We Are Still Tornadoes, Michael Kun & Susan Mullen: Book Review

we are still tornadoes michael kun susan mullen book reviewMichael Kun / St. Martin's Griffin / Susan Mullen
We Are Still Tornadoes Book Cover We Are Still Tornadoes
Michael Kun & Susan Mullen
Young Adult
St. Martin's Press

It’s the summer of 1982, and for Scott and Cath, everything is about to change.

Growing up across the street from each other, Scott and Cath have been best friends for most of their lives. Now they’ve graduated high school, and Cath is off to college while Scott stays at home trying to get his band off the ground. Neither of them realized that their first year after high school would be so hard.

Fortunately, Scott and Cath still have each other, and it’s through their letters that they survive heartache, annoying roommates, family dramas, and the pressure of figuring out what to do with the rest of their lives. And through it all, they realize that the only person they’ve ever wanted to turn to is each other. But does that mean they should think about being more than friends? One thing is clear: Change is an inescapable part of growing up, and we share unbreakable bonds with the friends who help us navigate it.

This review contains quotes from the book.


To say that I am obsessed with We Are Still Tornadoes is an understatement. Michael Kun and Susan Mullen have brought together one of the best love stories I’ve ever read, and I’m sure that once you read it for yourself you’ll share my same feelings about it. The best part of Kun and Mullen’s novel is how much history their main characters shared with one other, which ultimately transforms their friendship into something better: love.

Scott and Cath have been best friends their whole lives. They lived across the street from each other and would often rely on each other for small favors: Cath would help Scott with his English homework and in return, Scott would make Cath mix tapes to get her to listen to different kinds of music. Another fun fact about We Are Still Tornadoes is that the setting of this book is situated in the ’80s, which may play on Scott propensity for the era as he’s always offering up good ’80s tracks to his friend, which added another fun aspect to this story.

However, there’s an instance when the two go their separate ways. As Cath heads to Wake Forest University, she would often pen letters to Scott, who put college on the back burner to pursue his music career. During her first year of college, Cath and Scott would communicate their feelings about life, school and music through a series of letters—it was the ’80s after all, although those exchanges may seem old fashioned now, it was still really romantic in a way. Slowly, but surely through these intimate letters, we start to see Cath and Scott’s relationship blossom into something more than just a simple friendship.

“Dear Cath,

Good luck in college!

Thanks for four years of English homework.

See you at Thanksgiving!


P.S. Nice underwear!”

“Dearest Scott,

Thank you so much for the heartwarming note that you so kindly placed in my suitcase. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to arrive in my dorm room on my first day of college, filled with both excitement and anxiety, only to discover your note in my suitcase among my underwear which, oddly, were no longer folded in the same manner that I had folded them before I shut my suitcase.”

— excerpt from Michael Kun and Susan Mullen’s We Are Still Tornadoes

Cath was my favorite character in this story because she was the most relatable to me. I know how lonely it can be having to go through your first year of college, but also how special it can be to have someone to talk to who knows you better than anyone else. Cath turns out getting the better end of the deal because she falls in love with her best friend, and I felt that made this such a great book to read— even if it makes use of cheesy romance tropes. I loved it! I really hope they turn this one into a movie because I would love to watch Cath and Scott’s relationship on the big screen!

I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good rom-com-style novel. I loved how Kun and Mullen used letters for Cath and Scott to communicate because it gave the book a sort of nostalgic feel for an era that was free of cell phones or social media. Honestly, Scott and Cath are going to make you smile all throughout this book; and not just because of the back and forth banter they share but also because it serves as a sign of their destiny to be together.

In the end, We Are Still Tornadoes was such a delightful read. I loved every minute of it and I’m sure you will, too.

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Jessica Duffield
the authorJessica Duffield
Contributing Writer
I am a junior in college. Books are my passion and I hope to work in book publishing once I graduate from journalism school.