Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet

Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Categories: Literary, Suspense
Description:

Patrick Cusimano’s life can’t get much worse. His father is in jail, he works the midnight shift at a grubby convenience store, and his brother’s girlfriend, Caro, has pushed their friendship to an uncomfortable new level.  On top of all that, he can’t 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 Patrick 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, and not just because of her strange name and her fundamentalist parents. Layla’s bad-girl rep casts a shadow too heavy for Verna to bear alone, so she falls in with her sister’s tribe of outcasts. But their world is far darker than she ever imagined…

Unless Patrick, Layla, Caro, and Verna can forge their own twisted paths to peace—with themselves, with each other—then they’re stuck on a dangerous collision course where the stakes couldn’t be higher.
My Thoughts:
Messed up families? I’m IN. I’m a reader who digs living vicariously through the screwed-upedness of the literary families I meet. These two families were twisted indeed. The Cusiamo family is in shambles, the Elshere family is a close second.

Save Yourself had a very strong beginning. The story clipped along and the characters were believable. I was enjoying the book a lot…until I wasn’t. All of a sudden a new batch of characters showed up that I found to be shallow cliches. They stank of pure plot device.

The last part of this novel read like an entirely different book than the beginning. It went from a disturbing tale about two families about to collide into an unbelievable weird-fest featuring kids who were too evil to be believe.

While I didn’t personally enjoy the ending of Save Yourself, Kelly Braffet definitely has my attention. She knows how to craft an eccentric story. I believe we’ll be seeing better offerings from her in the future. I, for one, will be waiting to see what she comes up with next.

To see a differing opinion about Save Yourself please read Rory’s wonderful review at Fourth Street Review.

Kelly Braffet is the author of Josie and Jack and Last Seen Leaving. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University, where she receieved her MFA. Kelly lives in upstate New York with her husband, the writer Owen King. Visit her on Twitter or on Facebook.

To visit the rest of the stops on this tour please see TLC Book Tours.

38 thoughts on “Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet

  1. Oh, that's too bad! I feel like I almost always know how I'm going to feel about a book by the time I'm half way through and it is just the worst when something happens in the last half to make you change your mind about a book being awesome. Hopefully she'll write something you like better in the future 🙂

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  2. I was initially intrigued by the cover of this novel, but she sounds like she has some potential as an author as well. Will probably check this one out from the library!

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  3. I've read stories that seem to be two completely different books. It's almost as if they got hurried along by their agents and just threw together an ending. It's good to know this is an author to look out for, though!

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  4. Not sure if this is a book I would enjoy, but thanks for the honest review! How disappointing that the second half of the book kind of fell apart :/

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  5. \”They stank of pure plot device.\” HA, I like that. It sounds like a line out of Thursday Next book :-)Too bad this didn't work out! But those characters all sounded a bit too crazypants.

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  6. I'm reading this one for the book tour, but have to admit that I'm not really liking it so far. I just can't seem to get that immersed in the story. After reading your post, I'm feeling even more mixed about it. I'm going to finish is this weekend and am hoping it gets better.

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  7. Hehe! I had to look up Thursday Next because I hadn't a clue! (Is that something I should remedy?) Crazypants indeed. I do have high hopes for Braffet though. I have a good feeling about her work, even if this one didn't do it for me.

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  8. Novels with messed up characters serves for an interesting tale. Too bad you didn't particularly like all parts of this novel. Maybe the next one will be better 🙂

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  9. Last time I read a review of this book it was very praising, so I'm astonished your review is totally different. Maybe I shouldn't read the book. I don't know. Do you recommend it?

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  10. I have a weakness for dysfunctional family stories too. 🙂 I don't know whether this would be my cup of tea, but it does sound intriguing. I love your balanced review.

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  11. I'm glad that you enjoyed the first half of the book. Bummer that the second half didn't really work for you though. Thanks for being on the tour.

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