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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  5,764 ratings  ·  778 reviews
A riveting portrait of life after abuse from an award-winning novelist.

Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret.

He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left beh
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 2010)
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I’m not hesitant to talk about my abusive father. I spent seventeen years of my life hiding the details, but I refuse to do it anymore. Keeping quiet doesn’t solve anything, it only makes things worse. People need to hear about domestic violence. It needs to become a reviled crime.

I was both surprised and horrified when I started this book. I had no idea what it was about. When I first met the protagonist, a high school student who had just had the fuck beaten out of him by his father, I was sh
EDIT: On February 15th, 2012 make sure you stop by The Nocturnal Library for an interview with author Swati Avasthi. We're also giving away two copies of this book, one personalized from Swati (US residents only) and one from us (international)!

"Sometimes I wonder why words can't actually make us bleed."

Those (few) of you who regularly read my reviews and generally put up with me on a daily basis already know I'm kind of a logic and control freak. I'm not of the tear-shedding, heart-warming
Emily May


Split was somewhere between 4 and 5 stars for me, so I'll go with 4.5 because I can't make my mind up. I spent most of the novel thinking I would give it 5 stars, but there was something a little unresolved for me. Okay, a lot unresolved, but DO NOT read this if you haven't read the book: (view spoiler)
I have always had a thing for books which feature redemption. They emotionally grip and resonate strongly with me. Many of my personal favourite books usually have a sliver of redemption running through them:

Think The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta, Carly in Kirsty Eagar's Raw Blue, Francine River's Redeeming Love, Sherryl Jordan's (amazing) Winter of Fire which all had me weeping and aching and so drawn in with the protagonists story/search/ache for redemption.

And, boy, does Jace from SPLIT j
Absolutely gripping!! Appalling!! Packs a powerful punch!!

Warning: I’m kind of upset right now, so my language might not be pretty. You’ve been warned.

How do I give a book 5 stars when it did nothing but make me feel anger, angst and a world of hurt? Well for that reason alone, the emotions that this book made me experience were bar-none high alert and extremely intense!

Split by Swati Avasthi is a story about physical, emotional and psychological abuse. It’s the type of book I don’t often frequ
Dec 06, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Nancy Werlin's "Rules of Survival"
Recommended to Tatiana by: Ariel
Shelves: ya, 2010, ala-ya-2011
16-year old Jace unexpectedly shows up on his brother Christian's doorsteps with bruised up face. He has nothing with him but his car, his camera case and a couple of dollars. So, what's the deal? How did he find Christian who had disappeared years ago? Did he finally manage to escape from his monster father? Did their mother come along with Jace? Is she even alive? And why did Jace break up with his girlfriend and can't date any more?

So starts Split. As you can very well guess, this is that typ
Favourite Quote: It's weird when someone gets you understands what you would never say not even to yourself.

WOW! Split was such a hard read but I mean that in a good way. It broke my heart and made me cry (big fat tears) within the first 15 pages but I absolutely loved it!

Avasthi has written a remarkable and powerful story. This book definitely took me on an emotional rollcoaster ride. One minute I am crying, then I am grinning, then I am getting angry. I was completely and utterly invested in t

I finished reading this book a while back but I didn't really know what to say about it.
It feels a bit unfair to sit in my comfortable chair, living my ordinary peaceful life, and give my opinions about such an important subject as family violence.
You read in the book about all those horrible scenes and you know that somewhere, someone is living that particular hell, that somewhere out there a monster treats his family like that, that somewhere there are kids suffering and you can't do anything
It has been a while since I read this book (okay, about a month and a half, but I tend to be very forgetful), but I really don't want it to go un-reviewed.

Yes, this is a book about domestic abuse, a topic I normally shy away from. I can't even tell you why, as I do "enjoy" reading so called issue-books, but (together with teenage pregnancy) domestic abuse is not something I am drawn towards in books. It is hard for me to not be frustrated by victims accepting their situation, not reporting thei
Feb 25, 2010 Swati rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
hee hee hee... I hope you like it, too!
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I've never been one of those last-minute people. I do my homework the day I receive it, I finish projects a week in advance, and I am a responsible American Citizen. Yet, when it came to writing a review for Split, I avoided it like the plague. I would see Split on my list of "Books To Be Reviewed" and I'd write reviews for novels I'd read far after I finished Split. In fact, I kept pushing it further and further behind in my reviewing schedule that I was simply forced to
May 19, 2011 Milly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Milly by: Nomes, Arlene
*Audible Review*

5 stars

This came highly recommended and it more than delivered!

