Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet 310 pages

Patrick lives with his brother Mike and Mike’s girlfriend Caro in a rundown old house on a dead end street. He works the graveyard shift in a convenience store. His father is in jail for killing a child while driving drunk. He is ostracized by the town because of his father’s actions and the fact that he waited 19 hours before calling the police. Mike blames Patrick for their father’s incarceration. 

Layla Elshere and her younger sister Verna live with their parents—their father is a fundamentalist minister who holds services in the basement—and attend high school where Layla has ruined all the teachers for future generations of Elsheres and Verna—the good child—is mercilessly bullied. Layla and her blood drinking boyfriend Justinian draw Verna into their goth like cult.

Save Yourself is really dark in places, deals with hard subject matter and a what’s-the-use feeling pervades throughout much of the book as the characters interact and consistently make questionable choices. Still I couldn’t put it down, I didn’t want it to end, and days later I’m still thinking about it.

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