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Torn from Normal Paperback – December 14, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

There aren't many guys out there writing YA books, and those that do tend to favor humorous stories. Martin Bartloff isn't one of those guys. Torn From Normal is a book that shows how bleak the world can look to a young boy with no resources, and that resonates with the tragedy of what might have been. While not exactly a light read, it's a good reminder that childhood is not necessarily idyllic, and not everyone has their best times during youth. You may need a box of tissues close by, but it's worth the read.

Ophelia Julien --http://www.amazon.com/review/R2DW35SRZ4327T/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

I read this book and just bawled my eyes out. The story is so timely and so close to my heart. I have a teenage son and to think of what might happen if he were to go through the tragedies Andy faces in this book really shook me up. The writing is sensitive and develops the relationships between the fathers and sons in such a subtle way, it adds depth to an already deeply moving story.

Yeah, don't forget the hanky!

J.R. Turner --http://www.amazon.com/review/R39XMMKWA4BL02/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Martin Bartloff's debut novel Torn from Normal is a riveting tale that captivates readers of all ages. Set on the eastern seaboard of the United States, the book's main character, Andy Riley, takes you on a journey that will forever embed him into your heart. A series of heart-wrenching events sadly tear Andy away from all he has ever known. He finally finds the solace he intensely longs for when he befriends another boy and his father; characters who will also endear you as you travel with them through the course of a summer. As you read, you will find that the book ingeniously draws you into its pages and refuses to let you go until you have turned the very last page; and even then you will find yourself still thinking about Andy and the friends he grew to love.

Suzanne Schott M. Ed. --http://martinbartloff.blogspot.com/2009/07/torn-from-normal-recent-reviews.html

Martin Bartloff's debut novel Torn from Normal is a riveting tale that captivates readers of all ages. Set on the eastern seaboard of the United States, the book's main character, Andy Riley, takes you on a journey that will forever embed him into your heart. A series of heart-wrenching events sadly tear Andy away from all he has ever known. He finally finds the solace he intensely longs for when he befriends another boy and his father; characters who will also endear you as you travel with them through the course of a summer. As you read, you will find that the book ingeniously draws you into its pages and refuses to let you go until you have turned the very last page; and even then you will find yourself still thinking about Andy and the friends he grew to love.

Suzanne Schott M. Ed. --http://martinbartloff.blogspot.com

About the Author

Born in Werl, a small town in the North Rhine-Westphalia province of Germany, Martin was the youngest of five boys. As a child he strived to better himself and entertain others. Anything that had wheels fascinated him and he organized and performed dare-devil bicycle events in his neighborhood.

Martin earned two European trade school diplomas before vacationing in the United States in August of 1991, a vacation he never returned from. He settled on the Virginia coastline where his fascination with all things vehicular led him to open his own European automotive business in 1994. To satisfy his need to entertain, Martin began his career as an author in 2007. Today he lives with his teenage son, in Hampton, Virginia

Martin Bartloff

Born in Werl, a small town in the North Rhine-Westphalia province of Germany, Martin was the youngest of five boys. As a child he strived to better himself and entertain others. Anything that had wheels fascinated him and he organized and performed dare-devil bicycle events in his neighborhood.

Martin earned two European trade school diplomas before vacationing in the United States in August of 1991, a vacation he never returned from. He settled on the Virginia coastline where his fascination with all things vehicular led him to open his own European automotive business in 1994. To satisfy his need to entertain, Martin began his career as an author in 2007. Today he lives with his teenage son, in Hampton, Virginia

Martin Bartloff

Born in Werl, a small town in the North Rhine-Westphalia province of Germany, Martin was the youngest of five boys. As a child he strived to better himself and entertain others. Anything that had wheels fascinated him and he organized and performed dare-devil bicycle events in his neighborhood.

Martin earned two European trade school diplomas before vacationing in the United States in August of 1991, a vacation he never returned from. He settled on the Virginia coastline where his fascination with all things vehicular led him to open his own European automotive business in 1994. To satisfy his need to entertain, Martin began his career as an author in 2007. Today he lives with his teenage son, in Hampton, Virginia

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Snowflake International; 1st edition (December 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615310729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615310725
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,617,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Martin Bartloff

Born in Werl, a small town in the North Rhine-Westphalia province of Germany, Martin was the youngest of five boys. As a child he strived to better himself and entertain others. Anything that had wheels fascinated him and he organized and performed dare-devil bicycle events in his neighborhood.

