Suzanne's Reviews > Split

Split by Swati Avasthi
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Jan 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: peach-consideration
Read in January, 2011

Two things make Jace split, leaving his Chicago judge father and beaten down mother: First--he loses it with his girlfriend, choking and pushing her when he learns she has been unfaithful; Second--for once, he takes the offensive with his dad, attacking him after his mother's behavior screams rape, and Jace gets thrown out of the house. He manages to get his car keys and an address from his mother in the scuffle and decides to drive all the way to New Mexico, where his brother Christian, who had run from the violence of their family about six years before, lives under father's radar. Now Christian, a 22-year-old med student with a serious girlfriend Mirriam who lives next door, isn't entirely sure he knows what to do with Jace, whose face and body tell an all too familiar story of pain, physical and emotional. Jace must get enrolled in junior year in NM, get a job to help with expenses, try out for the soccer team, spar and spark with a girl he might like, and try to navigate a relationship with the brother who got away. Oh, and let's not forget the brothers' constant worry about the battered wife and mother they've left behind.

Very well written realistic fiction with a narrative that trots along and offers issues, romance, relationships with siblings, even some sports action. The main character is smart and introspective but far from wimpy. His fear that he could turn into his father helps motivate his new life, and the story features a return trip to Chicago that allows the brothers to revisit recent and distant past and make a rescue attempt. Good stuff, especially for the elusive male teen reader.
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