Title: Torn AwayAuthor: Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Source: From Publisher via NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.
But anyway, when the blurb promised a Tornado, I jumped on it. I suppose it’s not just tornadoes that do it for me, it’s the whole natural disaster and aftermath that intrigues me.
In Torn Away, there is definitely a tornado. You get to live through it from start to end, which I really appreciated. I was afraid it would start off afterward and we would only get tidbits, but you are right there in the basement with Jersey when shit gets real. And boy does it get real.
Tornado's are destructive. They ruin lives. While I loved watching them rip through towns on Storm Chasers, I was always a little heart broken when they wrapped up the show with shots of people crying over the rubble. In Torn Away, the show continues and you get a front seat to Jersey’s feelings while she deals with the loss of her family.
You won’t find swoon in this story. Jersey is much too distraught for that. She’s taken everything for granted. She would have arguments with her Mom, ignore her little sister all the time… and bam.. they are gone. That is a tough pill to swallow. It’s so sad. She deals with so much crap after it all clears up, and the people in her life aren’t who she thought they were. I liked the realness in that, especially with her Step Fathers reaction to it all.
She has essentially lost everything that matters to her. She learns things about her mother she never knew before, and she gets a good look at why her biological father hasn’t been a part of her life. She goes through hell, but there’s hope in there too. I loved all the focus on how she worked through her grief.
The only thing I didn’t like is the cover, and that’s only because I’ve seen her face on so many covers lately and honestly, she doesn’t look anything like the main character. Aside from that, it was perfect. I really loved Torn Away. It was a total me book. It had the natural disaster stuff I like, along with the contemporary base.
About the author:
Two-time winner of the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award (2005 & 2006), Jennifer's weekly humor column appeared in The Kansas City Star for over four years, until she gave it up to be a full-time young adult novelist.
Jennifer's debut novel, HATE LIST (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009) received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA "Perfect Ten," and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. HATE LIST also won the Michigan Library Association's Thumbs Up! Award, the Louisiana Teen Readers Choice award, the 2012 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award, was an honorable mention for the 2011 Arkansas Teen Book Award, is a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback, received spots on the Texas Library Association's Taysha's high school reading list as well as the Missouri Library Association's Missouri Gateway Awards list, and has been chosen to represent the state of Missouri in the 2012 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Jennifer's second novel, BITTER END, (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011) received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list and is a 2012 Taysha's high school reading list pick as well.
Jennifer writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.
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