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?
This book was surprisingly a lot more than I expected it to be and not what I expected it to be as well. I guess I have been reading so much fantasy, science fiction stuff lately that I didn’t expect something so very realistic and tough. This book is so well-written and the author can say so much with a sentence of so few words. The words are strong and stir up so much, whether you read it or listen to it. The author captures the ugliness of domestic violence in the pages and then pours empathy throughout your body with the words. It hurts you, too, not just the characters, and you are there for every bit of Jace’s struggle. The title has so many meanings, it’s hard to keep count.
I am not going to lie, this book deals with a very difficult subject, and as I was listening to it, there were parts where it was hard to keep listening because I wanted to just turn it off and try to wipe the ugly picture from my head. It makes you mad, and breaks your heart, and gives you hope. I wanted to hit Jace, I wanted to tell him everything was going to be ok, and I wanted to hug him. His brother Christian doesn’t make things much easier for him at first, but luckily he opens up about things slowly. I really liked Miriam because she is the character who wants to be there for you no matter what and keeps believing that everything will be ok, even if it may take a lot of time and she never gives up.
There is so much substance to this novel. It’s so thickly wrapped with so much, it is almost a tangible thing. The author did a superb job showing the characters’ emotions and the reactions they had were incredibly realistic. Everyone in the book felt like a real person. If I were to go to Albequrque right now, I would expect to see them there. And speaking of Albequrque, the way the story read, I think the author may have been there before. I went there in about 2008, and I recognized some things in the book that was familiar with this area of New Mexico, like the weather. It was funny when they rode the tram because I could say “Hey! I’ve done that, too!” I recommend this book for people who can read about tough topics and like powerful and moving novels. This is my first “issue” book I’ve read, and I really have no negatives for this book.
A dynamic story, awakening to the subject, realistic, strong writing, intense, I can’t find anything negative from my point.