Salvage – Keren David

This week sees book 2 – Salvage, being championed for the #yabookprize.

“Not everything that’s broken can be mended”

“Aidan Jones was my brother. But I couldn’t really remember his face. I couldn’t remember talking to him or playing with him. He was just a gap, an absence, a missing person.

Before she was adopted by a loving family and raised in a leafy Home Counties town, Cass Montgomery was Cass Jones. Her memories of her birth family disappeared with her name. But when her adopted family starts to break down, a way out comes in the form of a message from her lost brother, Aidan. Having Aidan back in her life is both everything she needs and nothing she expected. Who is this boy who calls himself her brother? And why is he so haunted?

I glance at the paper. There’s a big picture on the front page. A girl with dark red hair. A girl with eyes that might have been green or they might have been grey. I sit down and stare at Cass, and it is her, it is. My stolen sister.

Aidan’s a survivor. He’s survived an abusive step-father and an uncaring mother. He’s survived crowded foster homes and empty bedsits. His survived to find Cass. If only he can make her understand what it means to be part of his family. . .”

Separated ten years earlier, half brother and sister Cass and Aiden are now back in each other’s lives.

The story is told from alternating view points, Cass who was adopted by a good middle class family, sent to a good school, and is heading for Oxford, appears to have it all. That is until her dad has an affair and leaves the family.

Aidan was never adopted, instead he was bounced from one foster home to another, left school with no qualifications and then at the age of 16 has to stand on his own two feet with no one to support him.

After Aidan sees a picture of Cass in a local newspaper, he tracks her down via social media and thus their story begins.

David weaves many intricate plot lines into the narrative, but the main focus is all about nature v nurture. The impact your upbringing has on you and how it shapes you.

This tale is emotionally raw and very gritty, it will leave you with questions and make you see things in a different light.

I can see why this book made it onto the shortlist, and I think it will appeal to teens everywhere as there is something in there for everyone to identify with.

This contemporary certainly packs a punch, and stands a very good chance of winning the #yabookprize !

Next week – Say Her Name by James Dawson.

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