Booklist Reviews 2014 May #2
Whenever something horrible happens, you hear people say they ‘lost everything' . . . But they have no idea what it's really like to lose everything. Jersey, like many midwesterners, is jaded by frequent tornado warnings. But when a storm really does rip through her town, her home, and her family, it leaves in its wake an unimaginable hole in each of those areas of her life. As she picks up the pieces of her life and tries to mourn the death of her mother and little sister, she is confronted by another crisis when her stepfather forces her into the volatile home of her long-estranged father. Out of personal and public tragedy, Jersey struggles to find a path forward, a home, and a reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other. This is a gut-wrenching and poignant look at the aftermath of natural disaster and the secrets that families keep, written with raw honesty and deep emotion. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Fall
When a tornado devastates her Missouri hometown, sixteen-year-old Jersey loses her house, her mother, and her half-sister. While Jersey is shuffled among relatives she's never met--some of them happier to see her than others--she reconciles unsavory family secrets while also processing her significant, immediate grief. This depiction of the emotional consequences of natural disasters is intense and affecting.
PW Reviews 2014 February #4
When a tornado strikes Jersey's hometown in Missouri, her house and neighborhood are destroyed, but her losses cut much deeper: her mother and five-year-old sister are among the many killed in the storm. Jersey counts on her stepfather to help her pick up the pieces, but a shell-shocked Donnie claims he can't raise her, sending her to live with her biological father, an alcoholic who abandoned Jersey's mother when Jersey was a baby. Jersey is horribly mistreated by his family, and after she runs away, she ends up with her last chance: her estranged maternal grandparents. Jersey was raised to hate them, but she begins to understand that her mother's version of events may have omitted some crucial information. Brown (Thousand Words) gives readers a true sense of the horror wrought by the storm and the agony of its aftermath; her ability to create rich, complex characters is once again in evidence. While the cruelty of Jersey's father's family is somewhat over the top, Jersey's feelings are achingly real and relatable. Ages 12–up. Agent: Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency. (May)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC