Wednesday, May 7, 2014

TORN AWAY Blog Tour: Review, Playlist & GIVEAWAY!

I'm so excited to be participating in the Blog Tour hosted by Itching for Books for Jennifer Brown's newest YA novel, Torn Away! I'm posting my review AND my own playlist for this story. And the publishers are allowing everyone participating in the tour to host their own GIVEAWAY for a copy of the novel!

I have loved all of Jennifer Brown's other novels, so I was practically jumping up and down for the chance to get an early copy from NetGalley. And let me just say that Torn Away completely exceeded my expectations!

It actually wasn't quite what I expected it to be...but it was better. I do think I wouldn't have been so surprised by the shape of the story if I had paid better attention to the synopsis, though. So I would actually suggest skipping the synopsis down below and going into the book blind. It's about a girl who survives a tornado. That's all you need to know!

Torn Away
by Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: May 6, 2014

Synopsis via Goodreads:
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.


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.

This book was heartbreaking. I knew it would be, because of the subject matter. But it felt so immediate. The whole thing takes place, I believe, within a month of the tornado, so Jersey is still basically in shock. She’s grieving, obviously. I thought that the story would be more about her finding a way to move on, that it would take place further after the fact. But instead, we get to see her when everything is still so raw. Like I said, it’s heartbreaking. And perfect.

It’s hard to say too much without spoilers, but I will say that for me, the best thing about the book was the characters. They were all so vivid and real, even if they were only in the story for a short time. Some of them were so awful I wanted to scream at them and punch them for Jersey, and then some of them were so wonderful I wanted to hug them and thank them because Jersey couldn’t. 

My heart was breaking for Jersey the whole time. I wanted her to fight back against the awful people, but she was mostly just too numb. And then I wanted her to try to accept the people that wanted to help her, but again she was in too much pain at first. It was frustrating, and I wanted to scream at her, too. But all of Jersey’s actions and reactions felt so believable for someone who had just been through such a tragedy. Everyone deals with tragedy in different ways, but I thought that the author handled all of Jersey’s conflicting emotions so well.

The ending was also perfect. After all of the horribleness that was happening to her, I was starting to think that Jersey could get nothing but a miserably bleak ending. But no. She finally managed to find a little bit of hope. And it made reading through all of the heartbreaking parts worth it.

I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone. But be prepared to cry basically the entire time.

And now for my Torn Away PLAYLIST!

1.  I'm With You--Avril Lavigne
     waiting in the basement
2. Goodbye to You--Michelle Branch
     losing people
3. Rescue Me--Aaron and Andrew
     the in-between
4. View from Heaven--Yellowcard
     starting to accept
5. You'll Be Okay--A Great Big World
6. Let It Be--The Beatles
7. I Will Remember You--Sarah McLaughlin
     at the cemetary
8. When I Look to the Sky--Train
     the end

Enter below to win one paperback copy of Torn Away! (Contest open to U.S. residents only.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out all the other stops on the tour!

1 comment: