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Hurricane Season

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  628 ratings  ·  180 reviews
This debut novel—about taking risks and facing danger, about love and art, and about growing up and coming out—will make its way straight into your heart.

Fig, a sixth grader, wants more than anything to see the world as her father does. The once-renowned pianist, who hasn’t composed a song in years and has unpredictable good and bad days, is something of a mystery to Fig.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  628 ratings  ·  180 reviews

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May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
Fig seems like any other 6th grader but due to some pretty serious issues at home, she finds herself in an almost constant state of anxiety.

She lives alone with her father, a once renowned pianist, who is battling undiagnosed bipolar disorder. As a consequence of this, Fig's role is often one more of parent than child.

Regardless of daily struggles, Fig loves her father with her whole heart and she knows that he loves her too. He is trying his hardest, he really is, but without any sort of outsi
Naomi Milliner
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful, must-read book for MG readers - and their parents. Covering everything from Vincent Van Gogh (in the best way possible) to mental illness to sexuality, this debut novel has it all - and it is all done with grace and compassion and great care. Fig and her story will stay with you long after you turn the last page, which is as breathtaking as its cover - and that says a lot.
Joshua Levy
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I do not have the words for how much I enjoyed HURRICANE SEASON, or how important a book I think it will be to many kids. Fig and her dad are on their own. She's a sixth grader, trying to navigate that tumultuous age--while simultaneously taking care of her dad, an out-of-the-game musician whose mental health has deteriorated over time. Fig has the whole world on her shoulders, and then some. And she handles that burden with the absolutely perfect blend of grace and frazzled exhaustion.

I don't s
•°• gabs •°•
just as good (and even better) the third time around this book means so much to me *cries*

so. this little book means the world to me.

“The sadness will last forever,” Vincent had said to Theo, moments before he died. Fig thought maybe she could understand him now.
She started thinking about curried spinach, and braids, and darlings—of piano chords and museums and starry nights. She started thinking of her father’s arms and Mark’s arms, and the comfort they gave
Ms. Yingling
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Fig (given name Finola) and her father Tim live along the coast in New Jersey. Her father was an up and coming composer and performer before Fig's birth, but after her arrival, her mother left and her father struggled with the creative process. He has good days and bad days, and is especially disturbed by storms, which frequent their area at certain times of year. When her father comes to school in a very agitated state looking for Fig, her art teacher calls children's p
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
An emotionally-rich story about a sixth-grade girl struggling to make sense of and care for her father, a famous musician, who has become increasingly mercurial and ill as a result of undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

To figure him out, Fig immerses herself in biographies of Vincent Van Gogh, an artist whose temperament reminds her of her father's. If she studies art and this particular artist, she thinks, she'll understand her father better and perhaps unlock his secrets.

While at the library, Fig
Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:

I received this E-ARC via Algonquin Young Readers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Trigger warning: Mention of ‘sick’ parent. Most likely mental illness. And child services. Till the point I read.

When I heard about this book through the publisher I was sold! I was so excited and happy when I got an arc. Unfortunately it wasn’t for me.

I didn’t like the writing style. And didn’t much care for the plot or the characters. I can’t speak for the mental illness rep. Thou
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: cry-me-a-river
Honest to everything sane and insane, I'm still speechless over what I just read. I feel that words can never justify the intensity of emotions that manage to barrel their way across the pages and hit me with the force - Yes, Episode 9 is out today and I'll definitely be bringing a pillow and a blanket.

Fiona aka Fig was an 11 year old living with her musician dad. Her mum took of when she turned a day old and for the next 4O14 days, it had always been Fig and Dad. I loved their relationship, the
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it

Fionla ("Fig") is a sixth grader with a lot on her plate. Suffering from a psychiatric disorder that leaves him unable to make music anymore, her father is barely able to function on the best of days. No longer selling out large music halls, her dad makes ends meet by giving sporadic piano lessons when he's up for it.

After her father made a few too many embarrassing outbursts at Fig's school and around the neighborhood, Child Services is closely monitoring them. Terrified of being ta
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Algonquin Young Readers. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. 

I'mma just sit here and be drenched in the hurricane of feels please and thank you.

Stop whatever you're doing right here and now and please add this book to your TBR. Seriously. This is one of the best middle grade books that I ever read, a
Gail Shepherd
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nicole Melleby's HURRICANE SEASON is just a flat-out beautiful middle-grade debut--it's hard to know where to begin to praise it. The novel follows Fig, a soulful sixth grader, as she worries and wonders about her brilliant, beloved father, a composer and pianist who, we learn over time, is manic depressive. The novel takes place over the course of hurricane season, a fraught time for Fig and her dad; he's obsessively drawn to storms, which seem to embody the swirling vortex of his own madness. ...more
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, contemporary, lgbt

Fig and her dad have always taken care of each other, but these days it seems like Fig is doing most of the caring as her dad, a brilliant pianist who hasn't written a song in years, struggles with bipolar disorder. As Fig tries to keep their little family together, she starts reading about Vincent van Gogh and, seeing similarities between him and her father, hopes that she can finally understand her father.

Allow me to introduce you to one of my new favorite middle grad
Samantha (WLABB)
It had been Fig and her dad against the world since she was born, but when one of her father's episodes captured the attention of Fig's art teacher, it became Fig and dad against the Child Protection & Permanency department. As the months counted down during this figurative and literal hurricane season, Fig could not help but wonder if she would be able to save her family.

My emotions! My emotions! My heart was cracking in half during the early chapters of this books. It is always heartbreaking
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, lgbtqiap
I’m in awe of this book. Hurricane Season beautifully tackles a wide variety of topics in a middle grade story. Eleven year old Fig has too much on her plate, her mom left right after she was born and now Fig has to deal with taking care of her dad who has an undiagnosed mental illness. Fig decides to take an art class and start learning about Vincent van Gogh, hoping that she’ll better be able to understand what goes on in her dad’s mind.

