Jace is beaten and kicked out of his house by his father, the judge. His father has abused Jace and his mother for years. His mother secretly gives Jace an address, which he believes belongs to his brother, Christian.
Christian left the family several years ago and has been hiding and actually changed his name to keep his father from finding him. Fortunately, Christian has had help from friends, has completed college, and is now in medical school.
When Jace appears on Christian's doorstep, he is surprised. Both of these boys are "messed up," as you can imagine, from the life they have left. Jace is particularly worried about his mother, who Christian has been sending money to so she can leave their father. Christian has a girlfriend who doesn't know anything about his violent past, and Jace's arrival causes a strain on their relationship.
Split is about these young men coming to terms with their past, realizing they need to talk. Neither one of them wants to talk, and there are many secrets. Each time a secret is revealed there is turmoil - either between the two brothers or with the girlfriend.
Jace has left a girlfriend behind -- he had broken up with her after he beat her. Jace is afraid to have any other romantic relationships because he feels he is destined to be just like his father. Of course, this resolve is tested when Jace meets someone else.
The characters are mostly believable, although I had some issues that teens probably won't. I found it hard to believe that Christian had been so successful on his own. He was just very lucky, I guess. He goes to school and doesn't have a job, but has his own apartment? Sends money home to his mother?
Some of the reactions Christian had to Jace's revelations were a bit harsh. I though he would be more sympathetic. At times I didn't really understand his character. I did, however, really like his girlfriend. She was the voice of reason for both Jace and Christian. Jace's internal dialog and his struggle with his past were authentic.
Split is an interesting story, although I found it a bit predictable. I think teens who enjoy "issue" novels with be interested in Split.
Joshua Swanson read the audiobook and did a great job. His voice didn't get in the way of the story -- I though he was excellent.
Published by Knopf, 2010
Audiobook obtained from the Library
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