PURCHASE:Amazon | Book Depository
Jersey Cameron has always loved a good storm. Watching the clouds roll in and the wind pick up. Smelling the electricity in the air. Dancing barefoot in the rain. She lives in the Midwest, after all, where the weather is sure to keep you guessing. Jersey knows what to do when the tornado sirens sound. But she never could have prepared for this.
When her town is devastated by a tornado, Jersey loses everything. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she's sent to live with relatives she hardly knows-family who might as well be strangers. In an unfamiliar place, can Jersey discover that even on the darkest of days, there are some things no tornado can destroy?
In this powerful and poignant novel, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown delivers a story of love, loss, hope, and survival.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
“But we’d never—not once—discussed what to do after.”
This book is one tough nut to review, mostly because after finishing it you will not feel like a tough nut, you’ll feel like someone has smashed your insides and you’ll have no idea what to do or read. Or at least that was the case for me.
I’ve had my eyes on Jennifer Brown’s works for some time now, but for some reason, I still hadn’t picked up any of her works. Then Torn Away came. This book changed my world and I am only sorry I didn’t read any of Brown’s works earlier.
Torn Away is a very heartfelt story. It tells a tale of loss and loneliness, but ultimately, this is not a tale of hopelessness. In fact, it deals with finally having faith in yourself and learning to heal.
I’ve always been morbidly fascinated with natural disasters. I have no idea why; perhaps because I’ve never really been in one. I’ve never had to experience that pain, fear, and loss. Through the eyes of our main character though, I got to share with her experience. I was terrified and scared and so, so, completely alone, and for the first time these natural disasters weren’t just something I hear about on the news – I experienced the aftermath of one and I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it was to read this book.
Jersey lost everything. Her house was torn away, her mother and younger sister died. Her world fell apart around her. She had no one left. Her step-father didn’t want her because of his own profound grief, her biological father didn’t give a rat’s ass about her, her ‘step-family’ wanted her gone, and her own paternal grandparents didn’t care. Her friends couldn’t help her and she was all alone in the world. Can you imagine what that must be like? I cannot. I couldn’t, and after reading this, I never want to have to live through that. Jersey doesn’t just magically start healing; it’s a long process. She’s been thrown around and no one wants her anymore. Her family is gone. She never got a chance to say goodbye or to tell them how much she loved them. She never got the chance to fully appreciate what she had until it was gone. How does one start healing from a loss so profound? There were times I had to get up and stop because I really couldn’t continue. I was so overwhelmed with emotions. My heart was breaking and I just wanted to hug Jersey so much. She remained so strong in spite of the situation. She may have thrown tantrums; she may have been overly emotional or just annoying with her need to be saved, but I was NEVER bothered by any of her actions. She held herself together in a situation where others might have had a complete breakdown. Hell, look at her step-father – he couldn’t keep it together long enough to help a young girl who needed him more than anything else.
Jennifer did an amazing job with Jersey’s character, but she also threw in a bunch of other wonderful secondary characters, my favorite being Kolby. I am not sure what it was about him that made me like him so much. Perhaps it was his normality and how for the moments he was present, he lent Jersey his support. He let her comfort herself with lies. He never encouraged them but he gave her that room to hope instead of crushing it.
Her maternal grandparents were such a sweet bunch. Especially compared to her paternal parents. It was touching to see how they tried, in their own way, to give her room, but at the same time they tried to help her heal.
Jennifer Brown is so clearly talented. The scenes she paints, the characters she creates – they are all so beautiful and scary at the same time.
I remember the scenes after the tornado. Everyone was trying to help one another, trying to find the injured people and their relatives, trying to stick together. There was all this confusion. In the end, it was all just truly heartbreaking.
I keep on using the term “heartbreaking” but there seems to be no other adjective that fits this book better. It truly tears out your heart and forces even the heartless (like me) to feel and even tear up a little.
I will definitely not hesitate to buy Jennifer Brown novels in the future because if Torn Away is any indication of what awaits me in her other works, then I definitely want more. I recommend this to EVERY PERSON who wants to take on a darker (in terms of emotions) contemporary novel.
Note that all quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change
Latest posts by Rashika (see all)
- ARC Review: The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano - August 8, 2016
- ARC Review: Moo by Sharon Creech - August 1, 2016
- 6 Reasons Why You Should Read Wax by Gina Damico - July 25, 2016