Read Torn Away by Jennifer Brown Online


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 bJersey 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....

Title : Torn Away
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 15845648
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Torn Away Reviews

  • Khanh (the meanie)
    2019-01-23 15:15

    “You mean I could have lost everything I ever cared about? Bad news, that’s already happened. Or do you mean worse like I could have died? Because that would actually have been better. I should have died with them. I wish I had died with them.”This book is absolutely gut-wrenching. It has one of the best portrayals of a teenager in a book I've ever come across. There's just no getting around the fact that it was damned depressing, kind of in a "well, my day WAS a ray of sunshine until I read this book and now I want to dive into a pint of Rocky Road ice cream" and not so much in a ugly-sobbing-into-a-pillow (cough*Forbidden*) kind of sadness. On a Goldilocks scale, this would probably be Baby Bear, in the term that it's just right.And going with the theme, of course Baby Bear would die.This book has a fantastically realistic portrayal of grief and a main character who is absolutely believable as a teenager. She is not perfect, she's kind of a brat at times, but she's so human and I relate to her so well that I felt that she was absolutely perfectly-written. I absolutely loved her complex relationship with her mother and sister. More so because I, like her, have a sister of my own.Feel the sisterly love.Her sister is 10 years younger, like mine is. She hated her sister when she was born, as I did.I didn’t think ten years was that much difference, really. I thought Marin would look up to me and I could teach her all kinds of things and be like her hero or something. But what I hadn’t banked on was that there would be a lot of years where she would be a baby. The baby. The center of everything.I felt that resentment. For years and years, I hated and resented my sister for beingn the baby. More than anything, I regret being such a stupid little shit to my sister when she was growing up. In that way, I knew perfectly what the main character was going through.More than anything, I felt the portrayal of adults in this book was absolutely brilliant. Adults are people, too. They fuck up. They make mistakes. They lie. They try. They're not perfect. I should know, I'm one. Parents aren't perfect. Neither are friends. In the end, all you can do, really, is try.And life sucks. Things aren't a fairy tale. Sometimes---oftentimes, things don't turn out as planned. All you can do it adjust as best you can. The main character in this book, while not perfect, tries. She is resilient. I can't ask for more from a character.And to top it off, there's almost no romance at all. Because there's such a thing as priority, y'all. When your life is in pieces, the last thing you want to think about it luuuuuuuuuurve.Really, this book is so perfect.The Summary: I realized that the worst part of someone you love dying suddenly isn’t the saying good-bye part. It’s the part where you wonder if they knew how much you loved them.17-year old Jersey had a pretty decent life. Good friends, a nice family. A mom, a stepfather, Ronnie, a baby half-sister Marin. Sure, Jersey's a brat sometimes, but aren't all teenagers? It was a normal life, with a normal nightly argument over doing the chores.“Don’t forget the laundry,” Mom said on her way out.“I know,” I singsonged back sarcastically, rolling my eyes.But what Jersey didn't know is that it would be the last time she saw her mother and sister. This is the Midwest, and there's a tornado on the way.Being a tough Midwesterner, Jersey doesn't really think about the's practically an annual tradition. She's just chilling in the storm shelter for shits and giggles until the tornado hits. And it is serious fucking business. Even in terms of tornadoes, it's a bad one.I was confused, and my arms, legs, back, and head stung. I coiled into myself, gripping my head and crying and crying, half-sobbing, half-shrieking. I don’t know how long I stayed that way before I realized it was over.The aftermath is bad. People dead. The town razed to the ground. It gets worse, because as the days go by, it becomes evident that Marin and her mother aren't coming back. Jersey is as good as an orphan.Her stepfather is a broken man, unable to deal with his grief, unable to deal with a young woman who looks too much like his wife.“Jersey, I’m sorry,” he said, and that was pretty much all he needed to say.“But why?”“I can’t do it. I can’t raise you alone. I never meant to...”Jersey has no choice but to live with her grandparents...and the father she never knew. The one who abandoned her.It's not what she expected. These are far from the cuddly, kind grandparents who would hug you and spoil you and love you. These people are harsh. Cold. Unflinching and unloving, without an ounce of sympathy.“It’s a shame what happened to your mom,” Grandmother Billie said between bites. “But there’s nothing to be done about it. Terrible things happen every day. To everybody, not just you.”Her half-sisters (whom she didn't even know exist!) are terrors. Their entire extended family can best be described as white trash, complete with the broken-down home. Her biological dad is a drunk. Her stepmother is no better.Standing in the doorway, swaying crookedly, balanced on a pair of beat-up cowboy boots, was my father, Clay Cameron.“...always said you wanted the bitch dead,” she said, and I heard them both giggle.It is a hell of a life, and Jersey can hardly bear to live.I pulled the blanket over my head and bawled into the dirty couch, the sobs reaching so far down into me, they came out dry.But it's not like she has much of a choice. She's almost as good as an orphan. Will Jersey to go down with her grief?, or will she be a survivor?Nobody was coming to rescue me. Nobody was going to keep me safe. It was all up to me now.Jersey: I found Jersey to be an amazing character, one of the most sympathetic and believable heroines I've ever come across. She's not perfect. She's a snot to her mom, she ignores her little sister because Marin was annoying, and she feels that regret like nothing else.What I wouldn’t have given to listen to Marin’s chatter, to have her stand in front of my face begging me to dance with her. Life with Marin was never quiet. Life without her seemed so still it was maddening.I am a quiet person. I have always been. I can sit quietly for hours. Having a noisy baby sister in the house was all sorts of maddening, and I understood perfectly the way it pissed Jersey off.And I understood perfectly how much she missed that noise now that her sister is gone. I would not trade my sister for all the silence in the world.Jersey may be a brat, but she's not a bitch. She knows when to tune it down. She knows how to behave. She can keep her bratty side under control, especially in the aftermath of her mother and sister's death. This book perfectly portrays her stages of grief, as she goes from denial to sorrow to anger, to madness.I was feeling a too-familiar anger welling up inside me. I’d never been an angry kind of person, and it didn’t make sense why it kept coming back. I was sad, not angry. I was scared and lonely, but I didn’t understand why I felt so mad. Being mad all the time did sort of make me feel like I was losing it.It's the kind of grief that's internalized. An observer wouldn't see it, but we do. We feel her sorrow and her defense so keenly.She didn’t know how broken I was on the inside, that I couldn’t have let her in even if I’d wanted to, because the part of me that had once loved was now gone.Jersey's personality skated that fine line between maturity and teenaged rebellion, and I loved her for it.The Adults: There are so few YA books that portray adults well. This is one of them.“I don’t hate you,” he said. “But I can’t take care of you. Every time I look at you, I see her. Every time I hear you talk, I think about how I let everyone down. I think about how I couldn’t save any of you. Not one.”I loved the adults in this book. They are human, they are weak. They succumb to sorrow, to a coma-like state of grief. They make poor decisions that they regret. They're not perfect. They don't become perfect.For example, the quote above is from Ronnie, Jersey's stepfather. He is suffering from the death of his wife and daughter. He can't bring himself to take care of Jersey, no matter how much she begs. He hates himself for his weakness, but he just can't do it. Ronnie doesn't have the strength. He doesn't have the willpower. He feels terrible for it, he hates himself, but there's just no way he can take care of a young woman in his state, and he knows it.Other adults in the book are imperfect as well, from the aged grandparents, who are more like the scary old people shaking sticks at you on the corner than anything that could be remotely warm and loving.I was reminded of Mom’s theory that Billie and Harold were unhappy people because of the pain life had dealt them. I wondered what terrible things had happened in their lives, and if Mom was right, and they’d simply shut down to shut out the hurt.Friends' parents aren't loving and awesome. They're people who need to take care of their own family first.Nobody is perfect. Parents lie. Friends dodge uncomfortable questions. We avoid seeing the truth as long as we can.This book is damned realistic, and damned depressing.And I'll be damned if I didn't love it.

