ARC REVIEW: Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby 💭 aka maybe the best middle grade book I’ve ever read?


Title: Hurricane Season40591956
 Nicole Melleby
Pages: 288

Release Date: May 7 2019
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Format: Hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade, LGBTQIA+, & Mental Health
Goodreads Rating: 4.36 (of 45 ratings)


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This debut novel—about taking risks and facing danger, about love and art, and about growing up and coming out—will make its way straight into your heart.

Fig, a sixth grader, wants more than anything to see the world as her father does. The once-renowned pianist, who hasn’t composed a song in years and has unpredictable good and bad days, is something of a mystery to Fig. Though she’s a science and math nerd, she tries taking an art class just to be closer to him, to experience life the way an artist does. But then Fig’s dad shows up at school, disoriented and desperately searching for Fig. Not only has the class not brought Fig closer to understanding him, it has brought social services to their door.

Diving into books about Van Gogh to understand the madness of artists, calling on her best friend for advice, and turning to a new neighbor for support, Fig continues to try everything she can think of to understand her father, to save him from himself, and to find space in her life to discover who she is even as the walls are falling down around her.

Nicole Melleby’s Hurricane Season is a stunning novel about a girl struggling to be a kid as pressing adult concerns weigh on her. It’s also about taking risks and facing danger, about love and art, and about coming of age and coming out. And more than anything else, it is a story of the healing power of love—and the limits of that power.


Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Algonquin Young Readers. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. 

I’mma just sit here and be drenched in the hurricane of feels please and thank you.

Stop whatever you’re doing right here and now and please add this book to your TBR. Seriously. This is one of the best middle grade books that I ever read, and I just CANNOT. I’m just over here curled into a ball because this book almost made me cry – yes, REAL ACTUAL TEARS COMING FROM THIS COLD HEARTED NON-BOOK CRIER – and wogmnlwegnealrg I JUST CAN’T.

Things to love about this book: well, basically, everything, but I’ll try to form coherent sentences to explain.

– the heart. Omigosh, this book has SO SO SO much heart. It will take all of your feels, squeeze them together, force you to embrace them, and then squish them back inside you. That doesn’t even make sense, but that’s how I feel. Everything in this book made me happy, sad, uplifted, energized, and more! 

– the writing. The writing was so so good. It was so easy to read, and easy to understand, and there was nothing confusing, and I like just binged this book so easy and like, if you are reading this as one long sentence that is me out of breath, it’s exact like that. I will definitely be picking up whatever Melleby writes in the future.

– Fig. Omigosh, Figgggggggggggggg. I love her so much. She has a wonderful voice. She is real and messy and loving and caring and so so so strong and brave. She has been taking care of her dad her entire life, and she so desperately wants to love and be loved. She is wise beyond her years, but she is also exactly her age. She gets jealous and petty, but that’s exactly how anyone would act in her situation. Ugh, she is just so realistic and you canNOT help but root for her. Mandy = her #1 cheerleader and you gonna have to fight me if you want to take this position.

– the mental health aspect. This book shows the highs and lows of dealing with a loved one’s mental health struggles. Fig’s dad has bi-polar disorder, and he has high highs and low lows. We see it all, and his struggle to become better – and Melleby does not ever wrap it in a nice little bow. She shows how messy and rewarding the journey is.

Aurora is all for coming of age stories…at least I think. I’m just gonna assume.

– coming of age aspect. Not only is Fig going through all of this, she is still going through the struggles of being a kid turning into a teen and finding who she is as a person. While she deals with maybe mean girls, a new friendship, and figuring out her sexuality and her attraction to the high school girl at the library, she stands through it all with so much heart and bravery.

– the other cast of characters. Omg, Mark and her dad were so much love. UGH. I can’t. Just let me be in my feels with them. Let’s just say the cast of characters were amazing and dynamic and JUST READ THIS BOOK OKAY.


There is so much else that was amazing in this book, but seriously, just stop reading this review and go pre-order this fantastic book. It’s a story for all ages, and IT IS JUST SO GOOD. Ugh, I can’t anymore. I just need to go in a corner somewhere. 5 crowns and an Aurora rating because it’s a true classic!


What do you think? What was the last book that became a favorite for you? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


21 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby 💭 aka maybe the best middle grade book I’ve ever read?

  1. I loved this one too! So glad that it tackled mental illness in a way that is perfect for young readers! Great review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought this was a really lovely story, and I adored Fig. It was super emotional for me, and I agree that the mental health issues were done well. I really appreciated the way the author showed that it will be a lifelong battle for dad, and something that he was have to work at.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, you’ve convinced me. Whichever book gets the cold-hearted Mandy to actually cry is a must-read. 😉 Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I am always on the hunt for great middle-grade reads! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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