Tuesday, December 18, 2012

REVIEW: "TEMPESTUOUS" (A Twisted Lit Novel) - by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes

(A Twisted Lit Novel)
by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes

PUBLISHER: Merit Press

REVIEWED BY: Books4Tomorrow


Working off her debt to society (not to mention her father), former prep princess Miranda Prospero now wears the crown of a spinning frankfurter at her job making Hot Dog Kabobs at a Minneapolis mall. When a city-stopping blizzard strands Miranda and the mall workers with the oddest of the die-hard shoppers, she decides to wreak vengeance on the social-climbing clique who froze her out. The townies and the preps line up for battle with whatever merchandise comes to hand, while a rent-a-cop searches for what may be an armed robber. Accidentally (and literally) stuck to Caleb, a rough-cut boy with a heart of gold who would have been beneath her notice just a month before, Miranda learns more about the human heart and human nature in one night than in all of the rest of her life.


This is the first book ever I’ve read written by these two gifted authors and I must admit I’m uber impressed! If you’re a fan of rom-coms, you’ll undoubtedly adore this book. It’s one of those feel-good books which you read while smiling the whole time. You can just imagine the chaos that would ensue if a bunch of high school kids is locked unattended in a mall overnight and have the run of the place, right?  I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun this book was, but be prepared to laugh till you cry, wipe away a tear or two, and be touched by a story which you simply won’t be able to put down.

Whilst reading the prologue, my curiosity levels skyrocketed. What extraordinary saga of events took place in one short night as to have two characters – who clearly can’t stand each other – end up handcuffed together in a storeroom from which they can’t escape? The answer? Let’s just say, I was completely taken by surprise.

One of the most important elements that always determines whether I enjoy a book or not, is how the characters are presented to the reader and how much they are developed, if any. On this point alone, “Tempestuous” scores ten out of ten, as main- and secondary role players all received a significant amount of attention and it was clear to me that the authors put a lot of effort into establishing that connection between characters and the reader. The main character, Miranda, is the sort of character most young people today will easily relate to. She’s hip, sassy, feisty, and genuine. Despite her character and most of the supporting cast being carbon copies of characters in your average high-school teen flick, I still really liked her as she also had a naturalness and maturity about her. Though Miranda’s the star of the show, other role players who also found a spot in my heart were Caleb – with his Nicholas Cage-like broodiness; Ariel – a trusting, naïve, little ball of energy; Raj and his tech-savvy crew; and a boatload of memorable secondary characters.    
Using the show-don’t-tell formula, and clever dialogue, the authors effortlessly draw the reader smack-dab into the middle of the action and drama, and trust me, there’s not one dull moment in this story with Miranda and her band of misfits’ antics in her plans for revenge. The plot is well thought out and moves at a breakneck pace, building up to an exciting and heartfelt conclusion which leaves you wanting more. Even though “Tempestuous” is a fun read, there’s depth to this story and I walked away feeling that I’ve had a truly magnificent reading experience and wishing it didn’t have to end so soon. Miranda’s fall from grace, and her subsequent journey to self-discovery of the person she truly is at her core, was written in a deeply touching way. I’m eagerly looking forward to reading the next Twisted Lit novel, and am gladly giving this superb book two thumbs up!  

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.



“Tempestuous” by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes has 32 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.


“Ow!” A painful pull on my arm yanked me back to the present. “Oh, what? Did I breathe wrong again? Look, we’re never going to be friends; that’s a given,” Caleb said, “But if we’re going to be shackled together for the foreseeable future, we might as well try to get along, at least until I can find something to bust open these cuffs.”
“Caleb’s right,” said Ariel. “You two really need to kiss and make up already.”
“Never,” I said, practically sputtering.
“It was just an expression, Miranda. Jeesh,” said my co-worker.
“I’m pretty sure Tim Burton couldn’t even think up this guy.” I glared at the offending creature, who scowled before answering in turn.
“Some of the other kids may think you walk on water, her included.” He pointed his thumb in the direction of Ariel, my arm flapping helplessly along for the ride. “But I see right through you. You’re just a private school princess with an inflated ego. You can rule as demiurge over your little island of misfit toys, but you won’t stand a chance in the real world.”
“Socially inept and bitter,” I said. “A winning combination you have there.”
Looking over at Ariel, I saw that the expression on her face resembled that of a child told on Christmas morning that Santa hadn’t made it this year because he and Mrs. Claus were embroiled in a messy divorce. No matter what I thought about Caleb (or what he thought about me), it wasn’t worth raining on Ariel’s parade. If the little sylph wanted to have some fun at the expense of my mortal enemies, I wasn’t about to stand in her way. And if it proved cathartic for me in the process, well, what was the harm in that?



Kim Askew, co-author of Tempestuous: A Twisted Lit Novel, whose work has appeared in Elle and other magazines, is a content manager for the Webby-winning teen site www.fashionclub.com, for which she has covered the Teen Choice and MTV awards. 

Amy Helmes, co-author of Tempestuous: A Twisted Lit Novel, is co-author of Boys of a Feather: A Field Guide to American Males and is also a weekly contributor to The Rundown, a free daily e-mail service that keeps subscribers informed on what's new and cool in LA.

Both Kim and Amy think Shakespeare understood the young's true love and pain like no other, from Hamlet's sorry stepdad to Juliet's trauma drama, hence this literate farce, based on "The Tempest."


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