Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 2 of blog tour redux

On the second day of the blog tour, my bloggers gave to me:  a review by the kind Corrine!

Reposted here by permission of Corrine at Lost for Words, where she is currently hosting another blog tour for Julia Karr's new release, Truth.

I love this review!  The word that jumps out at me most today is the word "intense" because, as I learned last week, that is the word used most often by my students to describe me.  While I honestly believe that there is a pretty significant difference between authors and their characters, I guess some defining traits will always come through.

Well, of course, I don't *mind* the final line of the review either.

Split - Swati Avasthi - Blog Tour Review

Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret.

He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind—his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret.

At least so far.

Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back. First-time novelist Swati Avasthi has created a riveting and remarkably nuanced portrait of what happens after. After you’ve said enough, after you’ve run, after you’ve made the split—how do you begin to live again? Readers won’t be able to put this intense page-turner down.
(Synopsis taken from goodreads.)

Title: Split
Author: Swati Avasthi
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: March 9, 2010
Source: ARC given to me by Kari. Thanks Kari! This review is part of theTeen Book Scene blog tour.
My rating: 5/5

Split follows the story of two brothers after they have broken away from their abusive home. Christian escaped several years earlier, and now Jace is landing on his doorstep, having just left as well. Jace has finally had enough, and is hoping that he will be welcomed in by his brother, knowing that they both have survived a tumultuous and horrific upbringing. 
Jace is a character that I immediately felt sympathy for. He is a three dimensional character, well rounded, yet broken. He gets good grades, is an excellent soccer player, but he's had a hard life, and is hoping to break the cycle of abuse. He's had his fair share of regrets, but is hoping to learn how to live without fear, pain, or knowing that he could be more like his father than he would like. 
Christian was an intense character as well. It is so hard to define him as he left relatively early on in Jace's life. He is, again, another broken character, picking up the pieces trying to learn how to live a "normal" life, when everything is so far from normal. He does gather favour in my book, when he takes Jace in and tries to establish a home life for Jace. 
Avasthi writes a mesmerizing tale of destructive tendencies, and how one person's actions can and will reverberate through those around them. Splittakes a raw, no holds barred approach to domestic violence, and allows us a glimpse into a world that unfortunately is all too real. The view she gives to us, of Jace, Christian, and their parents, is a haunting and gripping one. We see that things are not necessarily black or white, and it truly is an eye opening experience to realize that for those stuck in the cycle, the unknown could be worse than the reality. 
All in all, a disturbing, but eloquent look at the severity, and secrecy of domestic violence in a person's home. You truly do not know the circumstances of those around you, and to escape from that cycle, and to have to learn to adapt and break the cycle is truly amazing. Statistics dictate that most cannot break the cycle, but it is heartening to realize that above all, people have choices. You define who and what you are, or will become. No one else can take that from you. With that said, everyone should read Split.

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