  • Giselle
    2019-02-07 19:05

    This is one of those rare books that touched me to my very core. Jersey's tragic loss makes you realize what's really important in life, and re-defines your priorities. I've been a fan of Jennifer Brown since the first one I read, but Torn Away is definitely my favorite thus far. To get the best experience out of this book I recommend only skimming the blurb - or not reading it at all. I only read it afterwards, myself, and find it sums up too much of the story. Not having a clue what's coming next for Jersey makes this story all the more poignant. It's about a tornado, and it's a tragedy. That's all you need to know.Natural disasters are scarier than any villain. Their damage is unstoppable, even often unanticipated. They can destroy a life in a matter of seconds. This is what happens to Jersey. This is the kind of story that breaks your heart from the very start, and it continues to tear itself apart until the last page. This author has incredible talent in pulling the reader in, one hundred percent. She put my whole self inside Jersey's head. I adopted her grief, her loneliness; her emotional state became my own. And let me tell you, walking in her shoes is one of the hardest things I've ever experienced. Jersey's whole world is literally swept inside a twister and whisked away. It does not end there, either, the tornado is only the beginning of this downfall. Having no relatives to turn to, she finds herself completely and utterly alone. Imagine hitting rock bottom, yet somehow continuing to fall. Or pushed down, more like. Imagine being 16 years old and, from one day to the next, finding yourself with no family, no home, no belongings… So get your box of tissues ready, you will need them!A potent story like this cannot be achieved without crafting an incredible character to display its heart and soul. Jersey's situation is a worst case scenario in many ways. All stages of her grief from denial, to anger, to acceptance, is depicted realistically. Not only that, but her situation forces her to grab onto strength she didn't know she had. I admired her throughout. With no one left to tell her what to do, to encourage her, to soothe her, to help her, her life is up to her now. She realized this, that she had to take control, even though all she wanted to do was curl up and cry - understandably so. I applauded her for taking charge of her life. Ultimately, it is not only pain and heartache, we eventually get some light at the end of this darker-than-night tunnel. But I can tell you one thing, it's a book that will make you appreciate everything you have. It will make you want to hug every person you love and never let them go.Torn Away is a story about tragedy, but more importantly, it's a story about family, love, hope, and learning to climb up from rock bottom. I, for one, am a Jennifer Brown fan for life!--An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads

  • Arianna✦❋SteamyReadsBlog❋✦
    2019-01-20 16:32

    4 Stars!!“I realized that the worst part of someone you love dying suddenly isn’t the saying good-bye part. It’s the part where you wonder if they knew how much you loved them. It’s the part where you hope you said and did enough good stuff to make up for the bad stuff. It’s the part where there are no second chances, no going back, no more opportunities to tell them how you feel about them.”“Torn Away” was a gut-wrenching story about life, loss, grief, but also about family, friends, finding your inner strength and hope. It’s an emotional YA/realistic fiction that will make feel, think and appreciate what you have. The story starts off with our heroine, Jersey, a 16 years old girl who has a normal life. Sometimes she hates it, sometimes she loves it, but she always feels she has a home. She has friends, she likes school and she acts exactly like a 16 years old girl. She has a loving and caring mother, a nice step-father and a half-sister, Marin, who’s five years old, 'an annoying' little girl. Jersey’s life is shattered when her mother and sister are torn away by a tornado. She loses her house, her home, her beloved mother and sister and everything else that matters to her. She feels so lost without them and she’s devastated when her stepfather doesn’t want her because he can’t deal with so much grief and because she reminds him too much of her dead mother. “My old life was that far away. Gone. As if the tornado’s damage would never be complete. It had destroyed my present, laid waste to my future, and was now busy eating up my history, too, as I forgot what life was like before.”Jersey is forced to live with her biological father, a man she never met because he abandoned her when she was just a baby, his stepmother, stepsisters and her grandparents. Her new ‘family’ doesn’t want her there, they treat her like trash, they don’t care if she eats or if she sleeps outside on a couch on the porch. They don’t care for her, they don’t feel any sympathy for her. Even her father who’s an alcoholic prick treats her like scum and he makes clear he doesn’t want her there.“Not being wanted was the loneliest feeling in the world, it seemed, and if I could have had one more moment with Marin, I would have been sure to tell her I didn’t mean it. She wasn’t a pest. I loved her. She was wanted. More than she could ever know.”Jersey feels unloved, lost, isolated and so lonely. She knows she’s not part of ‘the family’, a family who was supposed to be HER family as well and all she wants is to find a place to belong. Time passes and she realizes nobody is coming to rescue her or keep her safe, that she’s alone in the world and she has to be strong.“I guessed Mom was right—family had nothing to do with blood. It had everything to do with what was in your heart.”“Torn Away” was my first read about a natural disaster and I have to say it was heartbreaking to read about it. This was a sad read, written very well, raw, yet very real.Jersey is a remarkable character I truly sympathize with. In the beginning (and not only) she was portrayed exactly like a 16 years old girl. She has fears, she feels insecure, she has flaws, still trying to accept she’s not the baby of the house anymore, that she’s one of the most important things in her mother’s life and not the most important thing like she used to be. However, she’s portrayed as a kind, considerate and compassionate girl after the tragic events in her life. My heart broke so many times for Jersey, for her loss, and for what happens with her after she loses ‘everything’. Her character is portrayed so well.She’s believable from start to finish and I really felt her pain, her struggles to accept ‘the new reality’, her grief, her despair and her anger. Her voice was raw, but so honest and real. She’s an admirable character and the way she eventually finds her inner strength was really inspiring. The story can also be labeled as a coming of age story. Jersey finds herself, discovers some family secrets, discover that she’s stronger that she thought and ultimately discovers that’s always hope and no matter what, you should never stop hoping. Jersey’s character is layered and we get to know Jersey as a daughter, sister and friend. Being a YA/realistic fiction you will relate with her in some way or another. I know I did. There are some interesting side characters that I really liked. Jersey’s friend, Kolby who was such an amazing boy, sweet, gentle and so considerate. Even if his house was destroyed like Jersey’s, all he wants is to help her, to support her and to give her some comfort. Also, Jersey’s maternal grandparents were fantastic. They gave her what she wanted - space, but at the same time they tried to help her.All in all, “Torn Away” is a powerful, touching story, told from a realistically portrayed main character’s perspective that will make you reflect, make you being grateful for what you have, make you appreciate every moment you have with your family and friends and it will make you wonder what you define as ‘everything’.“I’m just going to keep redefining “everything” for as long as I need to, because I’m pretty sure that’s the best way to keep on going when you feel like you’ve lost it all.”

