Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Book Review: Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet

From the cover alone, you can probably deduce that this book is going to be dark.  It has lots of comparisons to Gillian Flynn's writing, as far as dark subject matter, unlikable characters, and a bleak view of humanity is concerned.  And I think my problem is that I've just read way too much of the bleak outlook lately, because despite the fact that the writer does a fine job, I just wasn't into it.

It's the story of Patrick, a young man who is known in his small town due to his father's drunk driving, which led to an accident that killed a young boy.  Patrick and his brother, Mike, are infamous in their small town because they failed to report their father's accident for almost two days.  Patrick is dealing not only with an ambiguous relationship with his brother's girlfriend that has gone too far, but with interest from Layla, the daughter of a local preacher, who has rejected her faith.  Finally, there is Layla's little sister, Verna, who is trying to come to grips with what she believes and the bullying she faces at school.

Absolutely nothing to complain about.  I think in terms of writing the comparisons to Gillian Flynn are deserved.  She has great style and a flair for making the reader care about people who are hard to like.  She has just enough balance between sympathy and revulsion, and I find that impressive.

Entertainment Value
Despite the great writing, I was just not into the story.  I wanted to care about the characters, but just couldn't.  I don't think it's the fault of the writer, I think I've just read too many of this kind of book recently.  The worldview that most of humanity has no redeeming character and is just made up of horrible people who act in horrible ways was overwhelming.

That said, this is a book that will suck you in.  You will not want to put it down.  It has a compelling storyline and the characters keep you interested, if discouraged in the human race.

If you are a fan of Gillian Flynn or dark suspense, I think you'll enjoy it.  Just try not to read too many like it in a row!

Thank to TLC for allowing me to be a part of the tour!


  1. I can't wait to read this one. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intrigued by the fact that the author is Stephen King's daughter-in-law...

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.