Categories: Book Reviews

Book Review: Save Yourself, Kelly Braffet

Save Yourself opening line: Patrick worked the day shift at Zoney’s GoMart one Wednesday a month: sealed into the vacuum-packed chill behind the convenience store’s dirty plate-glass windows, watching cars zoom by on the highway while he stood still.

Save Yourself
Save Yourself

When Patrick Cusimano’s alcoholic father kills a child in a hit-and-run, Patrick is faced with a terrible choice: turn his father in – destroying what’s left of his family in the process – or keep quiet. But can Patrick’s brother, Mike, live with the choice that was made that night? Layla Elshere was once a poster girl for purity. But when her evangelical father forces her to spearhead a campaign against her school, it compels her to question everything she’s ever known. Now Layla is doing all she can to obliterate her past. Verna loves her older sister Layla, but as events begin to spiral, Verna must make the hardest choice: save the person she loves most in the world – or save herself. Save Yourself is a stunning novel about power struggles and divided loyalties, and the way in which one terrible decision can alter the whole course of your life.

What will you do to save yourself, and the one you love. Would you kill, report a killer or be killed? This book explores the world of very ordinary people whose lives converge because a child was killed. It deals with the horror of mental abuse, self mutilation, religious fervour and all-around stupor. It shows us that people, and even more so, teenagers, can be extremely cruel, that morals are only as good as the person who believes in them, and that actions have consequences.

I found parts of this book really good and interesting, and others not so much. The theme running through the book made it an OK read, but not an author I would keep my eye out for. The book took 5 years to write and I wonder if that length of time had an impact on how the story was told? I did not enjoy how the same day was covered from different perspectives as there was no continuation in the flow of the story. It took a few sentences for me to realize that the author had gone back in time by a few hours.

That being said, the story was good, but nothing special and I enjoyed the book enough to read it from cover to cover. Having studied Psychology, the mental issue themes were quite interesting.

First published in the United States by Crown Publishers in 2013

ISBN 978-1-78239-323-8

Paperback – 310 pages

Disclosurer: I was sent the book to review by Penguin Books South Africa. I was not required to write a positive review. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

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I am passionate about using regional, seasonable and sustainable produce when I cook. I live in Gordons Bay with my husband and dogs. Dave and I are busy building a house which is an adventure all in itself. Each year we visit a new place overseas to experience the food of the area. Follow along on our adventures!

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