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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.”


First of all, happy holidays! This is the perfect time of year for a giveaway, and a big thanks goes to Amy Helmes and Kim Askew, as well as their agent Leyane Jerejian, for setting it up.

We all know the story of The Tempest: after a serious fall from power twelve years prior, the former Duke of Italy, now king of a near-deserted island, finally has the chance to enact revenge upon his enemies. With the help of his magical abilities and steadfast sidekick, he conjures up a tempest, shipwrecks the lot of his nemeses onto his island, and plays the role of a trickster until satisfied that justice has been carried out. He is, of course, easily forgiven, his dukedom is restored, and all is well that ends well.

Now imagine that lovely character as a gossiping, dramatic, and just a tad manipulative adolescent girl. Miranda Prospero has indeed fallen from her throne—the throne of high school stature, that is. Although she once easily survived on Daddy’s credit card, her recent… incident… has landed her in a need for money. And what does that mean? Oh yes. She’s now a proud worker at her mall’s very own Hot Dog Kebob: a position that comes complete with a primary-coloured uniform and a spinning hot dog hat.

Miranda’s job also ensures that she’s smack in the middle of the food court when the tempest of the century hits. She, along with everyone else in the mall—including the teens behind the orchestration of her tumble from the top— is effectively snowed in for the night. And what does that mean? You guessed it. Revenge is, of course, a dish best served cold.

If little girls are made of sugar, spice, and everything nice, Miranda is made of a double dose of chili peppers and a whole lot of attitude. Words such as ‘scheming’ and ‘conceited’ come to mind as I’m thinking of her. But don’t get your panties in a knot—this mean girl has transformed into a new, reformed version of herself. This Miranda Prospero only ever manipulates others for the sake of the greater good; she only ever unsheathes her fatal charm out of the kindness of her heart.

Her compassionate personality is actually what leads Miranda to meet Caleb, a brooding and aloof cashier at the mall’s Got Games. However, the personality trait that gets the two of them handcuffed together with no hope of finding a key is her inner irritability, hands down. “What? Handcuffed together?” you might ask. But my lips are sealed; you’ll have the read the book to find out.

Despite her greater flaws, I completely enjoyed Miranda’s character. Heck, the first sarcastic comment she uttered had me won over. And her various schemes? Entertaining, to say the least. In fact, I finished Tempestuous in one sitting. The action just kept coming; it was hard to put down.  Like many other fast reads, this one was also engaging, funny, and, overall, light—you’ll love it if you need a quick fix for a stress overdose.

Tempestuous explores realistic high school problems—scummy friends, slimy boyfriends, the run of the gossip mill, nearly unbearable jobs—in over-the-top unrealistic ways. There is a time and a place for such unbelievable melodrama, and Amy Helmes and Kim Askew have definitely found it. Despite some minor character development issues, Tempestuous is a winter read that all teenagers who like their contemporaries soaked in drama and set aflame will enjoy. Don’t forget to scroll down for the giveaway if you fall into this category! 3.8/5 stars.


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