Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Salvage by Keren David
Hardback, 320 pages

Published 16th January 2014 by Atom

abuse, arc-or-review, books-i-own, read, read-in-2014, realistic-fiction, too-much-hype, young-adult
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

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. . .

Salvage is a book that has had many positive comments and quite a bit of excitement revolving around it, especially here in the United Kingdom, so I was very excited to receive a copy for review. Salvage is a young adult book with interesting subject matter, exploring an interesting story. I usually really enjoy books about real life issues, so I was really hoping that I'd love this one.

I really liked the idea behind this book. We are introduced to Cass, our female narrative, as her adopted family has started to break up. As her father is a well known politician, the story hits the newspapers, one including a photograph of Cass. This is when we're introduced to our male narrative, Aidan, who despite having not seen her for years, almost instantly recognises his long lost sister. As Aidan contacts her, a lot of his history unravels and we read through the complexities of both Cass and Aidan's lives and learn a bit more about their past. In Aidan's eyes, Cass received the best adoptive middle-class parents possible, whereas he himself had more problems, partially due to issues with his birth mother's partners and also with his own emotional/anger problems. 

Cass was a reasonably likeable character, she wasn't anything special which worked to the novel's advantage, it's easy to imagine her as someone you know and it was great to see her as a regular daughter to her adoptive parents, rather than simply seeing her as an adopted child - it just seemed like a 'normal' family dynamic. I can't say that I loved Cass, because there wasn't anything about her that particularly enamoured me, but I found her simplicity to work well, especially when paired with perhaps the quirkiest member of her school, the desirable and individual Will. I really liked Will ask he did seem to have an edge to him - he didn't go out of his way to be different, he simply was and he was also a very loveable character and if he was real, I would definitely like to have a friend like him.

Aidan was a much more interesting character to me and he certainly had, or at least remembered, a much more unstable beginning, living with some abuse and also, understandably, going through periods of time where he found it difficult to control his own emotions. Aidan is now living with his girlfriend and her son, a family relationship which is explored in the story and possibly the most interesting exploration, in my opinion. It was interesting to see how Aidan coped when bringing his past and current life together, and seeing how he and Cass both differed yet bonded.

Overall, Salvage was a well written and easily to read book that I would recommend to teenagers and fans of realistic YA. I think that the book was written simply and modestly enough to attract young teens, but perhaps it's a little too simplistic or modest for those older young adult fans who prefer a little more complexity. The story is interesting enough to hold your attention throughout, though I admit that I did find it a little too predictable to enjoy the 'big reveals' towards the end. Nevertheless, I can see why this book has been given great praise as it is exactly what it offers, a page turner which will attract young adults who enjoy reading about gritty real life issues.


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  2. Thanks for sharing this story. Was some valuable book story here also. Loved that content story book.

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