What makes Split so remarkable and memorable is how raw and real it is. The realism of this book is so unnerving and so mesmerizing! And I can tell from first hand experiences how Jace's story is so close to the real thing. Swati Avasthi is either a great writer and researcher or a magnificent storyteller who shares her own life experiences as if writing her biography in this book. But, either way, she has touched
Mike Mullin
I hate very few people, but Ms. Avasthi is one of them:

I hate her for writing a book so good that I know I'll never be able to write anything to match it.

I hate her for making me cry all the way down Massachusetts 3 on my way to Lawrence School in Falmouth.

I hate her for the funny look the librarian gave me as I wiped the tears out of my eyes and tried to prepare to talk to a room full of hyperactive teenagers.

I hate her because I want to live with Jace and Dakota, to cheer them on as they build
You're 16 and you just punched your father. Only he deserves worse. You see, the good judge (by day) punches your mom frequently, and once you witnessed him doing something even MORE gruesome. Your older brother has already fled your Chicago home for New Mexico. You know where he's hiding. Your mom knows where he's hiding. And Dad wants to know where he's hiding (you think so he can kill him). Just another day on the set of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER? Not quite. Cover Ward and June’s eyes as you begin r ...more
Street Corner TBR Challenge
June pick #3 per Nomes

Jace's story is one about child abuse/domestic violence. Overcoming it. Escaping it. His older brother ran away from it, bottled it up, never looked back. Jace's father found a new punching bag. He continually beat their mother, but Jace stood up to him. This resulted in an A$$ beating from his Father and a boot out of his home. With nowhere to go, Jace sets out with a little bit of money and an old letter his mother gave him f
May 30, 2012 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers who are ready to feel some serious compassion
I'm going to have to rely on familial affection. There's got to be some of that, right? Christian taught me how to ride my bike when I was four, how to read when I was six, how to throw a punch when I was seven. It can't just vanish. It hasn't for me. I'm still hoping for that reception where he's as happy to see me as I was to see him.

The theme I've seen most reviewers tackling for this book is empathy. They say it let them see into the lives and motivations of people they normally couldn't und
What an emotional read.... I just finished a few moments ago and I'm having the hardest time composing myself and writing this review. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. What a fantastic debut novel. Did I mention that I was blown away... and heart-broken.

This novel is raw, it's honest, it's unbelievable. I've read stories about domestic violence, not many but a few, but I've never had a novel tackle the aftermath, the part of the story that the character has to deal with onc
Split begins with sixteen-year-old Jace Witherspoon arriving at his older brother's house - his older brother Christian Marshall, who moved away from their once shared home and got a new last name to escape their father's abuse. Jace is almost embarrassed to ask Christian if he could stay with him for the time being, but after all they are brothers. Now Jace must confront his past and face the music: how his father never ceases to hurt their family, how his mother is too weak to escape such a te ...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)

Let me just put this out there. Jace is the real gem in this book. He's mature, a bit of a player, or was anyway. He's tough - a fighter to be exact, and he's very observant. But he's a boy who's suffered abuse from his father ever since his big brother, Christian, left him dry. He's been taking beats for his mother like his older brother once did. Running away has never been an option until he finally looses it. With a single envelope given by his frantic mother he goes in search of the very
What would you feel when your father beats the crap out of your mother and all you ask her is to leave him and start a new life, but it turns out she doesn't want to leave?

Well, that was Split all about. This tells a story about Jace Whitherspoon and how his father has been a bastard, yup, a very mean bastard (pardon for the foul lang). The story opens up with Jace arriving at Christian's apartment, his brother. And apparently they haven't seen or hear about each other for 5 years since he left
*Note: If you are considering reading this novel, it will make you angry.. It will get you upset… it will have you putting it down every so often just to calm down... at least these are what Split had me feeling and doing...

The title is perfect.It best describes what I am now left feeling. While I was angry and deeply disturbed by what led to what; I was also satisfied by how things turned out. As to his mother? I was definitely divided: on one hand, I understood later Christian’s need to keep i
In hypothetical situations it can be easy to make cut and dry decisions. If [blank] happens, I'd do [blank]. [Blank] is right. [Blank] is wrong. I'd never [blank]. I'd never forgive [blank] for doing [blank].

