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Split by Swati Avasthi
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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Paperback out already
  Kristymk18 | Nov 12, 2015 |
A young adult book about a father who abused his family and how they came to escape. Jace, the main character, leaves years after his older brother, but still manages to track him down. They live together and try to get along and get through the childhood they've left behind. Jace struggles to adjust to a new high school and come to terms with the girlfriend he left behind. The book has a good pace of revealing things that happened, and the ending is realistic and not rushed. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
The sad tale of domestic abuse is told in this dramatic story of two brothers, who have been mercilessly beaten by their father over a period of years, trying to come to grips with their past so they can have a future. Along the way, they need to learn how to forgive their mother who has endured her own share of abuse for 25 years, and accept that she needs to make her own decisions about her future. ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
I was expecting to enjoy this story very much, mainly because of all the awards it has won. Perhaps my expectations were too high.

While the plot was strong (with a few unbelievable details, granted), there were a few things about this book which put me off. The first is that Jace doesn't come across as a young man to me; he comes across as a 30 year old woman:

'I look into Christian's blue eyes. He's leaning forward, his hands together, watching me.' (These guys are brothers, not lovers ffs.)

'I look at the bare yellow walls; they are nothing but potential.' (He says, with a penchant for home decorating)

He drinks coffee like a thirty year old executive. Where I come from, sixteen year old boys are drinking coke, not coffee. Maybe it's an American thing.

Also, what sort of judge calls his kid 'Jace'? Where I come from, judges call their kids 'Victor' or 'Hugo' or 'Charles'. I could almost believe the mother chose it, since she was reportedly from a lower class background, but I can't believe that woman got any say in anything.

Plus I didn't even like Jace. I can't warm to thieves. I can sympathise to a point with a kid who has anger management issues and bashes his girlfriend, but I can't empathise with a thief when he's had no modelling for that.

I'm reading a lot of reviews which praise the writing, but I'm not a fan. First, I think you have to have a very strong voice to pull off first person present narration, otherwise that choice can make it seem like you're making up for lack of original voice in your own right, almost like forcing immediacy on the reader.

Also, after a while the descriptions of body language in between the dialogue really began to irritate me. I just wanted conversations to be conversations, without that writerly way of breaking up chunks of dialogue with beats:

(from p134)

...interior monologue...

He picks up a piece of gravel and throws it. He collects a handful of pebbles and starts tossing them over the edge one by one.

talk talk...

His mouth turns down.

talk talk...

He looks down at the rock floor and then tosses another pebble over.

talk talk...

He stands up, and this time looks after the pebble as he drops it.

talk talk

He snorts. I collect my own handful of gravel, scooping out the broken bits from a divot in the rock floor. I stand up next to him and watch the balloons.

talk talk...

I talk a breath and then go ahead and...

(You get the picture.)

Also, you can only get away with 'He glances at me aslant' once per novel.

This is the second YA novel I've read recently in which 16 year olds come across as 23 year old men. The other was The Secret Year, in which the sixteen year old narrator has been having sex with girls for years, not months:

"Did I tell you about the game?" I'm suddenly a tongue-tied geeky thirteen-year-old who is asking a girl out for the first time.

Hell, has Jace been honing his wayz-wid-da-wimmen since he was 13? Really?

I feel so old. And inexperienced. ( )
  LynleyS | Feb 8, 2014 |
I've never read a book quite like this one, it was strangely different, in a good way. It kept me reading, because the plot was exciting and well thought out, it could have been executed better though. ( )
  Victoria22 | May 5, 2013 |
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This book is dedicated to my parents, Pushpa and Pratap S. Avasthi. All my life, they've given me seeds, water, and sunshine. Then they waited patiently to see what I might grow.
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Now I have to start lying.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375863400, Hardcover)

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? Readers won’t be able to put this intense page-turner down.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A teenaged boy thrown out of his house by his abusive father goes to live with his older brother, who ran away from home years ago to escape the abuse.

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