A few months ago, Joe Hill, the writer and son of authors Stephen and Tabitha King, tweeted a recommendation of a new book by Kelly Braffet called Save Yourself. Being a huge fan of Hill’s work, I made a note and was excited when given the opportunity to receive a review copy of Braffet’s new novel.
The plot of the novel revolves around Patrick, a 26 year old whose father killed a child while drunk driving, and Layla, a 17 year old goth chick whose gang of outcasts and misfits befriends Patrick. The story rapidly intertwines the lives of Patrick’s brother and girlfriend, as well as Layla’s younger sister, and the entire cast board a proverbial train that seems destined to crash and burn.
This is where I feel that my review must take a turn of sorts.
Mrs. Braffet is a masterful story teller. The writing is superb, although a bit awkward, but in a brilliant way. The way that she turns a sentence seems to demand that the reader give her their undivided attention to capture the full detail of her writing. The characters are well developed. The backstory is complete and compelling. This is a well thought out and completed novel.
The unfortunate concern for me as a reader was the content of the book. I actually wasn’t able to finish reading it. There are portions of the novel that involve sexual situations involving minors with adults, as well as minors with minors. Another significant storyline involves many of the characters turning away from their Christian faith and embracing a more worldly “if it feels good, do it” philosophy. As a 44 year old (almost) husband and father of boys, I realize that I am not the target audience for this book. For my taste and for my conscience, this book was just too graphic in its portrayal of what I am certain is reality for many wandering young people in society today.
I received this book for free from the publisher’s Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.