Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Minute Reviews: Split by Swati Avasthi

Split by Swati Avasthi

This one was an early favorite of ours, it got passed around from librarian to librarian and also to our TAB high school students to almost unanimously positive reviews. How it never ended up here before is a mystery!

Jace Witherspoon is behind the wheel, leaving behind his parents, his girlfriend, his school with less than five dollars in his pocket. He's on his way to crash the pad of a brother who he hasn't made contact with him or his family since he left for college.

Christian, Jace's brother, has tried to make a clean break from his old life. His father was the kind of person who you'd want to forget, even if the scars he left didn't fade completely. When Jace shows up looking for the same deal that Christian has been trying to make, it becomes clear that it's not so easy to leave your past behind.

The characters in this book are extremely compelling. Ms. Avasthi used to work with victims of domestic abuse and her real life interactions have led to a story where every person in it rings true. Jace and Christian are both trying to shake off all the parts of themselves that resemble their father. Jace has an especially difficult time because he recognizes so much of his father in him. This book turns the idea of "like father, like son" on it's head and really makes you think about what happens when one of your main role models is a a seriously bad influence.

If you like your realistic fiction to be on the gritty side, this is a fantastic book by a first time author. I am seriously looking forward to her upcoming release, Bidden.

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