TITLE: Weather Girl
AUTHOR: Rachel Lynn Solomon
AGE RANGE: Adult
Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.
In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.
Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies?
There’s something especially lovely about an overcast day. Clouds dipped in ink, the sky ready to crack open. The air turning crisp and sweet. It’s magic, the way the world seems to pause for a few moments right before a downpour, and I can never get enough of that heady anticipation — this sense that something extraordinary is about to happen. Sometimes I think I could live in those moments forever.
Rachel Lynn Solomon is one of those authors I’ve heard so much hype for, I was simultaneously excited and downright nervous to finally try out a book of hers! What if I’m the odd one out? What if this book lets me down? My fellow Anxious Readers™️ probably know what I mean. Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed at all, and in fact, I wholeheartedly plan on reading more of Rachel Lynn Solomon’s books in the future, because this was absolutely delightful.
Ari and Russell are such lovable characters, though I’ll admit Russell was my favorite of the two. We so rarely get to see fat heroes in romance, and I love that it felt authentic in that Russell does have some insecurities, but it also isn’t like his entire world revolves around it. He’s such a damn cinnamon roll (though he definitely does mess up a time or two).
Ari was more complicated for me. I adored her depression rep because it felt so genuine and relatable, but she also made choices that frustrated me. I don’t mind the miscommunication trope sometimes, but in this case, it felt unnecessary and I was so annoyed with her refusal to face the truth about the situation and Russell’s feelings. That said, the reality of living with depression like Ari’s is that we do sometimes make these really poor choices and hurt our loved ones by keeping them at a distance, so despite it not being enjoyable to read about, I was certainly able to see why RLS chose to take us down that path.
(As a side note, while we’re discussing representation, Ari and Russell are both Jewish and so is Rachel Lynn Solomon. I’m not Jewish, but I wanted to say that I thought it was so delightful and sweet to watch these two bond over their backgrounds and celebrations, and I really appreciated RLS sharing those experiences with us!)
Thankfully, the annoyance with a brief section of the story was not a deterrent from adoring this book and these characters. RLS’ writing is so enjoyable and engaging, the tension that builds up between Ari and Russell is believable and absolutely charged with natural chemistry, and Russell’s daughter is hilarious and steals the spotlight every chance she gets. I loved how easy it was to root for every single character in Weather Girl and to genuinely celebrate every milestone and success. I can’t wait to read more from this author!
WARNINGS (no spoilers):
depictions of depression, mentions of voluntary mental health-related hospitalization (a side character, not depicted first-hand), mentions of fatphobia, recent bad break-up
Ari is Jewish and has depression; Russell is Jewish and fat; Ari’s brother is Jewish and gay; Ari’s mother is Jewish and has depression
— destiny ♥