To read the synopsis of this book, click the following links to be redirected to The StoryGraph or Goodreads.
Thank you to Berkley Publishing for an advanced digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!
I kicked off 2022 with a book by one of my favorite authors, Rachel Lynn Solomon, and I’m so glad that I did! Weather Girl birthed some brilliant, colorful characters while touching on a subject that is near and dear to my heart – depression and mental illness, brought to life and displayed in a first person voice with the main character of Ari.
Rachel Lynn Solomon did something beautiful with the portrayal of Ari and her lifelong battle with the dark looming illness of depression. This topic is often treaded lightly around in novels versus being fully discussed and exposed, and I think that our society’s stigma round mental illness is exacerbated because of it. Instead of giving subtle hints about mental illness or using it as a plot device for a side character, it is discussed openly, gently, and genuinely.
While many folks of generations past swept anything of the nature under the rug, we now live in a time where talking about it is normal and accepted – something that we see Ari grapple with. We get to watch her grow from being with someone who knew nothing about her illness to finding someone that knows, loves, and accepts her with it.
The feeling of being unable to share your whole self with others because of your disease is something that so many, myself included, struggle with daily. This portrayal in literature is a massive step in the world of mental illness, and I applaud Solomon for giving Ari to those of us who needed her. Feeling seen at this level in a story is a gift.
I took this photo in the snow because one of my favorite passages in the book came from a chapter/scene that took place during a snowstorm, where Ari explains that depression cannot be controlled, and no matter what she does or how content she is at any given time, it’ll eventually come back. And that is so personal to me and my life – where I truly felt seen. Because while yes, I am happy in my life, and I do everything I can to try and beat the battle going on for serotonin in my brain, at the end of it all, it always comes back.
That being said, this book had a few shortcomings that kept it from being a 5 star read for me, the first one being the lack of chemistry between the lead characters. While I enjoyed Ari and found Russell endearing, I had a hard time believing in their attraction to one another. I don’t know if it was a lack of banter or dialogue in general, but something just…missed the mark on that one.
Secondly, I felt like a side story (that really felt close to being the main story) was overall more interesting than the story of Ari and Russell. And maybe that was the authors intention, I can’t be sure, but I found myself more invested in characters that were not as present throughout.
With this book, Rachel Lynn Solomon has proven once again that she can mesh a bunch of different tropes into one heck of a story, charming readers and making us fall in love with and want to travel to Seattle yet again. I recommend reading this one upon its release on January 11, 2022!
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