book review: Split

author: Swati Avasthi   

date: Random House; 2010

main character: Jace Witherspoon

 from the inside flap:

Sixteen your old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother, Christian, with a  re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father), $3.84 and a secret.

 He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind. His mother is still trapped with his dad. And his ex-girlfriend is keeping his secret—for now.

 I’m not sure why I didn’t like Jace more. He may not have been developed well enough for me to like him, or perhaps I just didn’t like him because he was a jerk. Did I need to know him more, or less?

 Prior to writing this book, Avasthi worked as a domestic-violence legal clinic coordinator. This experience provided her background and insights that she obviously brought to this story and artfully developed into a portrayal of a young teen who is emotionally tortured from the abuse of his father. How does he not let his victimization define him? How does he get his brother to open up and tell how he overcame his past, their shared past? Jace does find answers and in reading through his struggle, I was able to understand the effects of abuse more that I ever had before. 


themes: relationships; abuse; identity

4 thoughts on “

  1. I really liked Split and thought the author did a great job showing the affects of abuse in the long and short term, how different people react to it, and what some of the signs are.


  2. Yes she did do a great job with the affects of abuse and she did it in a way that wasn’t overt, didn’t weigh the story down.

    I wonder what her next book will be.


  3. Haven’t read this one but your description reminds me of Nancy Werlin’s RULES OF SURVIVAL, although it was more focused on emotional abuse. It was an AMAZING read–also with a male narrator. I ended up really caring about him. I’ll have to read SPLIT.


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