Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Source: For tour
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Born and raised in the Midwest, Jersey Cameron knows all about tornadoes. Or so she thinks.
When her town is devastated by a twister, Jersey survives -- but loses her mother, her young sister, and her home. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she's sent to live with her only surviving relatives: first her biological father, then her estranged grandparents.
In an unfamiliar place, Jersey faces a reality she's never considered before -- one in which her mother wasn't perfect, and neither were her grandparents, but they all loved her just the same. Together, they create a new definition of family. And that's something no tornado can touch.
Thank you Itching For Books for hosting this tour!
Jennifer Brown, where have you been all my life? Torn Away takes the YA genre to the next level. It’s predominantly a story about finding hope, which was written in the most realistic and heartbreaking-ly beautiful manner. I found myself crying for the sad and dark sections, but I was also chocking up in the happy parts.
We had drills twice a year, every year, in school. We talked about it in class. We talked about it at home. The newscasters reminded us. We went to the basement. We practiced, practiced, practiced. But we’d never–not one–discussed what to do after.
It has been an extremely long time since I’ve picked up a fiction book to do with natural disasters; so this story line felt really refreshing for me. Jersey Cameron thinks she knows all about tornadoes. She knows when it’s a drill, when it’s the real thing and when one is about to come. But she never even thought about what happens after. When her mother and sister are torn away (see what I did there?) from Jersey by the tornado because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, she felt more lost than ever. Everything she ever called home was gone. Immediately, I could sympathize for Jersey. She’s lost everything she ever had and now is forced to go and live with her biological father who she hasn’t seen in 16 years. Turns out, he was just as bad as Jersey thought. Drunk and rude. His family is no better, they despise her and treat her like trash and Jersey is forced to sleep on the couch on the porch at night.
The strongest aspect of Torn Away was definitely the connection I grew with the characters. I was crying for Jersey during her stay with her biological father, and was grinning my head off whenever there was a snippet of life back when Jersey still had her mother and sister. Jersey’s grief was dealt with genuinely and her rebirth was developed at a steady pace. Small things like writing facts about her sister on pieces of gum foil that her sister owned, all of it, felt real. The depth put into each character is commendable–for example, Jersey’s mother–she’s not necessarily the perfect woman that Jersey had always believed.
Jennifer Brown’s latest has certainly opened my eyes to the effect of natural disasters on people, and I highly recommend this if natural disasters interest you. Even if you just want a good sob story, this is an ideal choice. I am definitely reading the rest of Brown’s novels–who wouldn’t?
~Thank you Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for sending me this copy!~
– This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents
– No cheating! I will know.
– You must be 13 or older to enter
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