Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season

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....

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Title:Hurricane Season
Author:Nicole Melleby
Rating:

Hurricane Season Reviews

  • Naomi Milliner

    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.

  • megs_bookrack

    Fig may look 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 living with bipolar disorder. As a consequence of this, Fig's role is often more one 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 outside ass

    Fig may look 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 living with bipolar disorder. As a consequence of this, Fig's role is often more one 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 outside assistance or treatment, they are barely getting by.

    After an embarrassing incident at school, one of Fig's teachers becomes concerned and ends up contacting Child Protective Services. Now being watched by a social worker, Fig feels even more pressure to maintain their household, projecting as much normalcy as she can.

    During an art class, she learns a bit about Vincent Van Gogh and his mental health issues. She can see similarities between Van Gogh's personality and her father's so she decides to find out all she can about him in an effort to better understand how her father's mind works.

    Through all of this, Fig is also going through things any 6th grader would go through. Feeling out of place at school, tension with some friends and discovering her own sexuality.

    This book is so beautiful and pure. I adore Fig with my whole heart. She was such a precious little bean who is wise beyond her years. Her relationship with her best friend, Danny, was just so precious, as was her crush on Hannah, the girl who works at her local library.

    I was very impressed with the writing and feel that Melleby does a seamless job of inserting important topics into the narrative without them seeming forced. The story felt very organic and real.

    I was a legit emotional mess upon finishing this. It was just gorgeous. The strength of the bond between Fig and her father. His will to overcome and work through his illness any way he could, it was...ugh...no words. My heart is full.

    I would recommend this to anyone. Even though this is a Middle Grade story, I think this can absolutely be enjoyed by readers of all ages!

  • Joshua Levy

    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

    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 say this lightly: HURRICANE SEASON is an extraordinary achievement. It soars on the back of its big themes: Family, mental health, learning to be okay with who you love. But it was particularly powerful in the small moments: Fig contending with feelings for the girl who works at her library. Fig being overwhelmed with emotion (and not just gratitude) at small kindnesses. Fig's grounded territorialism about who has the right to save her dad. Her frustration at the reality that it can't fall to her alone.

    (Also, I won't lie: I learned a ton about Vincent Van Gogh.)

    There are a lot of incredible middle grade books coming out in 2019. Please read this one.

  • Ms. Yingling

    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

    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 protective services and has the family under watch. Fig feels that if she can keep everything together at home and do well on an art project about Van Gogh, her father will seem competent and they will be able to stay together. She gets help from an unlikely source, new neighbor Mark, who rescues her father from a storm and slowly starts helping the two put some coping mechanisms in place. Fig is able to let Mark handle some issues, and relaxes enough to try to make some friends, including Danny, who "like likes" her. However, when her father comes to a Halloween party looking for her, again in an agitated state, Mark takes even more action and makes sure that the father goes to a doctor and gets the help he so desperately needs. Adjusting to the medication isn't easy, but it does seem to improve things, as does the stable presence of Mark. Tim and Mark become romantically involved, children's protective services are pleased that Tim is making progress, and Fig is able to turn her attention back to the academic and social aspects of middle school.

    Strengths: It was refreshing to see a child in crisis at a moment when concerned adults were beginning to get involved. Fig's life has been difficult, but when it starts to become impossible, there are people there to help her. I think this is an important reassurance for young readers and a reminder that they should go to trusted adults if they have problems. Fig's attitude is understandable, and she tries her best to hold things together by being the adult but also trying her best in school. She is lonely for friends, but not romantically interested in Danny, mainly because she's 11, but also because she has a crush on an older girl who works at the library. Van Gogh and his problems are worked into the story in an interesting way, and the cover is a nice reflection of that theme.

    Weaknesses: There were a lot of issues. The dad's bipolar disorder, Fig's abandonment by her mother, Mark and Tim's relationship, Fig's questioning of her sexuality, and even a passing mention of Danny's father being in drug rehab. That's all fine; it's all appropriate to this age group, but by mentioning so many different things, it makes each one of them seem less believable to readers who may have no background knowledge about some of them. Having Fig's father be gay or bisexual is one thing, but to also have Fig be questioning makes both situations seem more unlikely and forced.

    What I really think: This was well written and enjoyable, but I will have to see if I need more books of this kind. With a limited budget, I can buy only a small percentage of each type of book, and books with sad issues and children overcoming adversity make up a large number of 2019 releases.

  • Fafa's Book Corner

    Mini review:

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

    DNF

    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

    Mini review:

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

    DNF

    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. Though from other reviewers I’ve heard it’s good.

    Still recommend.

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