  • Faye, la Patata
    2019-02-14 16:21

    Torn Away was a powerful, heartbreaking experience. I read Rashika's review of this, and while I acknowledged that it would be a sad read, I didn't expect it to hit me with waves and waves of emotions. Jersey's story of losing everyone and everything to the tornado affected me way more than I expected, as her reaction to what happened felt very familiar to me. I recognized her struggles very well, as I see in her many of my family and friends who lost people to various natural disasters.As you all know, I live in the Philippines. It's an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, and while the thought of white sand beaches and gorgeous landscapes sounds enticing, it is to be remembered that my country's regularly ravaged by mother nature's wrath. My people and I have gone through earthquakes that toppled centuries-old churches, volcanic eruptions that buried villages, and typhoons that brought surges of water that reach three storeys high. Natural disasters are not new to us, and in a way, as a people, we've grown used to it and have become somewhat resilient. Death, grief, losing loved ones unexpectedly... these are human emotions that have become commonplace in light of these situations, but even if they are so, they still feel devastating each time - like a wound that's forced open again and again. I saw ourselves in Jersey's character - her emotions, her tears, her struggles, her frustrations, her deep longing for anything familiar in a now-unknown world - I saw my family and friends who lost important people in her, and I guess that's what makes her easy to relate to.I remember Typhoon Haiyan. I remember how it was dubbed as one of the most powerful typhoons to ever hit Earth, and how it was on its way to Visayas, a group of islands in the middle of the Philippines. And I remember a friend of mine, a native of one of the islands there, studying away in the capital to pursue his studies, thousands of miles away from home. And I remember how I found out after the storm that his family, who lived in the island, perished away - parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts - leaving him the only survivor in his family, and only because he was somewhere else at that precise moment.And then I read this, saw himself in her as well, and I thought to myself, "Is this what he went through? All this sadness, confusion, anger?" and the book, at that point, became even more personal to me. You'll really feel sad for Jersey here. Brown has written her in such a way that her feelings and conflicted emotions become yours as well. When she loses everything, you feel that punch in your gut as if you've lost everything, too. When she suffers in the hands of abusive and tormenting relatives who want nothing to do with her, you feel that anger welling up inside you, secretly wishing that she shows those good-for-nothings a piece of her mind. And when she finds relief and happiness in the end, you also feel a sense of peace and bliss as well. We find closure, but the journey to get there is long and hard and raw and thought-provoking, but it's so worth it. It's so worth it.This book has reminded me that life is short. Not just yours, but everyone else's, too. It's also full of surprises - some good, some bad, but surprises all the same. It has reminded me to always live life to the fullest, to be positive, to be thankful. It has reminded me to live happily, respectfully, that there would no room for regrets;to live life in such a manner that when someone passes away, you do not mourn for their passing, but celebrate their life instead. Say your I love yous, be appreciative, set aside time for each other. Spread love.Overall, this book was both wonderful and devastating. I recommend it with all my soul, but read it with a prepared heart - it will pull your heartstrings like no other 3

  • Melanie
    2019-01-25 22:09

    See more reviews at YA Midnight ReadsJennifer Brown, where have you been all my life? Torn Away takes the YA genre to the next level. It's predominantly a story about finding hope, which was written in the most realistic and heartbreaking-ly beautiful manner. I found myself crying for the sad and dark sections, but I was also chocking up in the happy parts.We had drills twice a year, every year, in school. We talked about it in class. We talked about it at home. The newscasters reminded us. We went to the basement. We practiced, practiced, practiced. But we'd never--not one--discussed what to do after.It has been an extremely long time since I've picked up a fiction book to do with natural disasters; so this story line felt really refreshing for me. Jersey Cameron thinks she knows all about tornadoes. She knows when it's a drill, when it's the real thing and when one is about to come. But she never even thought about what happens after. When her mother and sister are torn away (see what I did there?) from Jersey by the tornado because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, she felt more lost than ever. Everything she ever called home was gone. Immediately, I could sympathize for Jersey. She's lost everything she ever had and now is forced to go and live with her biological father who she hasn't seen in 16 years. Turns out, he was just as bad as Jersey thought. Drunk and rude. His family is no better, they despise her and treat her like trash and Jersey is forced to sleep on the couch on the porch at night.The strongest aspect of Torn Away was definitely the connection I grew with the characters. I was crying for Jersey during her stay with her biological father, and was grinning my head off whenever there was a snippet of life back when Jersey still had her mother and sister. Jersey's grief was dealt with genuinely and her rebirth was developed at a steady pace. Small things like writing facts about her sister on pieces of gum foil that her sister owned, all of it, felt real. The depth put into each character is commendable--for example, Jersey's mother--she's not necessarily the perfect woman that Jersey had always believed.Jennifer Brown's latest has certainly opened my eyes to the effect of natural disasters on people, and I highly recommend this if natural disasters interest you. Even if you just want a good sob story, this is an ideal choice. I am definitely reading the rest of Brown's novels--who wouldn't?~Thank you Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for sending me this copy!~

