Authors: Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Series: Twisted Lit #1
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Recently banished, unfairly, by the school’s popular crowd, former “it girl,” Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall’s nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
I found Tempestuous to be the kind of book you liked, but can't remember the details when you think about it a month later. That is to say, I found it to be enjoyable, but not particularly memorable.
Our heroine, Miranda Prospero, is a cocky high school student who has recently fallen from grace at her fancy prep school as part of a cheating scandal. In order to pay restitution, Miranda is stuck working a crappy job serving hot dogs at the mall food court. That's exactly what Miranda, along with her quirky co-worker, Ariel, is doing when the storm of the century hits, causing the roads to become impassible and stranding everyone in the mall.
Miranda has to contend not only with the dorky teens that work in the food court, but also with her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friends, who are also stranded in the mall. The public and private school teens polarize and pranks and mayhem ensue. But it's not all fun and games. A thief is loose in the mall and he or she isn't above assaulting potential witnesses, or worse.
As Miranda and Ariel, along with their fellow mall employees, including the mysterious Caleb, who Miranda finds herself manacled to, race to not only catch the thief, but also enact some revenge of Miranda's snotty private school classmates, they might just learn something about each other and themselves.
Miranda is not the most likable heroine. She's cocky, manipulative and stuck-up. While she does do some growing though the book, I still wasn't a huge fan of her calculated and some-times insincere tactics. However, I still think her heart is in the right place and you really can't expect someone to change their personality overnight.
The secondary characters were fairly enjoyable and force the reader to remember than no one is simply a stereotype. I like Ariel, although I wish she could have had a bit more backbone and not been as devoted to Miranda as she was. Caleb was your typical loner-type, who had all kinds of onion-y layers that Miranda got to discover through the night locked in the mall.
I was surprised at how much happened in this relatively short book. It seemed like the pranks, jokes and close-calls were never-ending, although they did wrap up in the end into a neat little package.
The parallels to Shakespeare's The Tempest were fairly weak, although the resemblance came through in the character names (Miranda Prospero, Ariel and even Caleb, which is similar to the character of Caliban) and the idea of a storm marooning the characters.
While I didn't find Tempestuous to be anything ground-breaking or overly memorable, I still enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading Exposure, the next book in the Twisted Lit series.
On the Cover:
I like the cover. It's not super amazing or anything, but I like it.
Rating: 3 Hearts
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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