Monday, August 26, 2013

Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet

Good morning, readers, and happy Monday! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Kelly Braffet's Save Yourself.

Layla and Verna grew up under their minister father's thumb. Their parents want what's best for them, but as the girls both grow older it becomes harder and harder to live the lives they've been raised to live. Just a year ago, poster child Layla completely changed. She dyed her hair and fell in with a new crowd, coincidentally around the time her family fronted a protest against one of the school's most popular teachers. Now it's Verna's turn. As a new student at the local high school, she quickly learns that outside her father's prayer circle her family is not at all well liked, something Patrick Cusimano can sympathize with. 

Patrick's father is serving time after killing a young boy in a hit and run. Patrick was the one who turned him in, but none of that matters. Patrick and his brother now live in the tarnished shadow cast by their father's actions. The two have come under scrutiny and even threat as a result, but Patrick is the one who still feels guilty. His path collides with Layla's as both families begin a terrible downward spiral.

I'm kind of amazed with this book. First, every character in here is messed up. The whole story is messed up! In fact, it starts messed up and it just snowballs from there. From the outset, there's this impending sense of doom - you don't know when it's coming or how it's coming, but you know that everyone in this book is destined for something terrible!

Braffet builds this story with the pacing and tension of a thriller. I was sucked in and, in spite of the fact that I knew nothing good would come of anyone's actions (or maybe because of it), I could not put the book down. In fact, I wished I could step into the pages and give each of the characters a good shake! I can only sum it up by saying that Save Yourself was frustrating and it was utterly gripping.

It was also a little scary. I think Braffet so perfectly illustrates how easy it is for anyone to fall. How tenuous a grip we all have. Everyone has a breaking point and this book begins with each character nearing or having just reached theirs. They each have a chance to redeem themselves and make things right, but the tension comes in whether they will take that opportunity or not. And as frustrated as I was, I truly ached for these characters.

Rating: 4/5

To see more stops on the tour, be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Kelly Braffet and her work, visit her website at www.kellybraffet.com. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.


Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Yes! I find it hard to describe how entrancing this novel is. One of my favorites of August!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Wow, it sounds like this one is a real page turner!

Thanks for being on the tour.