  • Rashika (is tired)
    2019-02-03 22:22

    ***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato“But we’d never—not once—discussed what to do after.”This book is one tough nut to review, mostly because after finishing it you will not feel like a tough nut, you’ll feel like someone has smashed your insides and you’ll have no idea what to do or read. Or at least that was the case for me.I’ve had my eyes on Jennifer Brown’s works for some time now, but for some reason, I still hadn’t picked up any of her works. Then Torn Away came. This book changed my world and I am only sorry I didn’t read any of Brown’s works earlier.Torn Away is a very heartfelt story. It tells a tale of loss and loneliness, but ultimately, this is not a tale of hopelessness. In fact, it deals with finally having faith in yourself and learning to heal.I’ve always been morbidly fascinated with natural disasters. I have no idea why; perhaps because I’ve never really been in one. I’ve never had to experience that pain, fear, and loss. Through the eyes of our main character though, I got to share with her experience. I was terrified and scared and so, so, completely alone, and for the first time these natural disasters weren’t just something I hear about on the news - I experienced the aftermath of one and I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it was to read this book.Jersey lost everything. Her house was torn away, her mother and younger sister died. Her world fell apart around her. She had no one left. Her step-father didn’t want her because of his own profound grief, her biological father didn’t give a rat’s ass about her, her ‘step-family’ wanted her gone, and her own paternal grandparents didn’t care. Her friends couldn’t help her and she was all alone in the world. Can you imagine what that must be like? I cannot. I couldn’t, and after reading this, I never want to have to live through that. Jersey doesn’t just magically start healing; it’s a long process. She’s been thrown around and no one wants her anymore. Her family is gone. She never got a chance to say goodbye or to tell them how much she loved them. She never got the chance to fully appreciate what she had until it was gone. How does one start healing from a loss so profound? There were times I had to get up and stop because I really couldn’t continue. I was so overwhelmed with emotions. My heart was breaking and I just wanted to hug Jersey so much. She remained so strong in spite of the situation. She may have thrown tantrums; she may have been overly emotional or just annoying with her need to be saved, but I was NEVER bothered by any of her actions. She held herself together in a situation where others might have had a complete breakdown. Hell, look at her step-father - he couldn’t keep it together long enough to help a young girl who needed him more than anything else.Jennifer did an amazing job with Jersey’s character, but she also threw in a bunch of other wonderful secondary characters, my favorite being Kolby. I am not sure what it was about him that made me like him so much. Perhaps it was his normality and how for the moments he was present, he lent Jersey his support. He let her comfort herself with lies. He never encouraged them but he gave her that room to hope instead of crushing it.Her maternal grandparents were such a sweet bunch. Especially compared to her paternal parents. It was touching to see how they tried, in their own way, to give her room, but at the same time they tried to help her heal.Jennifer Brown is so clearly talented. The scenes she paints, the characters she creates - they are all so beautiful and scary at the same time.I remember the scenes after the tornado. Everyone was trying to help one another, trying to find the injured people and their relatives, trying to stick together. There was all this confusion. In the end, it was all just truly heartbreaking.I keep on using the term "heartbreaking" but there seems to be no other adjective that fits this book better. It truly tears out your heart and forces even the heartless (like me) to feel and even tear up a little.I will definitely not hesitate to buy Jennifer Brown novels in the future because if Torn Away is any indication of what awaits me in her other works, then I definitely want more. I recommend this to EVERY PERSON who wants to take on a darker (in terms of emotions) contemporary novel.Note that all quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change

  • Laurence R.
    2019-02-11 20:08

    I was NOT prepared for this. At all. Obviously, when you pick this book up, you know it won't be all rainbows and happiness. I mean, it is about a natural disaster, so this should warn you that you're entering dangerous zones. Well, believe me, this warning isn't even close to preparing you for what you're about to read, and I learned this the hard way. From the second the storm begins, Jersey's life turns to horror. She watches as her family destroys itself and leaves her all alone, without her friends to help, since they're all concerned by other issues and they're hard to reach. Having her house destroyed ends up being the least of her issues and not once in this book did I wish to be in her place. I was glad to see that she could find some comfort in all the hatred directed towards her, because she seemed to be the unluckiest person alive before. It was hard for me to understand how horrible people can be to someone who hasn't done a thing to deserve this, but realizing that there was still kindness in her life reassured me. The only thing I disliked in this novel was how cold Jersey's character was. Even though the story is written in her point of view, it's as though she's telling someone else's story, because it's quite matter-of-factly. I understand that it might be shock, but at some point, I felt like it would've worn off and I should've seen real emotion. It might also have been because of the translator, since I read it in French, but I don't believe it could've been the only reason. I would recommend this story, as draining as it is. If you can't sleep, read this and you'll sleep like a baby when you're done, because it's exhausting to read about such a hard life.

  • Alexa
    2019-01-27 21:19

    Wow, that was devastating and incredible.Jersey looses everything after a Tornado rips through her small town and takes her whole neighbourhood with it. With no idea how her friends are doing, where her family is, and no place to live, Jersey needs to fend for herself and figure out what her next steps will be after all the devastation. This short book packs a huge punch and is full of unexpected emotional abuse (for me). I cried while reading it, and I stayed up pretty late finishing it. I couldn't put the book down. I had to see how Jersey would deal with everything, my heart was pounding and I tore through the pages like you wouldn't believe. Definitely give this one a go, it's fantastic.

  • Jenna
    2019-01-29 18:26

    Jersey's life is flipped upside down, literally, when a massive tornado rips the foundation of her family home in more ways than one. She is left to find a new path in life and with the support (or lack thereof) from complete strangers who happen to be related to her. In this journey, Jersey comes to terms with her life and the role that she has played in it, and before it is all over, she is then introduced to the other side of her family, still strangers to her, and it is there that she makes a huge transition and learns to accept the life that she has been dealt as well as learning to forgive.I found this book to be very engrossing and definitely worth reading if only to get a realistic glimpse at what life is like in the aftermath of a massive tornado, long after the news cameras stop rolling.

  • Justine
    2019-01-26 17:23

    Plein d'émotions sur la fin, un livre captivant et qui se dévore en un rien de temps mais pas encore tout à fait un coup de coeur. Mais vraiment, très heureuse d'avoir lu ce livre. Ça change de Hate List que je n'avais pas vraiment aimé !Je recommande :)

  • Barbara
    2019-02-20 20:04

    **A free copy of this book was provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**BR with my lovely Carolina!

  • Paula
    2019-01-28 17:28

    "Torn Away" was the second book by Jennifer Brown that I've read and it sure as hell won't be the last. Something about her writing just resonates with me on a level that I don't experience often with book. The story, the words - they give me so many feels I barely know what do with them.It wasn't any different with "Torn Away." Maybe because the stories are so character-driven and don't rely on over-the-top drama or an overload on events and twists and turns. Whatever it is, this book made me live through the story. It made me hold my breath, it made me cry, it made me yell and shout in anger, it made me ache and it made me smile. I loved Jersey. I loved her strength, her resilience, her love but I also loved that she was a regular teenager at the end of the day. That even after faced with tragedy, there were still aspects of her teenager self left. She was a rather unusual character to read about. While so many authors will have their characters look like models, Jersey was a regular girl with regular insecurities and issues. Until nothing about her life was regular anymore. I loved to see her grow and change and adapt to her new situations. And there was a constant growth evident - her learning to be her own person and form her own opinions. What always thrills me about a book is when the author dares to stray away from the norm, the mainstream. Thankfully, Jennifer Brown is such an author who dares not to write a typical happy ending. Who dares to leave some questions unanswered. Who dares to let the reader fill in the blanks. 5+ this-book-has-torn-away-a-part-of-my-soul stars.

  • Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
    2019-02-04 16:32

    Read it in one night... Cried like a baby... It's AMAZING and heartbreakingJersey has lived through a natural disaster and she's lost everything... literally everything. Her home, her town, her family. Now she's being taken in by relatives who don't really want her and who she really doesn't know. She's learning things about her mother's past that she never knew. And finding out hard truths about her future.My Thoughts:THIS BOOK!!! You know how there are some books that make you cry at the end? Well this is not one of those books. This is one of those books where you sob the entire way through. Okay well at least I did. I was a hot mess while I read this book. Luckily I read the entire thing in one night in the privacy of my own room... because if I would have taken this to read out in public, I would have severely embarrassed myself.This book is about Jersey who lives in Missouri, and has just lived through a devastating tornado. It literally flattens a large portion of her town. And now she's all alone. Her mom and little sister were at dance class and they never made it home. It was so heartbreaking to read about this little 5 year-old girl dying before she ever got to really live a life. Then after that the book is permeated with ALONENESS. Jersey is left with no belongings and no one who even cares about her at all. I just wanted to crawl into this book and give her a big hug!!This book weirdly made me feel a lot like how I felt when I read The Fault in Our Stars and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. It made me question humanity and wonder why we treat each other like this!! I know there are good people out there, but seriously there aren't enough! So many people let this girl down, it made me sick. I don't want to give too much away or ruin the surprise factor for you... but I was pissed off and sad at the same time for most of the book.Jennifer Brown's books have all been favorites of mine. I especially loved The Hate List. Torn Away is giving that a run for it's money. It's much shorter, but it's super powerful. It's definitely one of my favorite books I've read this year!OVERALL: A heartbreaking, sobfest about a girl who loses her family and her home in devastating tornado. I was looking forward to a new Jennifer Brown book, and this one did not disappoint. I cried like a baby and loved every second of it.My Blog:

  • Kathylill
    2019-01-31 14:17

    Torn Away is one of those books that I liked despite their small faults and them being a little bit unrealistic. The tragic tale of Jersey Cameron touched me deeply.Jersey is such a likable character, maybe because she is so normal. She is neither a social outcast nor the queen bee but something in between. She grows up in one of those patchwork families: Her dad left them when she was just a Baby, her Mom remarried a few years later and now Jersey is stuck with a new stepfather and a very young half-sister she loves and begrudges for the attention of her parents at the same time. Jersey lives a normal teenager life with a not so perfect family, not so perfect grades in school and maybe a few extra pounds around the middle when disaster comes in form of a tornado. I really loved how Jennifer Brown composed Jersey’s character and how she pulls you into the story with her writing. Jersey’s emotions, her horror in the light of the tornado, her grief about losing her mother and little sister, her trauma in being sent away from everything and everyone known and having to live with people her mother hated … Every one of her emotions is so realistic and written in such a way that draws you into the story. This book is about losing everything and still finding a reason to live. It’s about not giving up and about finding an inner strength you didn’t know you had. My only complaint is that the plot takes a somewhat unrealistic turn after the tornado. As if her mother and little sister dying and her house being blown away wouldn’t have been enough tragedy, Jersey is being carted off to stay with her white trash dad (Clay) and his awful family: The cold and abrasive grandparents, her aunt the birthing machine without a husband, her slutty and stupid stepmother, her alcoholic sad dog of a father and his two mean daughters. And all those biased, cartoonish, one-dimensional characters are paired up with the tragedy in the aftermath of the tornado. It was simply too much drama in my opinion. Still, this is an engaging and very emotional read that benefits immensely from a realistically portrayed main character. I can highly recommend it for everybody who looks for a psychologically fleshed-out young adult book with a happy end.

  • Carolina
    2019-02-18 21:22

    This book is so good... but so so good!There's no many words to say about how you'll get transported to this story.It's intense, heart-broking, sad... but you have hope too! And is extraordinary how the author can make you feel the emotions, like you were there... like you were in the middle of a tornado!I honestly, wasn't expecting such an intense point of view. The way Jersey describes things in her point of view is so sad, and you feel powerless, but amazing at the same time how you can feel what she's be through.Maybe i'm not the best person to say it, but this book is a lesson. A precious lesson we should all learn, but we keep forgeting... We should cherish those who are important in life the best and all the time we can, we don't know the day of tomorrow.So, with all honesty... old or young, fan of YA or not... everyone should read this book... Makes you wonder!***BR with my precious Barbara dear! ;)***ARC kindly provided via Netgalley in exchange of a honest review.

  • Tanecia
    2019-01-27 15:33

    Even though the synopsis pretty much sums up the entire read- Torn Away ended up being something so much more. The story follows the main character Jersey, who has had her entire world flipped upside down by a horrific natural disaster. She is the only survivor of her family as well as her stepfather after a massive tornado hits her hometown. After being left to mourn her Mother and sister- Jersey is left to pick up the pieces alone and devastated. Meanwhile, she moves in with her estranged father and his extended family to find out some surprising truths about her mother’s past. "I feel sorry for ya and everything, because what went down wasn't your fault, but you gotta know there's such a thing as too little to late."Not only is this a story of tragedy, loss, grief, and perseverance- it’s about trying to cope when you feel like odds are against you, and being able to love and forgive family who may have turned their backs on you or someone you loved. I felt so bad for Jersey the entire way through because she was sort of thrown into every situation so quickly. She never got the chance to properly process everything that happened- her loss, the move, meeting her biological father and grandparents for the first time. It was like bam, bam, bam, and no space in-between for her to feel anything about starting over and these new people invading her life. All the choices she had before were taken from her in an instant and I really just wanted to jump into the book and give her a hug and help her through this tough time! If you are just looking for a book that gives you the feels-Torn Away would be right up your alley. The writing was very easy going and sensitive to the main characters feeling that it had a realistic feel that would be ring true if anyone has lost someone to a natural disaster. I really liked how this story seemed to tell itself and I enjoyed every minute of it!

  • Tonyalee
    2019-02-10 18:10

    See this review and more on my blog, LilybloombooksI 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.

