by Jennifer Brown
Narrated by : Lauren Fortgang
Published by Blackstone Audiobooks Release date : May 6th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Family, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 7hrs 12 mins
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link)
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 keep thinking back to the first time I saw Torn Away pop up on my feed. It was something, at the time, that I didn’t think I was ready for, emotionally. No clue why – just a nagging feeling that I would not handle this book well.
And well, I was right.
There are not many books that make me cry. I am not talking about tearing up, one tear sliding down the cheek cry. I am talking full-blown out ugly crying. With every chapter, I found myself holding my breath or having to pull my car over due to the emotional punch Torn Away had. This book had a vice grip on my heart from start to finish – and after as well.
Jersey’s life is literally Torn Away, and the things that she goes through is just.. heart breaking. Losing her family, abandoned by her step-dad and shuffled around from place to place. During all of this, she was never really able to truly grieve for what she lost. It was difficult to read/listen to and I kept thinking about all the people who have lost close to everything due to a natural disaster. Jersey was real to me – not a fictional character whose story I was immersed in.
What I admire about Jersey the most is her strength. Feeling utterly alone, she could have easily succumbed to the pain and not fight to take her life back. But she didn’t. Even when the ugliest of people were trying to knock her down further, she stood up and fought.
Another aspect of the novel that really made me think was what we define as everything. Jersey lost her family, and ALL her material things – even those items that we hold close to our hearts. But is that everything? What defines EVERYTHING? Do we lose hope? Do we lose love? Do we lose our dreams? Do we lose those memories?
Torn Away is one of the most emotionally packed, tragically beautiful and thought-provoking novels I have read in a long time. This is my first Jennifer Brown book and I promise it will not be my last.
Tell Me Your Thoughts
- Have you read Torn Away? If so, what did you think?
- What natural disaster freaks you out the most?
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.