Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

Torn AwayIt took only a few moments for Jersey Cameron’s whole world to fall apart.  In a matter of seconds, her home and family fall prey to a massive tornado.  As she deals with the grief that comes with the natural disaster, she is sent away to relatives she doesn’t know.  Shifted from one family to another, will she ever find her home again?

This contemporary novel is different from the books I’ve been reading lately and it was a pleasant change.   Well, perhaps pleasant is not the right word.  There is much grief and pain in this novel and none of it is short changed.  The emotional experience of the book was very real and I can imagine everything Jersey goes through easily.

Jersey as a character is very realistic.  She gets annoyed with her pesky little sister, fights with her mom and doesn’t always get along with her step-father.  She gets scared and acts brave and goes through plenty of trauma.

There were some elements that didn’t feel natural though.  Jersey’s father’s family felt like caricatures and was not very believable as a group.  One or two acting as they did would be believable, but for every person living in that house to be as horrible as they were, did not ring true.

Despite that, Torn Away is an excellent read and one that brings the horror of a tornado to life.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants a look into life after a disaster.

P.S. I know this book is not full of holiday cheer, but I think the importance of family and friends shines through enough to bring some fuzzy feelings.




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