  • Maggie61
    2019-02-07 17:26

    Jennifer Brown has got to be one of my favourite authors of young adult novels. This book was fantastic. The emotion was real, the descriptions of everything so vivid. So vivid that parts were hard to read. My heart broke for Jersey from the start. She's a normal girl almost done high school for the summer when anyone's worst nightmare zones in the form of a tornado. I couldn't imagine her pain and despair as she is at what is left of her house, sleeping under the pool table in a rain soaked basement that contained half her kitchen. Other than some neighbours, she's alone, she doesn't know the fate of her mother, stepfather and sister. She's hungry and dirty and is devastated by her loss and waits for her mother to come back and find her. Except she doesn't. Ronnie, her stepfather, finds her several days later and her nightmare just keeps on going. I was so angry at Ronnie for sending her away. Sure, he isn't her birth father, and he is hurting but he needed to put on his big boy pants, instead he abandons her. He was her father for 10 years but the message came across clearly that he had no emotional ties to her, wants nothing more to do with her, and sends her to the most dysfunctional family on earth, the father that abandoned her soon after birth and his obnoxious nasty family, all total strangers to her . Here she is abused by pretty much everyone in this nightmare household, she's away from her friends, struggling with her loss and the what ifs and missed chances. She had no opportunity to attend the funerals and each day is worse than the last. The only thing she has from before is her sisters purse and gum and her mothers lipstick. After an incident where jersey had to defend herself, she is again sent to total strangers., her other grandparents she's never met, and has only been told that they were cold judgmental people that threw her mother out. But many years have passed since that time, is it possible that jersey can live there, find peace and begin to heal?Fantastic book. I totally loved it.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2019-01-20 21:04

    Find all of my reviews at: received from NetGalley. Thank you NetGalley!!!!Jersey lost everything in the tornado. Her house, her sister, her mother. Her entire life was changed in a matter of moments. With all of her wordly possessions able to fit in a backpack, Jersey is sent to live with family she has never knownand has to come to terms with her family’s true history.I read this one a couple of weeks ago and somehow never got around to writing a review. Today I log on to Facebook to stalk see this:Shame on me for not posting a review as soon as I finished Torn Away. Heck, when I received my ARC Jennifer Brown was out doing this:which popped this little baby right to the top of the to-read pile.I can’t say enough about Jennifer Brown. Not only is she maybe one of the nicest humans on the planet, but she writes really good stuff for young adults. Her books always deal with important/controversial topics that need to be addressed, but walk that fine boundary line of remaining okay for the younger set to read. Go buy her stuff. It's time to reward all the "authors behaving goodly" (yeah, goodly isn't a word - but I'm using it anyway). As always, I will add my disclaimer regarding Jennifer Brown books: If you have not yet read anything by Brown, make sure you save The Hate List for last. It is by far one of the best YA - screw the YA moniker - it's one of the best novels PERIOD I have read and makes her other books (that are really solid stories themselves) pale in comparison.

  • Star Crowned Book Throne
    2019-02-17 20:11

    2.5 StarsI have had this book on my TBR for areallylong time and I'm disappointed to say that I'm... well, disappointed. On the whole, I couldn't get myself emotionally invested into the story and I never really connected to the main character. This isn't to say that it wouldn't be an emotional and heartbreaking story for others but personally for me, I couldn't enjoy it.The main character felt very distant to me in the way that I couldn't really 'see' into her character. I felt more like I was watching her life through hazy glasses rather than reading in her perspective and it left me quite unsatisfied. I also think the ending wasn't to my liking in the way that I felt it all happened quite quickly considering Jersey's initial feelings and reactions.If there is one thing I really enjoy from this, its the relationship between Jersey and her sister, Marin. The love was really apparent in the story and this part was emotional for me, just imagining myself in this situation. Its so easy to pass a moment by and not give it a second glance and this book really grasps it well.If you are considering picking this book up, I definitely recommend doing so! I can see how many others will enjoy this one but overall, it just wasn't for me.

  • Katelynn
    2019-02-01 22:26

    WOW was this book ever not what I thought it would be. It's advertised as tornado! grief! survival! I love natural disaster stories and I love strong female characters and I love gritty emotion and this book PROMISED ME THESE THINGSSSI am angered. Bad writing makes me so very angry. Especially when I buy it in hardcover. This was so. poorly. written. I am mind-blown by how bad the writing was. Agog. I am agog. Every little bit of this was outrageous. The characters; the dialogue (oh God the dialogue); the prose; the plot. The characters, especially the ones at the Cameron house, were galaxies beyond believable, and the absolute absurdity of those characters destroyed any hope for a passable plot from that point on. Everything after that was over-reaching, melodramatic, ham-fisted, and on-the-nose. Nothing past page 80 is salvageable. Oh God I hated this. This was an utterly pointless story about unrealistically cruel people and a soggy dish towel for a main character. Oh my good gravy I hated this so much I have to walk away from this review I just can't even fweiowefiosdffaljdsfasdlfkjasdfdsf

  • Erika
    2019-02-13 18:12

    This really resounded with me, probably because I live in Kansas City and I grew up with tornado weather being a big part of my life. The writing was so realistic, and obviously Jennifer Brown is a badass with terrific chops for story lines. This is YA but I think it's great for adults as well.

  • Zoe
    2019-02-03 15:21

    Growing up, we were taught over and over again what steps to take in case of an approaching tornado. Listen for sirens, go to your basement or cellar, or a closet in the center of your house, duck and cover, wait it out. We had drills twice a year, every year, in school. We talked about it in class. We talked about it at home. The newscasters reminded us. We went to the basement. We practiced, practiced, practiced.But we’d never— not once— discussed what to do after.Torn Away by Jennifer Brown has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2014, and I am happy to say that it didn't disappoint. It's completely beautiful and utterly emotion and thought-provoking, and I found myself absolutely absorbed into Jersey's powerful story.17-year-old Jersey has lived her whole life in the Midwestern town of Elizabeth, Missouri. Being a Midwest girl, she thinks she knows everything there is to know about tornadoes. But she's wrong. When her town is suddenly destroyed by a horrible tornado, Jersey is unprepared for it's aftermath.Losing her mother and younger sister Marin to the horrible storm, Jersey is devastated by grief. And she begins to realize that maybe there are some things- like the power of family and love - that are even too big for even a tornado to destroy.What the news crews couldn't show was the real damage Elizabeth's monster tornado had left behind. How do you record the wreckage left in someone's heart?Jersey is a pheonominal protagonist. You can feel her pain, her emotions, her grief, and it's all so wonderful. She's someone you can't help but feel sorry for. Every emotion Jersey feels - the good, the bad, and the ugly - you as a reader feel too.However, I feel that some of the characters - her drunk father, her cousins, her aunt - were almost too mean to be true. It felt almost a bit unreal to me. Jersey is shipped off - after the tornado - to live with her abusive, drunk father who abandoned her when she was young. There, she's treated absolutely horribly by her "family." In a way, there were times when I felt that her treatment was just so mean that it was almost too unreal.All in all, Torn Away is such a powerful and heartbreaking story and I'd highly recommend it. This novel is bound to make you realize how much you truly have in life and how thankful you should be. It reminds you that life is short, and is not something to take lightly.I'm wondering if it's even possible to lose "everything" or if you just have to keep redefining what "everything" is.

