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.
I have been a fan of Jennifer Brown’s books since I read Hate List what seems like forever ago. I have read every Young Adult book she has published and loved them all. She has a way about her writing that just gets the hard stuff right. Her stories are filled with heavy, emotional issues and she always seems to do them with class and grace and nothing preachy. So naturally when I saw she had a new one coming out, Torn Away, it was a no brainier that I had to read. And once again Brown came through.
Torn Away is about Jersey a Midwestern girl that has grown up with the threat of tornadoes her whole life. They’ve been trained and conditioned to know what to do in case one hits. However they have never experienced one so they all have become desensitized on what it will mean if one does hit. And hit it does. In one night Jersey loses everything that is important to her. Her mom, little sister, belongings and home all taken away by a tornado and she is left alone and scared and uncertain. When her step father thinks it’s best for her to be with family Jersey is first sent to live with the father she never knew and then to the grandparents she never wanted to know. Dealing with her loss and grief and changes to her life she didn’t expect Jersey learns stuff about her mom, her family and about herself she never could have imagined.
This book made my heart hurt. I hurt for Jersey. I hurt for Jersey’s sister. I hurt for Jersey’s mom. I just hurt. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to go through something like this. To have everything you know and love ripped away from you in the blink of an eye over wind and the being left at 16 to pick up the pieces. To be shuffled around because it felt like no one wants you. And on top of all of it to deal with the grief and guilt of losing the two you love most. At almost 35 I don’t think I could handle it. Jersey was just so utterly sad when it came down to it because to her she had no one but strangers and felt unloved and I really couldn’t blame her since I would have felt the same way.
Basically Torn Away was not about the tornado but about moving on and rebuilding afterwards. It was about recovery and holding on to what’s important and letting go when you don’t want to. Jersey was a character everyone will like and relate to. Jennifer Brown once again brought words and emotion to the page and it is another book I highly recommend in her long list of greatness.
Jennifer writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.
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The publisher has also been kind enough to offer each blog tour participant one paperback of Torn Away to giveaway to readers from the US. Below you will find a picture of the cover and when you click on it it will bring you to the Rafflecoppter giveaway. Unfortunately this is for US only and it will run from now until May 13th at 11:59pm. The winner will be notified by email and all information will be passed on to the tour copy which will then be passed on to the publisher. Good luck.