Torn Away by Jennifer Brown


This was a wonderfully tragic novel about a girl who loses almost everything and has no idea how to pick up the pieces.

Jersey is alone her home when tornado that sweeps through her town. Her mother, her sister, her home, her life--all gone in a blink of an eye. It's only her and her step-father Ronnie left. But almost immediately after they are reunited, it is obvious that Ronnie isn't coping well, that he can't take care of another person, let alone himself.

So he sends Jersey to live with her birth father, who she hasn't seen in fourteen years. Her father and his family treat her terribly, without an ounce of sympathy for her or what's she's lost. She's drowning in her grief with no one to help her rise out of it. It's up to Jersey to discover if can live without them, or if she will just survive.

I liked this book more than I thought I would. I mean, I really enjoyed The Hate List because I have a creepy obsession with novels about school shootings, but there were a lot things I didn't like about, too. And for whatever reason, I had it in my brain that Torn Away was going to be a disappointment. But it wasn't; it was incredible. But it was sad.

I literally looked like this for half the book:

I was in a constant state of sniveling, my eyes filled to the brim. It was a million times sadder than I had anticipated--which is incredible because it's about a damn tornado! But the way she is treated by her father's family is almost as bad. They are cruel and heartless. And it damn near broke my soul.

I really loved Jersey. She was very natural. A lot of authors write about death with such cliche that it's obvious that they have never experienced it. But not Jennifer Brown. I don't know if she has lost anyone or not, but she knows the emotions. The fear, the worry, the pain, the helplessness, the anger--it was amazing. Jersey experienced all them and so much more; she was a truly magnificent character.

This book just cemented the fact that I need to read everything by Jennifer Brown. She has an incredible gift with characters that make you weep.

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