Title: Torn Away
Author: Jennifer Brown
Release: May 6th 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Little, Brown, BYR
POV: 1st person
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf
"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."
One minute, life was normal. Jersey was busy ignoring her little sister, trying to catch a show on the TV. The next, a twister devastates her hometown, destroys her neighborhood, and leaves her alone with a stepfather who doesn't want her and paternal grandparents who see her as nothing more than a familial obligation. Torn Away is a gripping, heartbreaking glimpse into what happens after losing everything and everyone you ever loved. Jersey's journey is a day to day process, full of a variety of emotions and memories. From twisters to messy family reunions, Torn Away is a gripping story about loss and family that is sure to tug at your heartstrings.
Highlights: I enjoyed how complicated Jersey's relationship was with her paternal family - it was messy, terrible, and it isn't fixed by the end. The beginning tornado scenes were tense, and the aftermath was terribly sad. This story makes you appreciate the time you have with your loved ones, and forces you to realize that the little annoying things aren't worth fighting over. There's barely a hint of romance, and it was the perfect amount, considering the situation. Jersey herself is a great main character, and one who is much stronger than she may initially think.
Lowlights: I remember feeling like someone hit me in the gut when I finished with Brown's Hate List, so I was surprised by how easily I let this story go once it ended. I wish Brown had spent more time with Jersey's maternal grandparents - I quite liked them, and wish I could seen them and Jersey together for a bit longer.
Thanks to Shane from Itching for Books and the publisher, I have one copy of TORN AWAY to give away to one US entrant. Use the rafflecopter below to enter!