Friday, July 25, 2014

Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet

3.5 Stars

"Families were like oceans. You never knew what was under the surface, in the parts you hadn't seen."

The Cusimano family consists of brothers Patrick and Mike (whose greatest claim to fame is having an incarcerated father who was jailed for killing a little boy while driving drunk), and Mike’s live-in girlfriend, Caro. The Elshere family is comprised of sisters Layla and Verna and their “God Warrior” parents. When Layla begins pseudo-stalking Patrick, the two families’ paths will cross in some very twisted ways.

I’m going to blame the blurb for making me drop the rating a bit on this one. Once again, this is not comparable to anything by Gillian Flynn. Flynn makes you buckle up on Page 1 in order to take you on a rollercoaster ride of mindtrips that will leave you reeling months after you’ve finished her stories. This book will not do that.

If I had to choose an author to compare Braffet to, it would be S.E. Hinton. Save Yourself is a book that could potentially have been categorized as a YA and would easily be banned from schools if it were, just like Hinton’s stories. The subject matter was current and relevant and the main characters were people you really wanted to route for, but realized early on they might not be able to be saved.

This book has no mystery to solve and the characters you hate are characters you are supposed to hate. It's just about life . . . No, not even that – it’s just about existing. It’s about being poor and from f*&^%d up families and being bullied (real bullying that makes you contemplate suicide) and probably having a case of some seriously untreated PTSD due to your upbringing and repeating the past and having no future to look forward to. It’s bleak and it’s written with a brutal honesty that hits you like a punch to the gut and makes it hard to regain your breath.

And to top it all off, you won’t really feel better at the end.

"Life shouldn't be so fucking hard, you shouldn't have to give so fucking much up."

At most, you can only hope that the Cusimanos and Elsheres somehow find a way to "stay gold" . . .

This book was provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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