Friday, June 13, 2014

Save Yourself



Patrick Cusimano is in a bad way. His father is in jail, he works the midnight shift at a grubby convenience store, and his brother's girlfriend, Caro, has taken their friendship to an uncomfortable new level. On top of all that, he can't quite shake the attentions of Layla Elshere, a goth teenager who befriends Patrick for reasons he doesn't understand and doesn't fully trust. The temptations these two women offer are pushing him to his breaking point.

Meanwhile, Layla's little sister, Verna, is suffering through her first year of high school. She's become a prime target for her cruel classmates, not just because of her strange name and her fundamentalist parents: Layla's bad-girl rep proves to be too huge a shadow for Verna, so she falls in with her sister's circle of outcasts and misfits whose world is far darker than she ever imagined.

Kelly Braffet's characters, indelibly portrayed and richly varied, are all on their own twisted paths to finding peace. The result is a novel of unnerving power-darkly compelling, addictively written, and shockingly honest
Patrick Cusimano is in a bad way. His father is in jail, he works the midnight shift at a grubby convenience store, and his brother's girlfriend, Caro, has taken their friendship to an uncomfortable new level. On top of all that, he can't quite shake the attentions of Layla Elshere, a goth teenager who befriends Patrick for reasons he doesn't understand and doesn't fully trust. The temptations these two women offer are pushing him to his breaking point.

Meanwhile, Layla's little sister, Verna, is suffering through her first year of high school. She's become a prime target for her cruel classmates, not just because of her strange name and her fundamentalist parents: Layla's bad-girl rep proves to be too huge a shadow for Verna, so she falls in with her sister's circle of outcasts and misfits whose world is far darker than she ever imagined.

Kelly Braffet's characters, indelibly portrayed and richly varied, are all on their own twisted paths to finding peace. The result is a novel of unnerving power-darkly compelling, addictively written, and shockingly honest

~My Impressions~ 

Save Yourself is a dark, tragic, heartfelt book that is hard to read, yet hard to put down once you pick it up. The characters are so real: damaged and broken  but longing for something better. To fit in and to be loved, yet feeling so unworthy of any of it that its heartbreaking and depressing to read.

The story is told mostly through two separate viewpoints,alternating chapters. The first is from Patrick Cusimano’s.  Patrick's life is complicated to say the least. He is in his 20's and feels regret for turning in his father to police after his father killed a young boy while drinking and driving. Because of this his brother, Micheal, holds deep resentment, believing that if Patrick never called the police their lives woule have been different and better. The rest of the town hates Patrick because the young boy was loved by everyone and because he waited 19 hours before calling the police.

Patrick on the other hand hates himself. He hates that he had to turn his dad in, he hates that he is the one that found the little tooth and hairs in his dads car, he basically hates his life since the incident. The only thing he does not seem to hate is his  job as a clerk at a convenience store. Patrick's life continues to complicate itself when he becomes sexually involved with a 17 year old goth girl named Layla takes a liking to him that borders on obsession. To make matters worse he is also sleeping with his brothers girlfriend Caro and is starting to fall in love with her.

The other view point is told by Layla's younger sister, Verna who is around 14. Layla and Varna were raised in a religious home and were both avid believers and activists. That is until their father Jeff waged a campaign war against the sex education teacher who was well loved and related to most of the town costing her her job and in turn turning that town against all Elshere's. this created a wake of bullying in the schools toward both Verna and Layla. Layla found refuge in the goth world, after a group of girls set her hair on fire. 

Verna on the other hand struggles to find her place since starting high school. She finds herself pulled between the goth scene her sister is drawing her into and her religion, love of God and parents. No matter what decision she makes she feels like an outcast.
 

Save Yourself is wonderfully wrote, although it makes you want to scream and toss the book across the room. Mainly because it seems like the characters have a deep desire to change, but are unwilling to do anything to help themselves change the situation.Even the adults are taking advantage of the teens The book is hard to recommend though. its filled with bombings, self harm, underage sex,  cult/demonic situations, co-dependance issues, love, betrayal, destruction upon destruction, bad lifestyle choices, control etc. Its very dark and the ending really does not lighten anything up. 




Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Bloggingforbooks review program in exchange for my review and opinion. 



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