Saturday, June 15, 2013

ARC Review: Save Yourself- Kelly Braffet

Goodreads Synopsis

SAVE YOURSELF has the narrative flair of Gillian Flynn and Adam Ross, the scruffy appeal of Donald Ray Pollock, and the addictiveness of Breaking Bad.

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.

My review

**I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

When I interpreted the synopsis I derived some theories on how the book might be. But I certainly wasn’t expecting what Kelly Braffet dished out in Save Yourself. I am in two minds about the book. On one hand I liked the characterization, the writing style and the way the author captured the barrage of emotions so inimitably; and on the other hand the ending left something to be desired and some of the things were majorly creeptastic.

A look at the dysfunctional crew of the book:-

1. Patrick- the pessimist. After packing off his own Dad to jail, being unjustly condemned by the society, losing his job, falling for his brother’s girl and getting involved with a minor, he just wants out. Can’t say I blame the guy…

2. Layla- the gothic teenager on the road to self destruction. Her hobbies include stalking random strangers, giving blow jobs to every other person she meets, getting sliced up by her psycho boyfriend, drinking his blood and so on and so-forth. So not only is she in some really deep shit, she is also attempting vampirization!

3. Caro- the adulterous daughter of a schizophrenic mother with some serious issues. She is looking for stability in life, something that she lost once her mother started talking to non-existent wall-gnomes.

4. Verna- the initially proverbial good girl. Tortured by peers for being the daughter of the man who waged war against sex-ed being taught in schools, she becomes the butt of cruel jokes and not-so-harmless pranks. She finds temporary solace with her sister and her misfit friends only to realize a while later that they are freakin’ crazy.

5. Justinian- the Satanist. He is fond of bloodletting and gives serious competition to the American Psycho. Enough said.

The characterization was pretty awesome. Each person’s pain and frustration could actually be felt beyond the pages of the book. Kelly Braffet flawlessly manages to portray the angst of a teenager tortured by her peers, a man shunned by the society for a crime he didn’t commit, a young girl looking for reason and rationality and the hypocrisy and general cruelty of the society. Loved the writing style- sometimes aloof, sometimes angsty, most of the time creepy….

The plot and ending though were a bit of a let down. The end was painfully ambiguous. 

Did Verna recover from The Great Apocalyptic Showdown?
What happens to her parents?
What becomes of the woefully wronged Mike?
These are some of the unanswered questions that have been bugging me ever since I finished the book. 

All in all a good read, in a gives-you-the-bad-kind-of-Goosebumps kind of way.

Rating:- 3/5 stars!

No comments:

Post a Comment