Brown, Jennifer. Torn Away. New York: Little, Brown, 2014.
Jersey's world is torn apart when a tornado rips through her Missouri town, taking away the only family she has ever known. The fatality toll is high for such a small town, and school ends early because the school is also destroyed. Jersey and her friends survive the first couple of days until her stepfather finds her and takes her to a hotel, but he's devastated by the loss of his wife and daughter and can't cope with it all. I don't want to say too much about the rest of the plot for fear of revealing spoilers. The first part of the story is probably essential but it is slow and hard to get into. After Jersey's life begins to drastically change, this novel turns into a real tear-jerker. It leaves the reader wanting to know more about what happened to Jersey during her senior year. The ending certainly makes it possible for the author to create a sequel that can tie up some of the things that may not have been fully resolved while exploring a slightly different theme. It's a book that many teens will enjoy reading and can certainly be used to explore themes relating to grief and disaster. I received an Advance Reading Copy of this title through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program with the expectation that a review would be written.
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