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Still Life with Tornado by [King, A.S.]
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Still Life with Tornado Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Length: 306 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—At 16, Sarah is facing what she calls an "existential crisis," questioning whether her life has meaning or value, an event fueled by an unfair art show, a cruel teacher, a toxic and abusive family, a missing brother, and the loss of her ability to draw. Sarah wanders through the streets of Philadelphia and meets her future self at age 23 and 40 as well as her 10-year-old self. With the help of these past and future selves, she uncovers hidden memories of the vacation leading up to her brother leaving and the lies and violence that have driven her family dynamics for years. This beautifully written, often surreal narrative will make readers wonder if Sarah is schizophrenic, if she has post-traumatic stress disorder, or if she just needs to take a break from the realities of her life. Two weeks before Sarah's crisis, her friend Carmen drew a tornado and told Sarah that it was not a sketch of a tornado but of everything the tornado contained. This drawing becomes an analogy for all that Sarah is hiding in the emotional tornado of her life, the secrets she has hidden from herself and the world. King's brilliance, artistry, and originality as an author shine through in this thought-provoking work. Sarah's strength, fragility, and ability to survive resonate throughout. VERDICT This is a complex book that will not appeal to all readers, but for others it will be an unforgettable experience.—Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas, Denton


“Moving, unapologetically strange, skillfully constructed…. Read this book, whatever your age. You may find it’s the exact shape and size of the hole in your heart.”—The New York Times 

"Fans of Perks of Being a Wallflower will love this powerful new release from award-winning A.S. King."—Buzzfeed

“Surreal and thought-provoking.”—People Magazine

“You’ll find Still Life’s exploration of an artist’s inner strength particularly enriching.”—Teen Vogue

A 2016 New York Times Notable Children's Book

News & Observer Best Book of 2016

Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016 

School Library Journal Best Book of 2016

Booklist Best Book of 2016

 Top of the List 2016

A Shelf Awareness Best Book of 2016

A BookPage Best Teen Book of 2016

A Bustle Top 30 YA Book of 2016

A Nerdy Book Club Best YA of 2016

A Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year

NAIBA Young Adult Book of the Year Award Winner 2017

★ "King’s brilliance, artistry, and originality as an author shine through in this thought-provoking work. [...] An unforgettable experience."—SLJ, starred review

★ ”A deeply moving, frank, and compassionate exploration of trauma and resilience, filled to the brim with incisive, grounded wisdom.” —Booklist, starred review
★ ”The presentation of the surreal as real, the deeply thoughtful questions she poses, the way she empowers her teenage characters to change the trajectory of their lives—King writes with the confidence of a tightrope walker working without a net.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "Lack of original ideas is not something found in work by A.S. King, who blurs reality, truth, violence, emotion, creativity, and art in a show of respect for YA readers."—Horn Book Magazine, starred review

★ "Books about abusive families generally follow the problem-novel script of recognition, admission, and solution; in her inimitable style, King takes a totally different tack, exploring (through interpolated sections from Sarah’s mother as well as Sarah’s narration) the way abuse warps and gnarls a family over time into a thorny growth of anger and denial that becomes a daily norm, even for members who aren’t direct victims.... Readers won’t have to live with abuse firsthand to recognize the taut, invisible coils of family dysfunction and the difficulty of gaining perspective on it, let alone breaking free."—BCCB, starred review

★"King's ingeniously crafted, deeply engaging Still Life with Tornado will have readers by the collar the whole time."—Shelf Awareness, starred review

"King understands and writes teen anxieties like no other, resulting in difficult, resonant, compelling characters and stories."—Kirkus

"A.S. King is known for crafting deeply sympathetic portraits of teenagers in crisis, and Still Life with Tornado is no exception."—BookPage

"A.S. King has always brought her unique touch to her YA novels, but she may have outdone even herself in Still Life with Tornado."—Bustle 

“The payoff is great. King’s surreal elements are balanced as always by the lucidity of her prose, and her generous, unflagging faith in her readers’ ability to keep up with her mental fireworks results yet again in a book that’s truly singular.”—B&N Teen, “Best YA Books of 2016”

"Though touched with magical realism, this is otherwise a wholly contemporary story about a girl who needs to come to terms with her family’s toxic and painful history before she can start dreaming of the future."—Bookish: "Fall 2016’s Unputdownable Contemporary Young Adult Books."

Praise for Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future (2014)
"Maybe there are writers more adept than King at capturing the outrageous and outraged voice of teenagers, but it’s difficult to think of one.” 
—The New York Times
Praise for Reality Boy (2013)
“Timely, incisive, compassionate. All of A.S. King’s novels are must-reads.” —Matthew Quick, New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock


Product details

  • File Size: 2362 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (October 11, 2016)
  • Publication Date: October 11, 2016
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,546 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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48 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

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