By Kelly Braffet
(Random House Audio, Compact Disc, 9780385393799)
Publication Date: August 2013
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A gripping novel full of suspense and pathos that Dennis Lehane calls an "electrifying, tomahawk missile of a thriller."
Patrick Cusimano is in a bad way. His father is in jail; he works the midnight shift at a grubby convenience store; and his brother's girlfriend, Caro, has taken their friendship to an uncomfortable new level. On top of all that, he can’t quite shake the attentions of Layla Elshere, a goth teenager who befriends Patrick for reasons he doesn’t understand, and doesn’t fully trust. The temptations these two women offer are pushing Patrick to his breaking point.
Meanwhile, Layla’s little sister, Verna, is suffering through her first year of high school. She’s become a prime target for her cruel classmates, not just because of her strange name and her fundamentalist parents: Layla’s bad-girl rep proves to be too a huge shadow for Verna, so she falls in with her sister’s circle of outcasts and misfits whose world is far darker than she ever imagined.
Kelly Braffet’s characters, indelibly portrayed and richly varied, are all on their own twisted path to finding peace. The result is a novel of unnerving power—darkly compelling, addictively written, and shockingly honest.
“Kelly Braffet is the real deal. Save Yourself is an electrifying, tomahawk missile of a thriller with honest-to-God people at its core. It rocks the house.” —Dennis Lehane, author of Live by Night
“Kelly Braffet’s Save Yourself is that rare and beautiful thing—a novel that takes us to dark places not just through vivid storytelling but also through keen emotional force. It’s a tale of damaged families and the perilous weight of the past, and as the action rushes towards its chilling conclusion, you’ll find yourselves breathless, shaken, moved.” —Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me
“Astonishing. Save Yourself goes deep into the hidden and shameful parts of grief, love, and anger, and the reader emerges shaken and grateful on the far end. It’s a lacerating read, and proves that Braffet is a writer in full command of her many, many talents.” —Emma Straub, author of Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures