2011 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 cleani
Chelsey Wolford
Aug 20, 2012 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 o ...more
Jen Halligan
Dec 12, 2011 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
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
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
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 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 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, d ...more
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 08, 2012 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. ...more
Jessica Madden
Dec 06, 2016 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. ...more
Mar 12, 2013 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 rated it it was amazing
I can't beleive I have to wait for 8 months to red this book :( ...more
Jun 11, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

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 D.
Mar 09, 2012 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
Jul 25, 2012 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
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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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  Here at Goodreads, we've noticed that a funny thing tends to happen when we start talking about audiobooks: The same few titles get...
56 likes · 14 comments
“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
“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
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