Friday, August 16, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Save Yourself by Kelly Braffett

Title: Save Yourself
Author: Kelly Braffett
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Release Date: August 6/2013
Adquired: Ecopy provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

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.


From Goodreads: "SAVE YOURSELF has the narrative flair of Gillian Flynn..." That's it. STOP RIGHT THERE. Those are the only two words you need to mention to get me to read any book, ANY.BOOK. Therefore, it is without question that I went into Save Yourself with some seriously high expectations.

There wasn't a disappointed bone in my body.

I wouldn't exactly rank it on the level of Gillian's unbelievably brilliant talent for psychological writing, but Kelly Braffett is definitely in the beginning stages of something amazing. I was feeling things within the first 80 pages that most books take 200 to make me feel. The characters were raw from the first word of description, from the moment they opened their mouths to start their frist dialogue. Even five word sentences stirred something within me. At times I felt like the characters were trying too hard, were overly cliche, but then that very fact would be pointed out in a scene, and I was thrown into awe at the author's ability to be realistic.

Layla (that name, love) was the loudest voice in Save Yourself, literally, emotionally, and physically. She was bitterly rebellious, and at the best and worse of times, the most vunerable. I completely attached myself to her, though I eventually grew intensely connected to each main character in turn. Patrick was, oh man, I can't even take you to the place in my head that Partick occupied. I'm sitting here typing this, and I can still feel Patrick's story in my gut. I related most to his path of destruction, felt his pain the deepest. The villians in Save Yourself were the kind you didn't know how to lash out at, they were the kind you desperately clung to, and become irreversibly changed by, without even knowing it, without even realizing that you were confusing intent and action, wanting to believe that your reality was the most true kind.

I can attempt some more poetic descriptions of this book, but all of the poetry lies within it's pages, within a story that I won't soon be rid of in my head. Kelly Braffet is definitely a new author to watch, and I will be, without a doubt, be devouring every.single.thing she puts out into the world.

Recommended for Fans of: Gillian Flynn, Dark Fiction, Contemporary, Controversial Themes.


Kelly Braffet is the author of the novel Save Yourself, forthcoming in August 2013 from Crown Publishing. Her previous works include the novels Josie and Jack and Last Seen Leaving, and her writing has been published in The Fairy Tale Review, Post Road, and several anthologies. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University and currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, the author Owen King.

Her likes include caramel, soft furry things, and things with stripes. Her dislikes include snow days, passion fruit, and having her blood pressure taken. (Seriously, when they put the cuff on your arm, and it gets all tight, and you just know that deep inside your muscles there are veins and arteries going, “Hey, where’s our blood, we need that for living?” That is super, super creepy.)

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Thank-you to Lisa from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to Crown Publishing for sending me a an ecopy via Edelweiss to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it's hard to meet those high expectations let alone to exceed them! Sounds like this was a fantastic read for sure!

    Thanks for being on the tour.


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