I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Torn Away by Jennifer Brown
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
Length: 7 Hours 11 Minutes
on May 6th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Social Themes, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Family, General, Death & Dying, Social Issues
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Library, Publisher
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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.
Why Did I Listen To Torn Away by Jennifer Brown?
Torn Away by Jennifer Brown has the sort of summary that immediately catches your attention. Prior to Torn Away, I had only read one book by Jennifer Brown – A Thousand Words. I was not a huge fan, but I am always willing to give authors another go unless I hate their book on a massive level. The audiobook of Torn Away was right up my alley – it was short, it is narrated by a well regarded narrator, and it was so different from the prior audiobook I listened to. Straight up, I am in love with this book. It was SO excellent.
What’s The Story Here?
Torn Away opens up with main character Jersey basically hanging out at home on the couch watching reality TV while a storm rolls into her town of Elizabeth, Missouri. Her little sister Marin is obsessed with Swing Dancing and is trying to get Jersey to join in with her. Jersey, however, does not want to and she basically yells at Marin to go away. So, her mother takes Marin to her dance lesson in the city. Unfortunately, this is the last time Jersey will see her family as they die in the tornado and her house is destroyed along with her life. Jersey ends up going to live with her father, Clay, whom she has never met. If this was a regular YA book, Clay would be this really great and wonderful guy and her dad’s side would be this amazing family she never got to know. Unfortunately, they are all horrible people except for her aunt Terri. And so, Torn Away is a look at what happens when the unexpected occurs and everything in your life that can go wrong does go wrong.
How Is Jersey As A Character?
I LOVED JERSEY. Or, actually, I just really wanted to mentor her and help her. My background is in non-profit work, so I just wanted to swoop in and start advocating for her. Jersey is a girl who has been dealt a rough hand in life. She handles it as best she can. Yes, sometimes her grief overwhelms her. Yes, sometimes she is totally passive and lacks a backbone. How she is portrayed really falls into line with someone who has experienced the trauma that she has. It also makes her triumphs that much sweeter. I just really felt myself empathizing with Jersey while reading Jennifer Brown’s Torn Away.
How’s The Writing?
So, sometimes contemporary books that are issue based can feel a tad bit overwrought and over dramatic. This is me coming from a total subjective point of view, BTW. One of the reasons I did not LOVE A Thousand Words was because it did seem kind of over dramatic. With Torn Away, I thought that the book was the perfect blend of melodramatic and relatable. I mean, this book really had me feeling all kinds of emotions. There were times when I felt infuriated reading the book and other times where I just was so sad for Jersey and her current situation. I thought the payoff was well worth all of my emotions though.
How’s The Narration?
Torn Away is narrated by Lauren Fortgang. YOU GUYS. I think I would have been super annoyed with this book had I not listened to the audiobook. I do not think I would have been able to handle the drama and the consistent stream of depressing things happening had I not listened to the audiobook. This is a fast listen, it is under 8 hours long. I found myself wanting to listen to the audiobook even when I was not in motion or busy doing something. It’s engaging and so well produced. I would highly recommend you give the audiobook a whirl if you’re interested in reading Torn Away by Jennifer Brown. There were moments when I was driving where I had tears and a runny nose. Emotions ran high and that is a wonderful, wonderful quality.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
THIS GIF ENCAPSULATES THIS BOOK.
Other reviews of Torn Away by Jennifer Brown:
Into The Hall Of Books – “She took over my heart while I was reading this book”
Great Imaginations – “Jersey is one of the best depictions of a teen that I have seen in a YA book.”
Andi’s ABCs – “another book I highly recommend in her long list of greatness”