Friday, November 4, 2016

Torn Away by Jennifer Brown : Book Review : Gateway Nominee

Torn AwayTitle: Torn Away
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published Date: November 3rd 2015
Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Page Count: 304
Format: Paperback

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Goodreads Summary: 
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.


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 My Review:

"Growing up we are taught over and over again what steps to take in case of an approaching tornado. Listen for sirens, go to your basement or cellar, or a closet in the center of your house, duck and cover, wait it out. We had drills twice a year, every year at school. We talked about it in class, we talked about it at home. The newscasters reminded us. We went to the basement. We practiced, practiced, practiced."

 Living in the midwest Tornado warning just start to become a part of life. Most of the time there nothing at all and expire within an hour. Sometimes though they can mean that real danger is possibly going to get you. And if you yourself haven’t had to deal with a tornado then most likely someone in your family has. At times we have all ignored the warnings because of how often they happen, and how most of the time they don’t ever turn into anything. But in the back of our minds is also the thought that it could be real this time and we better be paying some sort of attention. Now thanks to the advance in technology the news station can give us updates for exactly where we are instead of just the it’s in your general area.
"But when I woke in the morning, I was no longer confused about where I was. I was no longer waking up to those blissful thirty seconds or so of forgetting about the tornado.I was aware of it from the very moment I opened my eyes. It was all I could think about."
 Jersey is a teenager that's kind of angry about certain things that have changed in her life recently.
Until her mom got a new boyfriend it had just been Jersey and her mom. Now it’s Jersey, her mom, her step- dad and her half-sister meaning now her mom has hardly any time for her and she is always expected to help out around the house like most teenagers. She doesn’t want to though and ends up taking it out on those around her. That is until the tornado changes everything and Jersey ends up going from family member to family member. Until her grandparents take her in and give her a second chance at life. But will Jersey take this chance with knowing how much her mom disliked her parents and the town they lived in.
"How did I know who this woman really was? How did I know she wouldn't turn on me the way Dani's mom had, or give up on me the way Clay had, or lie to me the way Mom had, or cast me out the way Ronnie had? If I'd learned anything from the tornado, it was that I couldn't trust anyone but myself."

Brown did such an amazing job with this book. Jersey grew so much after the Tornado and the stuff that she had to go through with her dad’s family, and how her step-dad treated her was absolutely awful. Nobody should have to suffer that much heartbreak in such a short amount of time. 

"I'm just going to keep redefining everything for as long as I need to, because I'm pretty sure that's the best way to keep on going when you feel like you've lost it all" 
I can't wait to read more of Brown's books and see what other topics she deals with in the future. 

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