  • Nomes
    2019-02-19 21:14

    The set-up, opener and first half of this book is stunning and mesmerising. The storm (hurricane) is captured so powerfully as a massive force of nature and it was brilliant to be in this electrifying and all-encompassing wild weather event alongside our teen MC, Jersey. Who doesn't love a good storm, hey? It wasn't just the storm that drew me in: the writing is nuanced and engaged all my senses. Then there's the storm fall-out. Jersey was alone during the storm and she sets out to see if her mum, sister, step-dad and friends survived. There were a lot of casualties and this was heart-in-your-mouth heartbreaking, to see the wreckage and grief of an entire community. No spoilers here but midway the book changes direction as Jersey's life is turned upside down from the events of the storm and she can no longer live at home so she is sent to live with her estranged maternal grandparents. This is where things fell apart for me. I felt muddled as if I was reading two books ~ one where there is an amazing natural disaster and heartbreaking fall-out. The other (second half) where there was some over-the-top villainous style family issues that had me scratching my head (metaphorically, haha) and disengaging as a reader. The relationships felt bizarre, the characters caricatures with motivations I could not fathom and the pacing and general story arc felt really confusing to me at this point (where was all this headed and what is this book even about!!?!). I wish the book had focused more on Jersey and the storm and picking up the pieces after and not added all these weird family dynamics and theatrics.

  • Abbie
    2019-01-24 18:13

    Torn Away was a sad, but good read!Jersey was a really strong character. Everything she was going through was horrible, so i felt really sorry for her. Her dad and the rest of Jersey's paternal family were awful.I thought her step sisters had a serious attitude problem. When their and Jersey's dad, and the girls mum came into it, you could tell where they got it from! Jersey's other grandparents were really nice though. I could see why Jersey was wary of them, and was being defensive... but she was being a bit too harsh to start with!Overall, slow, but was really good.I'm looking forward to reading the authors other books!

  • prettybooks
    2019-02-04 19:33

    12/20Une catastrophe naturelle qui emporte tout sur son passage, voilà de quoi parle Tornade. Cet évènement va changer la vie de Jersey qui va devoir se battre pour être acceptée, pour retrouver une vie normale. J’ai été touchée par cette jeune fille et par ce qu’elle traverse mais bien trop souvent agacée par tous les personnages qui gravitent autour d’elle. Pas encore entièrement convaincue par les romans de Jennifer Brown.Ma chronique :

  • Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
    2019-01-27 21:22

    Heart-breaking and tragic, Jersey goes through so much pain and loss that you couldn't blame her at all. Understanding what it means to lose "everything" is something she tries to understand. I can't even imagine having to go through tornado warnings on a daily basis. How terribly frightening. This is a must-read if you're looking for a realistic read.

  • Yonaily
    2019-02-17 16:18

    Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad writing.

  • Bailey
    2019-01-27 15:16

    Growing up, we were taught over and over again what steps to take in case of an approaching tornado. Listen for sirens, go to your basement or cellar, or a closet in the center of your house, duck and cover, wait it out. We had drills twice a year, every year, in school. We talked about it in class. We talked about it at home. The newscasters reminded us. We went to the basement. We practiced, practiced, practiced.But we'd never-not once-discussed what to do after.-JerseyRating: 4 1/2 StarsJersey is your average teenager, going through life just like anyone else her age. Living with her mother, step-father, and half sister, it is safe to say that she is fairly comfortable. Marin is her little sister (born of her step-father, Ronnie, a man who never truly opened up to or acknowledged Jersey). From the start, their mother absolutely refused to let her daughters see themselves in any other light than true sisters, a philosophy that they quickly picked up on and stuck with, but while Ronnie may be the lovable baby of the family, Jersey still has a hard time putting up with her when she is constantly bothered to dance with her or pay attention to Marin's demanding presence. All Jersey wants to do is sit around, watch television, do homework, hang out with friends, and avoid dancing with Marin. Little does she know, life and those in it shouldn't be taken for granted when you never know who is ensured tomorrow.Living in an area of the United States forever known for its tornado warnings, there has never been a real or truly formed danger. Sirens are always going off, warning of possible tornadoes that may or may not lead to disaster, and they have yet to lead to fruition. Incessantly hearing them, it seems like a boy calling wolf more than he should. When Marin and her mother go off to the young girl's weekly dance class, Jersey is left alone like usual. Ronnie is off at work, and Jersey's friends are busy. Making herself some dinner, the tornado sirens monotonously go off once again. Even though she's tempted to ignore them, she goes down to the basement as usual, expecting them to go retire soon like the other ones before it. However, this is not the case. Winds pick up, a storm brews, and a tornado touches down. It travels past her very street, ripping her house from its very foundation. Scared and bleeding from the swirling objects that are on the move, she cowers under the pool table, wishing for this horrible monstrosity to be over. No one ever expected this to happen. No one could believe what was going on, but then as soon as it started, this nightmare finally ended. Frightened, hurt, and in shock, Jersey climbs her way up the basement stairs into a field of disarray. Her home is in ruins, family treasures either broken, blown away, or missing. The only thing she finds of value is Marin's special purse that their mother gave her after she got tired of it. Jersey knows that Marin keeps all of her special mementos and treasures in it, including a stick of their mother's lipstick (the tip still pointy) and a collection of gum. Marin made a stern promise with herself to never use these things except on special occasions. They meant the world to her, but she was nowhere in sight. Jersey's mind reels with the possibilities of the dangers bestowed upon her family. They had to be safe right? They just had to be. Nothing could hurt them. This shouldn't have happened. This was an impossible occurrence, a freak accident that should not have happened.Her neighbor and long time friend, Kolby, meet up and stare in blind wonderment at the tornado's after effects. Together, the entire neighborhood clings together and begins to search for people in their ruins. Jersey, too shocked to do anything, sits through it all and is washed by the newly falling drizzle from the dreaded sky. Soon enough, bodies are found, both dead and alive. Surviving in her devastated home for several days, rarely going out to do anything, Ronnie suddenly returns home. Neither of them can believe that the other is alive. Still not having heard from Marin or her mother, she asks about them. Ronnie finally tells her that there're dead. This blow is barely a register to the storm. Her daze makes it seem so surreal."I could see it from the road," he told me, the two of us sitting in shadows in our motel room. Neither of us had bothered to turn on the light. Neither of us would bother to turn it on for the whole next day, either. I think we were each afraid to see the other, afraid that our brokenness would become contagious if we shined light on it. "I've seen videos of tornadoes before, but, Jersey, I've never seen anything like this. It was huge. Had all these little tornadoes circling it, too. The thing was so big it looked like it could swallow the whole world."IT DID, I thought. IT SWALLOWED MY WHOLE WORLD.Jersey was just a part of the package that Ronnie had to accept if he wanted to marry the woman he loved, a child that he didn't father. His mental breakdown after all that he cherished is gone as as a result of the tornado, which doesn't include Jersey, leads him to get rid of her. He says that he isn't fit for the job. He just can't look at her anymore. Yet again shocked, Jersey pleads with him to let her stay with him. She has no where to go. He's the only familiar thing she knows. One of her friends is missing while the other can't help her, and Kolby left with his family for a safer location. Then, she gets told the truth. He set up an arrangement for her to live with her father, a man who was absent in her life from the beginning. This unexpected news leads to quick resentment. How did Ronnie have the right to dictate her life? She lost everything, and he was throwing her away. Meeting her father's parents, her father and his wife, and the rest of his family proves to be much more than she can handle. The truth is, most of them are just not nice folks. Being bounced from person to person, Jersey feels horrible. No one she loves is around. Countless people are telling her the same thing over and over again, "I'm so sorry." To make matters worse, her father and his family, now her family, are supposed to love her, but the reality of her situation mirrors just the opposite. They're nasty people who treat her like dirt. What's Jersey supposed to do with no family, no love, and no hope?Torn Away is now one of my favorite contemporary novels. It was beautifully written and executed perfectly. Every emotion that Jersey was going through was so easily felt and acknowledged by the reader. I was practically in tears by the point where she was attempting to go her mother and sister's funerals. Jersey simply wanted to tell them goodbye, but no one would let her.I realized that the worst part of someone you love dying suddenly isn't the saying good-bye part. It's the part where you wonder if they knew how much you loved them. It's the part where you hope you said and did enough good stuff to make up for the bad stuff. It's the part where there are no second chances, no going back, no more opportunities to tell them how you feel about them. -JerseyI was extremely shocked by this novel. I've always wanted to read Jennifer Brown's Hate List but haven't yet been able to do so. I really need to get my hands on a copy of it! However, when I saw this book staring me in the face, I absolutely had to pick it up. The cover was so stunning and beautiful that I couldn't help myself or even think of resisting. Then I noticed that it was written by Jennifer Brown herself, an added bonus. (Happy dance.) In the end, I'm so glad that I did. It was simply amazing and the story inside is just as beautiful as the cover art. It's message rang true, and I felt for Jersey so deeply. When she finally arrived at her grandparents' house, the area where all of their children still lived (including her father), was such a roller coaster. I have to admit, I was quite surprised by how they acted towards her, but I suppose that was to be expected. Drunken, unreliable, and destructive, her father came to her and told her that he would never love her. He wasn't her daughter, and he would never be her father. I was hit by devastation after devastation with this novel. I loved it yet wanted to chuck it against the wall. I felt so frustrated for Jersey. How could all of these people care so little for her? Couldn't they see she was hurting?!Jersey alone was an amazing character. The ups and downs she went through, her character development by the start of the tornado to the end was so lovely to see, and what really stuck with me was her devotion to Marin's memory. Before she left for her mother's home, she took Marin's purse with the lipstick and the gum in it. Eating a piece of gun every once in a while, she wrote down an important aspect or memory of Marin on the wrapper. She stored all of these mementos in a pocket of the purse, keeping them so that she would never forget. If only she had danced with her once, like Marin wanted. My heart was broken and mended all due to this single book. While I was tempted to give Torn Away a four star rating, I couldn't bring myself to do it. While I struggled with this, I finally decided that the reason behind this novel and its thought provoking theme/question that we are presented with throughout its entirety was a gem of its own. It had to be given a little more credit than that. I loved it: What does it mean to lose everything? When is hope truly gone? Can it ever really disappear? If you lose your house, your possessions, and loved ones, does that mean you have nothing left? Can there be someone out there caring for you still? Can you really just give up on yourself? This was what Torn Away was all about. Jersey was the embodiment of these hard hitting questions. Perhaps she's right. Maybe there is a relief in the known, even if the known is ugly, or maybe the ugly can be turned into something stunningly beautiful. You can see reviews like this one and more at