But once you fill in the blanks--with real people, real emotions and real acts--life turns into one big complicated mess. What is unforgivable? Is redemption even possible? The reader is introduced to one character that makes the answers to those questions painfully easy: Yes, he is evil. Wh
FNL Character Rating: The tumultuous but poignant relationship between Tim and Billy Riggins.

So...domestic violence.

We are all peripherally aware of its unfortunate existence..

Especially when we read truly horrifying news reports like this.

Then we smile and celebrate the triumphs of stories like this.

But when it comes to repeated, cyclical abuse, we tend to:

A.) Educate ourselves for two hours via the latest Lifetime Original Movie or

B.) Be cynical and blame the victim with thoughts such as, “
OH. MY. GOSH. This book. This book. I can tell you right now, the only reason I picked up this book was because I had absolutely nothing to read. I thought it was gonna be some cruddy book I read whilst waiting for something better and more compelling to come along. But, as I journeyed farther into Jace's story, I fell in love. I fell in love with his heartbreak, and with his suffering. I fell in love with the way this book was written, slightly sarcastic and utterly real. I felt as if Jace was ...more
Pulling readers in from the start, this is an emotional, raw, and sometimes despicable journey through the world of child abuse and escaping it. I've read plenty of child abuse case studies, read books, watched movies- but some of what the father does in this book to both his sons and his wife is gut wrenching and sickening. Several scenes will stand out as something you want to forget but can't but there are also plenty of parts that are memorable for perfect reasons. Avasthi creates a perfect ...more
Jan 11, 2011 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Heather by: Tatiana
Shelves: ya, ala-s-best-books, 2011
What a powerful book! Split tells the story of Jace Witherspoon, formally known as Jace Marshall. After one too many severe beatings at his fathers hands, Jace has finally fought back and has been thoroughly beat and forcibly removed from his home for his efforts. Having no choice but to leave his abused, submissive mother behind, Jace sets out across country to reunite with his brother Christian, whom he has not seen or heard from for the past six years. Once Jace arrives at Christian’s door, a ...more
Liza Wiemer
Split is an extremely important YA novel about child abuse and spousal abuse told from the point-of-view of the MC Jace. There is no doubt that Swati's has been placed in the elite category of brilliant authors such as Laurie Halse Anderson, Cheryl Rainfield, and Jay Asher. It is more than well-deserved and so are the awards Split received. Jace is one of the most unforgettable male YA characters I have ever read. The story he narrates is raw, honest, heartbreaking, revealing. I will be haunted ...more
Valerie Beussink
This is a very honest portrayal of life after escaping terrible mental and physical abuse by a parent. We all know there are many women out there living with abusive men and are just too afraid to even try to escape. It's heartbreaking. This story focuses on the children when things just get to be too much. Running away and starting your life over is hard but it's even harder as a teenager to make the choice to leave a mother behind because she refuses to leave. The boys in this story are very b ...more
Excellent read. I must thank Lisa because it was her review that served as an indirect recommendation. Go read it, I agree with everything she says and I doubt I could ever put it so eloquently.
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Split by Swati Avasthi - start. April 18 2014 24 27 Apr 30, 2014 10:28AM  
questions 5 59 Sep 28, 2013 07:09PM  
YA Reads for Teac...: Split - Swati Avasthi (Favorite Character Discussion) 9 60 Mar 29, 2012 08:42AM  
YA Reads for Teac...: Split - Swati Avasthi 4 44 Aug 01, 2010 10:48AM  
  • The Things a Brother Knows
  • Leverage
  • Harmonic Feedback
  • Scrawl
  • The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
  • Sorta Like a Rock Star
  • A Little Wanting Song
  • God Is in the Pancakes
  • Last Night I Sang to the Monster
  • All Unquiet Things
  • Compromised
  • Flash Burnout
  • Ballads of Suburbia
  • Jump
  • Raw Blue
  • Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have
  • Blank Confession
  • Borderline
Swati Avasthi has a BA from the University of Chicago and an MFA from the University of Minnesota. She has received numerous awards and grant, most recently from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Her first novel, Split, has received a silver parents' choice award and a CYBILS award and was named a best books for young adults, 2011 from YALSA. Split was also nominated for a GoodReads Choice Award and ...more
More about Swati Avasthi...

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“Sometimes I wonder why words can't actually make us bleed.” 47 likes
“I always thought saying sorry was more about alleviating
guilt, that apologies were designed for the mouth, not for
the ears.”
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