Book in Review: Torn Away by Jennifer Brown11:29 AM
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Kindle Edition: 288 pages
Jersey Cameron lost everything when a tornado devastated
her town. She lost the only home she ever knew. She lost her mother and sister, the only family she is familiar with. During the aftermath of the tornado, she is sent away by her stepfather to go live with her biological father and then sent away again to live with her estranged grandparents.
Jersey realizes that her mother was not perfect. She finds out about the lies her mother told her and the truth about her real father and grandparents. Jersey and her grandparents slowly become family while learning that family isn't defined by your blood but by who is in your heart.
For me, Jersey was a very real character. Her reactions were realistic in every way.She did things that I would have done if faced with the same situation. Her actions weren't always correct but she knew when it was her turn to apologize. There were some points when I may not have liked her at all but most of the time, I was nodding my head in understanding. I could see where she was coming from. Jersey stood out, for me, as a character. There wasn't really anything particularly special about her but you'd still remember her long after you've read the book. I believe that she had a reason to have done all the things that she did do. She refused to believe that her mother was less than perfect and was reluctant to be nice to those that her mother hated because she felt like it would be betrayal especially since her mother was dead and she wanted to honor her mother's name. All in all, Jersey was a strong, realistic character that we can all relate to.
I believe that Jennifer Brown is a very talented writer. She has managed to write this book in such a way that you would be able to put yourself in Jersey's shoes, feel what she's feeling, see things in the same way she does, know the things that she knows. It's quite amazing. This book was an emotional roller coaster. I, myself, who have never cried while reading a book or watching a movie, found myself tearing up as I read Jersey's story. I realized how hard it must be to have lost everything and still be losing. I can see how strong Jersey must have been to have gotten through that tragedy. Even if I was just reading the book, I could feel myself wanting to cry in despair for her. Torn Away made me want to tell my whole family and everyone else that I love that I appreciate them and that I love them. It makes you realize that even the little things you had matters so much more when you don't have anything at all. The tornado isn't even the most devastating part of this book. In fact, the tornado was just the cherry on top of the depressing lack of sundae. It was like a hole opened up under Jersey's feet when the tornado hit and she just kept on falling and falling and falling. Of course, you can't keep on falling forever so eventually, Jersey does get her happy ending. And her happy ending is our happy ending too. After all that emotion, you get the happy ending that you know you wanted as much as Jersey did.
Torn Away shows you how terrible natural disasters must be. Not only has Jersey lost her material possessions but she also lost her family, her home. You can feel all her frustration, her anger, her heartache. Her pain becomes your pain. Her sadness becomes your sadness. Thus, her happy ending is your happy ending.
Torn Away was beautifully written and captivating. This story makes you think about everything you love. This story makes you think about the things you've lost and appreciate everything you have. It's a very simple story and it's not even very long but this book has a lifetime of emotions built in. I love how there was no heroic figure rushing in and miraculously healing Jersey and freeing her from her pain. No. This was a long and painful journey but the reward was well worth it.
Have you read Torn Away? What did you think about it? Leave a comment!