Martin earned two European trade school diplomas before vacationing in the United States in August of 1991, a vacation he never returned from. He settled on the Virginia coastline where his fascination with all things vehicular led him to open his own European automotive business in 1994. To satisfy his need to entertain, Martin began his career as an author in 2007. Today he lives with his teenage son, in Hampton, Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Auger on March 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A double tragedy causes a young man's life to spiral out of control. His only wish is to get rid of the pain by putting it behind him. Things begin to turn around for him when he meets Marvin and his son Danny under interesting circumstances. Going from complete strangers to a small family after a short period of time, Andy begins to rebuild his life with a new family who cares about him. Bowling, learning how to drive, and having a family give Andy back that spark that he was missing for so long. As things are looking up, Andy's life goes from happy go lucky to sad again.

Since Marvin and Danny are going away for vacation, Andy is sent to live with his Aunt Lily in Baltimore until he is of age. Though broken-hearted, Andy promised to comply with Marvin's request and boarded the train home. Things were not as they cracked up to be at his aunt's house. He wasn't her nephew, but a nuisance that brought in money every month from the government. Fed up with everything, Andy leaves his aunt's in search of his life. After taking many means of transportation, he returns to a familiar place...his home. To his dismay, a family has moved in and he watches the happy family interact with one another. With nowhere else to go...Andy returns to another familiar place.

On the other side of the globe, Marvin and his son Danny are having lots of fun with family on their vacation. Danny starts to feel that something is terribly wrong where Andy is, but he passed it off with more positive thoughts. What he didn't know was that he was right. Danny tries to get in touch with Andy to have his worst fears confirmed. Not knowing where Andy was, Marvin and Danny return home and start a drastic search. They hope and pray that Andy is okay, but once they find him...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lukas Schmidt on June 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
After reading Mr. Bartloff's 'Torn From Normal' I began to think about how so many writers of youth novels cater to the whim of their readers by creating a fantasy world where everything is okay. Mr. Bartloff however, refuses. Harkening back to my days as a teenager, I commend 'Torn From Normal' for its honesty. The Disney Channel is filled with programs where adolescents live wonderful lives and deal with trivial matters day in and day out. But making young people think that there will be no real, demoralizing struggles throughout there lives can have detrimental effects.

Andy, the protagonist in 'Torn From Normal', is never given the luxuries of life he so very much deserves. Yes, he deserves to be happy. He is a good kid with a kind heart and Mr. Bartloff conveys this very well. But just like in the real world, a world some don't like to explore, Andy finds himself trying to cope with painful experiences and difficult choices. His greatest fault is that he believes no one can understand his pain and he chooses to bottle it up inside. Andy is no different than the shy boy who sits in the back of the classroom who everyone ignores because they believe he wants to be.

It is my opinion that the overall message of the book is a positive one despite its harsh realities. There are so many characters throughout the book that truly care for Andy. I guess the point of this review and the point the book is trying to make is that no matter what you are going through in your life, you cannot assume that others don't understand. There is always someone, be it a friend, family member or a stranger on the other end of a helping hotline, that will listen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne Carter on August 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really didn't know what to expect when I started reading TORN FROM NORMAL. The title itself intrigued me, as did the cover art. This was a case where I knew (somewhat remotely) the author before I read the book. Knowing Mr. Bartloff is a native German, I think I expected his novel to be somewhat... less American. I was wrong. Not only did it read like any other American book (in syntax, structure, language, etc.) it was profoundly right on with regard to today's American teens. The dialog, interests, dress, emotions--all rang true to this mother of 2 once-teen boys.

The story is well written, and has just the right amount of scene-shifting between periods of main character Andy Riley's life. Martin has done an excellent job of giving the reader just enough information to keep the pages turning as characters Andy, Danny and Danny's father Marvin struggle to improve Andy's life and keep him safe from harm. I forgot, until after I finished it, that TORN FROM NORMAL is a young adult title. As good as it is for teens, it's that good for adults as well.

As someone else pointed out, there are times when Andy seems younger than the 16/17 years he is supposed to be; however, teens obviously mature at different rates, and considering Andy's troubled adolescence, it all works.

This isn't a happy, feel-good book, but it is an important book. Don't read it if you have trouble dealing with tragic consequences that sometimes befall young people in today's harsh society. Do read it if you want to be enlightened to teen issues, and warmed by the compassionate way this tale is told. I will definitely read more from Martin Bartloff.
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