  • Nemo
    2019-01-27 17:13

    For an Edited review go to:Blame it on the Book In celebration of the Into the Storm coming out Friday I decided to finally read Torn Away to prepare my mind for storms and turmoil. I should have read other peoples review BEFORE I started, then I would have been warned of how it would break my heart. I was expecting tornadoes and suspense and while there was a tornado there wasn’t a lot of suspense.The story starts off with a strong premonition that something awful was going to happen. We see everything from Jersey’s point of view and she starts to talk about how the Midwest weather was bipolar and how they get used to listening to the Tornado Sirens. Even though I lived in the Midwest for a whole year I never got used to the sirens, they were terrifying all 7 times it happened. I should also note that not once did a tornado come through the city I was in. "Hardly anyone ever did, though, Midwest weather was crazy, after all, and half the time too crazy to really predict. We'd all learned to ignore the warnings. For Jersey, it was a different story after the tremendous loss she went through, she didn’t find a paradise with her estranged father, instead she found the hillbillies from hell with the wicked sisters included. They went as far as to leave the poor girl sleeping in a porch! If that wasn’t enough to make her break down, she had always thought her father had reached out to her by sending her a birthday present and he not only denied it but said he’d never accept her as his real daughter. After hitting rock bottom, you’d think it couldn’t get worse for poor Jersey… but it does."I'd gone from cooking dinner for my family to sleeping alone on a porch in little more than a month. My life no longer felt like mine."She tries to run away and leave her “family” but her best friend tricks her and she ends up with her grandparents who had disowned her mother and she had never met before. Now I’m not sure what would be harder, living with people who hated you or living with someone who had betrayed you. Throughout this whole time Jersey still hadn’t had a chance to mourn for her lost family and the life she used to have. Little by little, she gets a chance to deal with what happened and she starts to realize that her mother was not perfect, and she had her faults, that didn’t mean that she was betraying her mother, just that she was moving on.It wasn’t until about 90% that Jersey finally got the closure she needed. Although this was an emotionally taxing book, it didn’t take long to read. I was able to read it in about 2 hours because I didn’t want to stop reading until I found out what happened to Jersey.Even though there are other characters who were also affected by the Tornado. For example there’s her next door neighbor, Kolby. He got a cut that was infected and had to be in a hospital for months while the infection left his body and the skin graft settled. Her stepfather Ronnie had lost both his wife and his daughter at the same time, with no one left to help him.The ending was definitely my favorite thing because it ends on a happy note. Jersey still has family, however, strange and she is able to get back to some normalcy after everything that happened. We get to see that she’ll be able to move on. It was a bittersweet ending. What I hadn't realized while reading was that it was the same author as the Hate List and Thousand Word, which is another emotionally destroying books. If I had realized that, I probably would have been better prepared for reading Torn Away.Overall this was such a fantastic read about tragedy and learning how to continue through life. This was not a light read, it was heartbreaking, but Jersey was such a wonderful Main Character you’ll be rooting for her the whole time.