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The Way Back from Broken (Fiction - Young…

The Way Back from Broken (Fiction - Young Adult)

by Amber J. Keyser

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Fifteen-year-old Rakmen’s baby sister died in his arms from an undiagnosed heart murmur. Awash with grief, his parents blame him and each other. His mother begins attending therapy sessions at Promise House, a place that promises to help grief filled; broken parents recover from the loss of their children.

As the broken brother of a lost sister, Rakmen is forced to attend the children’s sessions where he meets nine (or ten) year-old Jacey. Her baby brother was stillborn, throwing her mother (Rakmen’s teacher, Mrs. Tatlas) into a dangerously fragile mindset, and causing Jacey to wonder why she’d been robbed of the opportunity to become a big sister.

For some unknown reason, and to his eternal displeasure, Jacey becomes very attached to Rakmen. Mrs. Tatlas suggests they travel together to her uncle’s cabin in Canada for some R & R so, without any pushback from his parents, the three of them head to the wilderness. When an accident happens, it is up to Rakmen and Jacey to learn to work together to save all their lives.

I couldn’t really get into this book. I found it strange that Rakmen’s parents would let him go off for the entire summer with a perfect stranger, even though she was his teacher. Also, Jacey was supposed to be nine or ten, yet she acted more like six or seven. There were a few other issues, including grammatical errors scattered throughout so, overall, it wasn’t a win for me.

I’ll leave it up to you 14 and older readers to decide if you want to read it or not.

Book review link: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/the-way-back-from-broken-amber-j-keyser/ ( )
  sunshinealma | Apr 22, 2017 |
The Way Back From Broken captures the pain, bewilderment and betrayal felt when a younger sibling dies. Two children, Rakman and Jacey, each of whom has experienced the death of a sibling, end up taking a canoe trip with Jacey's mom who just happens to be Rakman's high school science teacher, and who is grieving her still born son. She injures herself, and the two children must make the four day trip back to civilization to get help for Mrs. Tatlas. Although the content deals with the heartbreaking topic of death of young children, the tale is not depressing and contains seemingly authentic descriptions of the feelings of the surviving children. Much of their canoe journey is metaphoric for having the courage to continue on. I was able to read this through an advance digital copy provided by Net Gallery. One warning is that early on in the story there is reference to a friend who wants to get laid, and the language is a bit rough in places, so it is probably best read by those who are older. ( )
  JRlibrary | Aug 6, 2015 |
Fifteen-year-old Rakman and his family are devastated when his infant sister, Dora, dies in his arms. Everyone processes the death differently. While his father, a nurse, uses alcohol and avoidance, Rakman and his mother attend therapy sessions at Promise House. But attending the support group, talking, and writing in his journal doesn’t change the way Rakman feels: guilty. His grades plummet and after a brawl that leaves him bloodied and with a broken rib, his parents decide to ship him off on “vacation” with a ten-year-old girl and her mother—Rakman’s high school science teacher, Mrs. Tatlas, who is grieving her still born son. The camping trip goes from bad, an infestation of mice, to worse, when the plumbing explodes and floods the cabin. Mrs. Tatlas snaps and drags the two children Au large through the Canadian wilderness.

Keyser’s debut novel is an emotional journey through the grieving process, seen from a variety of perspectives. Rakman, and his side-kick, Jacey, are likable protagonists who struggle to survive the extreme mental and physical challenges thrown in their paths ( )
  kimpiddington | Aug 6, 2015 |
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"After losing his infant sister, Rakmen's family is devastated. While his parents figure things out, they send Rakmen on a camping trip in the Canadian wilderness with another grieving family. Rakmen is far from thrilled about the trip, and he has to decide whether it's too late to find his way back from broken"--… (more)

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