Book Review: Torn Away

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Torn Away

Author: Jennifer Brown
Series: N/A
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 200
Source: IFB
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Chapters | Kobo

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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.

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“I realized that the worst part of someone you love dying suddenly isn’t the saying good-bye part. It’s the part where you wonder if they knew how much you loved them. It’s the part where you hope you said and did enough good stuff to make for the bad stuff. It’s the part where there are no second chances, no going back, no more opportunities to tell them how you feel about them.”

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I have no idea how this review will turn out, much less how to write one. Because how do you write a review for a book that has torn you into pieces? My emotions feel like they’ve been hit by this tornado, and I have no idea how long it’ll take for me to put the pieces back together. No matter what I write, or what you read from other reviews you won’t be able to understand how heartbreaking this story is until you read it yourself.

I knew to a certain extent that this would be a sad read, but I never once thought that this book would be as tear-jerking as it was. Living in Canada I have never been close to a tornado. It’s one of those natural disasters you see on TV, you see the pain, suffering and the damage they leave behind. Reading Torn Away brings you face-to-face with the reality of what it’s like to lose your loved ones under the circumstances of a natural disaster.

I connected with this book to the point that I felt like I was Jersey. I got angry when she got angry, and I wanted to scream while she screamed. I was angry at how selfish Dani and her mother were; they should have tried to be more helpful and understanding to Jersey’s situation. But most of all I wanted to scream at Ronnie and tell him how much of a coward he is. He abandons Jersey when she needs him the most and it honestly broke my heart.

“Marin has a dad.
Even in her death, she has a dad.
But I don’t.
I never did.”

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This book just pulled so many different emotions out of me and that, that is true talent. While the story is about the tornado and the tragedy Jersey faces, it also shows the loneness and grief she has to endure. Jersey isn’t just miraculously happy, it’s quite the journey for her to find true happiness, and on that journey you experience all the raw emotions.

Overall, Torn Away is absolutely beautiful and realistic. This book will make you appreciate the things you have and the people you love. This book has reminds you how important it is to smile, hug, laugh, and enjoy life as much as you can because life is short, and in the blink of an eye anything can happen.

“…and by the time we reached the cemetery, my mom and sister were in some ways more alive to me than they’d ever been.”

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5 stars

 


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“If I’d learned anything from the tornado, it was that I couldn’t trust anyone but myself.”

“I realized that the worst part of someone you love dying suddenly isn’t the saying good-bye part. It’s the part where you ender if they knew how much you loved them. It’s the part where you hope you said and did enough good stuff to make for the bad stuff. It’s the part where there are no second chances, no going back, no more opportunities to tell them how you feel about them.”

“I could feel them, fear sinking in-fear and the instinct for self-preservation-as they thrust themselves down the aisles at the grocery store, hoping to get far enough…”

“I leaned me head against the window and watched the lines being eaten up by the front of the truck, until my eyes were too heavy from watching and I fell asleep.”

“Marin has a dad.
Even in her death, she has a dad.
But I don’t.
I never did.”

“…and by the time we reached the cemetery, my mom and sister were in some ways more alive to me than they’d ever been.”

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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 writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.
Thanks for stopping by!
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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Torn Away

  1. I’ve never read anything that really made me cry and I kind of like books that help me appreciate life more.. it makes me want to pick this up~ Great review!

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