Nicole Melleby’s writing is exquisite. Her descriptions
Phil Jensen
Aug 24, 2019 marked it as notes-on-unfinished-books
notes on ch. 1-3

I read these chapters a week ago, and they left so little impression that I had to flip back through them to even remember the basic plot elements. The plot is that a moderately sad girl doesn't fit in at school and has a mentally-ill father. We've been here before. In fact, last year's Newbery winner, Merci Suárez Changes Gears, had a nearly identical beginning.

Unlike some other "moderately sad girl" books I've recently looked at like Sweeping Up the Heart, Song for a Whale, and
Vinny —.:* Artsy Draft
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: debut
I used to have this huge assumption that a middle-grade story will be too childish for me, now that I'm in my twenties. I'm glad to say that I've been proven wrong after I read Hurricane Season.

Melleby's debut is an innocent coming of age journey, following the story of Fig and her attempt to looks normal in the eyes of her friends while also taking care of his pianist father who suffered from bipolar disorder. It explores art, coming out, finding your voice, and speaking the truth no matter how
Sarah Gross
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m probably biased because I grew up where this story takes place. Although my friends and I went to the junction for pizza instead of ice cream, I loved this book. Highly recommended for middle school classroom libraries!
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that was just so EXACTLY what you needed to read in a certain moment? A few months ago I picked up my e-ARC of Nicole Melleby's debut middle grade, HURRICANE SEASON, during a difficult and emotional week when I was dealing with a lot of frustration over a relationship that was changing in ways I didn't want it to.

I was immediately swept into the book by Nicole's lyrical prose, and the heartbreakingly bittersweet situation her heroine, Fig, finds herself in. I read quick
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a truly, truly stunning middle-grade novel about Fig, an 11-year old math nerd who takes an art class in school in the hopes that it will make her understand her musician father who has bipolar disorder. The book is also super queer, which made my heart happy. And despite it dealing with many different things, it didn't for a second feel like an 'issue book'. It was just Fig's life, and her story was told so beautifully.

I genuinely bawled my eyes out while reading this, I just had a lot
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
I read this book in one day!  Even though it is contemporary, I found it hard to put down.

Fig lives with her dad.  She's 11 and her mom left when she was a day old.  So all she knows is living alone with her dad.  Her brilliant musician dad who is mentally ill.  Fig takes care of him, but it's getting so hard.  Hurricane season is the hardest.  For some reason, her dad leaves the house and goes to the ocean during a bad storm.  The police had to bring him home and got child protective services i
Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

I requested this book because I am always, always on the hunt for that elusive middle grade novel that reads with the fluidity and nuance of a YA title. This one seemed like it could be that and it was. I can't wait to order this for my library and hand it out to all of my readers who devour realistic fiction (I do have a big draw for that) AND I'm glad to be able
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*This ARC was provided to me by the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers, in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book.  I feel it deals with important topics that could affect children of this age.  The author shows more than tells the reader about the different affects a parent with a mental disorder could have on a child.  It shows that a mental disorder affects more than just the person with the symptoms. 

The topic in general is rather heavy – as anything with mental illness/dis
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
completely bursting with love for this book. just......WOW.
hardcore cried multiple times at this beautiful/heartwrenching story (plot twist i just stopped crying like 3 seconds ago)
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
4.5 stars
Alex  Baugh
A novel about a father's mental illness and a daughter's desperate desire to take care of him, even as she wonders who will take care of her.

Since the day after she was born and her mother took off and left, it has always been just Fig and her dad. Fig's dad, Tim Arnold, had once been a celebrated musician/composer in New York City, but now he and Fig live on the Jersey shore. Though her dad loves Fig very much, he is subject to mood swings and erratic behavior. And attracted to the shoreline wh
Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

Title: Hurricane Season
Author: Nicole Melleby
Genre: Middle grade contemporary
Rating: 3.5 stars
Trigger/content warnings: abandonment by a parent (Fig's mother, in the past), mental illness (bipolar disorder), some bullying, self harm, fear of losing one's mind, fear of someone taking their life (talks on suicide), neglect of a child (even though Fig's dad loves her very much, he is not well and therefore Fig has to fend fo
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fig is a young girl who lives with her erratic father. The novel starts with her dad showing up at school and just wanting to see that his daughter is okay. This causes her teacher to call Child Protective Services on her. Fig is furious but she soon finds help in her new neighbor, Mark, who deals with one of her father's manic episodes in a very caring manner. Can Fig stay with her father or will she be torn apart? This was a great novel that addressed the heartfelt topic of single parenthood, ...more
Olga Barnes
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is a great book! It is as complex as life itself. It showcases the struggle a child can go through when he/she is convinced that he/she is fully responsible for the parent's well being: exhaustion, confusion, anger, fear. And that is on top of being a middle schooler who is trying to figure out who she is! There are plenty of unexpected discoveries and new found parallels. It was interesting to see two stories of coming out that were so very different. But at the end, for that moment o ...more
Emily Forsyth
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic. Very queer and good discussion of mental health. I think if you like Ashley Herring Blake’s middle grade books like I do you’ll really like this one too
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Nicole Melleby is a born-and-bred Jersey girl with a passion for storytelling. She is the author of HURRICANE SEASON (a Lambda Literary Finalist), IN THE ROLE OF BRIE HUTCHENS..., and the upcoming HOW TO BECOME A PLANET (2021). She is also the co-editor of the queer middle grade anthology THIS IS OUR RAINBOW: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us (2021). When she’s not writing, Nicole can be found ...more

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