Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Review: Torn Away, by Jennifer Brown

Torn Away was not what I expected, but it is entertaining and a little heartbreaking.

I don't read book blurbs. And this one tells too much. So, I'm not going to give you specifics in this review, but you can find out more if you read the blurb. All I knew about Torn Away is that it is about a devastating tornado, and it was written by Jennifer Brown whose books I've enjoyed before.

I'm afraid of tornadoes. I live in Illinois, and this book takes place in Missouri, so that's very close. I've never been in a tornado, but I've had several close calls. I thought Torn Away was going to be about the aftermath of a tornado. The clean up. The rebuilding. The volunteer helpers. The finding people places to live.

Torn Away is actually about Jersey recovering from grief, and in that way, it's like a lot of other books out there. I think Brown missed an opportunity here to not only tell Jersey's story, but keep the story within the aftermath of the tornado.

What actually happens is that a few days after the tornado, Jersey, who has lost everything (and I won't be specific here, but we're talking property and loved ones) is taken away from everything she knows. So this is about her adjusting to a new (and horrific) life, about finding out that her loved ones may have misrepresented their past, coming to terms with her loss, and suffering from PTSD.

And, just let me add, Ronnie is a total jerk. I live in a "blended family" and -- just -- that would NEVER happen. I don't care how grief stricken you are -- isn't there any love or compassion for your non-biological child? He really pissed me off.

I'm not a crier, and this book made me tear up several times, so it is well written and I felt for the characters. I just didn't get the unique premise that I had hoped for.

Published by Little Brown BFYR, May 6, 2014
eBook obtained from NetGalley
288 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. Great review! I've seen Torn Away a lot in the blogosphere lately and it looks amazing - will definitely be adding this to my TBR pile :)

    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic

  2. This one has been on my wishlist for awhile. I'll have to check it out sooner rather than later.

  3. The characters and emotions sound like something I will enjoy-- I am reading this one soon

  4. I completely agree! Jennifer Brown has a gift for writing about such tough situations, and her books are so brutally honest and full of depth; and Torn Away is no exception! I loved Jersey as a protagonist - she was such a strong character - and her journey was incredible. The emphasis on family was much appreciated here too, as we definitely need more of those dynamics in YA! :D Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review!

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf


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