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Review by Suze
Hurricane Danielle is on the way and people need to be evacuated. Jillian is among the people who are trying to get away to a safer place. She has to accept a car ride with her neighbors because her mother has to be elsewhere and can't leave the area. This means she has to be in the car with River who used to be a promising football player at her high school. He was looking at a bright future until several months in a juvenile detention center ended that dream. He liked to have fun and was flirty and confident, but his time in prison has changed him. He's angry and reckless plus he doesn't like to talk. It's going to be a difficult drive for Jillian.
When traffic is stuck there's nowhere to go. River knows they will be in danger if they stay on the highway. There's no chance they will reach their destination in time and Dannielle is coming closer. He takes a brave and bold decision, instead of getting away from the storm he tries to run right back into it. Jillian has only got a few minutes to make up her mind, will she go with him and try to look for shelter or will she stay waiting for the traffic to clear up, even though that means she would risk being trapped with thousands of other people on the highway?
Hurricane Kiss is a thrilling read about two people who used to like each other very much. When River's football career ended before it properly started he stopped reaching out to anyone, including his neighbor Jillian. She wants to understand him, to know what happened. The extreme weather conditions and not knowing if they will survive brings them closer. I loved the way Deborah Blumenthal describes the fear of the main characters, but also the adrenaline rush that comes with having to survive a dangerous situation.
Hurricane Kiss put me on the edge of my seat, it's such a gripping read. River and Jillian are in an unsafe situation that can end badly any minute, but they still don't forget to notice there's beauty in it at the same time. River's destructive behavior and his reluctance to talk together with his obvious traumas made the story even more interesting. Deborah Blumenthal has written a book that's filled with contrasts and opposites. I liked that choice, it works really well. Hurricane Kiss is more than just a convergence of scary scenes, it has a sensitive and romantic part too and eventually everything comes together really well in a fitting ending. I absolutely loved this strong, emotional and powerful story.