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Split Hardcover – March 9, 2010
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Read an excerpt from Split by Swati Avasthi [PDF].
More About the Author
She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her two kids, two dogs, and one (but worth two) husband(s).
Visit her at www.swatiavasthi.com
Top Customer Reviews
You see, Christian ran away several years ago and has found a new life for himself. Having lived through their father's abuse, Christian knows exactly what Jace is going through.
Unfortunately, two abused kids do not necessarily make the best roommates. They've got a lot of trauma, secrets, and bitterness to live through. They do have help from Christian's English teacher girlfriend, Mirriam, and Jace's co-worker, Dakota.
Can they ever feel safe from their Dad? And can they get their Mom, who they both fear is going to be killed by their father away?
"Split" is a compelling read from the first line to the breathless end. While the story's not a thriller per se, this relationship novel definitely had me on the edge of my seat all the way til three AM. This is an excellent book for older young adults and even adult readers will enjoy the finely-drawn characterization and heart-pounding pacing.
Rebecca Kyle, January 2010
Avasthi has done her homework. You will learn a lot about why women stay with abusive men and what happens to children of men who hit -- and it will all be shown through dialogue and actions, not lecturing or finger-wagging. Jace and Christian, each with his own demons, try to start a new life as roommates, but Christian has buried his demons under a cloak of silence and long, therapeutic runs across the New Mexican landscape, while Jace must deal with worse torments -- the sins of the father visited on his own persona. With an incredible temper, he has an additional memory to deal with. The memory of grabbing his Chicago girlfriend by the throat one night when he was angry.
This intelligent book has universal appeal. Boys will enjoy the brothers angle and Jace's point of view as he tries to fit in to his new New Mexico high school and the varsity soccer team. Girls will enjoy the strong women in this tale. Christian's girlfriend, Mirriam, is a young teacher trying first to help Christian and then Jace to negotiate the rapids of their unique, yet similar psychological whitewaters.Read more ›
"Outside, a FedEx truck roars, pauses, and roars again. Its white profile steals away, leaving only a gasp of gray exhaust. A shrunken man drags the door open and holds it for his shrunken wife. Before they even step over the threshold, they see me and stop.
"I am quite the picture. The split lip isn't the only relandscaping my father has done. A purple mountain is rising on my jaw, and a red canyon cuts across my forehead.
"They stare at me, and I suck in my lip, hiding what I can.
"At the moment, a distorted voice comes through the speaker: 'Who is it?'
"Can I really have this conversation over a speaker? Remember me? The brother you left behind? Well, I've caught up. Even in my imagination, I stop here. I leave out the rest.
"'Um,' I say, 'FedEx.'
"The couple unfreezes. The man grasps his wife's elbow, tugs her outside, shoves the door closed, and helps her hobble away. Great way to start my Albuquerque tenure; scaring the locals."
Sixteen year-old Jace Witherspoon will be changing his last name to MARSHALL, and creating himself a new identity just like his big brother Christian did. Five years ago, toward the end of his high school years, Christian disappeared from home and school and Jace has not seen or heard from him since.
At a young age, big brother Christian learned how to antagonize their father, a conservative Chicago judge, so that dad's attention would be deflected, causing him to beat up Christian instead of their mother.Read more ›
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 or hair-pulling kind.
However, occasionally, I do find books that really touch me on a deeper level, that really make me feel inside the story and the characters' heads, up until the point when it really becomes empathy.
I ascribe this empathy completely to the writer's writing skills, to his or her capacity to capture the essence of, say, frustration, or happiness, or grief and translate it so well into words and situations and stories that I get "contaminated" by them. If that happens, the communicative purpose is accomplished.
Split is one of those books. It got to a point, about 60% in, that I decided to go to bed, but then turned and tossed and turned and tossed until I had to get up and go finish the bloody book. I couldn't stop thinking about it.
The story is fairly simple: Jace has an abusive father. After the umpteenth beating he takes to protect his mother, he gets kicked out of the house, for good. He goes looking for his older brother, Christian, who vanished from their lives five years earlier to escape the same beatings, hoping to get their mother out of that same situation and to build a new life for himself.
Jace's voice is one of the most vibrant I have ever encountered in YA literature. He's one of those characters I seem to love so much, the ones I recognize as grey. He's not a bad guy, but he's certainly not a good guy either. In his words, he pledges to be " a bastard-no-longer".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This books is one of my all-time favorites. Every character is amazing. The story is so poignant.Published 3 months ago by J. Elliott
There is so much i\we do not know, much that we do not know that we do not know. . .Published 5 months ago by Holly
Not a book I would say I enjoyed or that was fun to read but it was a good read and a good story with compelling characters that were well written in a situation that isn't/wasn't... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rich Griffith
Jace has known nothing but abuse since he was a kid. His father beat both his mother and his brother. Read morePublished 13 months ago by ReviewerGirl
I enjoyed the plot of the story and I feel as though it had potential. However I noticed there was a large buildup to something that never happened. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Chelsea
Split, is the perfect example of what I like to call – one of those rare and precious finds. A book that will always sit close to your heart. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Tonyalee