The Atomics reviews are in! Here Megan and Laura tell us what they thought of Keren's brilliant new novel, Salvage, available to buy from 16th January. For more reviews of Salvage, click here.
I can’t explain Salvage any better than the description above, because it was that description that had me intrigued instantly and so keen to read it that I started it as soon as it had arrived in the post. Salvage revolves around Aiden and Cass, a brother and sister who were separated when they were younger, with Cass being adopted into a family where her new father becomes an MP. Aidan on the other hand isn’t so lucky, and he stumbles through life, surviving, until by chance he sees a picture of Cass in the paper. But what will happen if Aidan can contact her?
One of the things that I liked most about Salvage is that Keren doesn’t hold back in portraying the lives of Aidan, Cass and the others around them. Keren David provides a very real setting with complex characters that have been through some very horrific and life-changing moments, and as a reader I could see the impact and effects that these moments have had on them, both physically and emotionally.
Aidan and Cass are fantastically written, I loved that they both had their own chapters, because then I could read the scenes from their points of view and it helped me to understand them as characters more. Their emotions are so well drawn, Keren perfectly captures the confusion, happiness and fear of finding your real family. I found Aidan’s story in particular very gripping. I really felt for him as I read about everything he had gone through. His pain and his efforts to have stability in his life radiated from the pages and I really wanted to reach out to him. I could see how past events had impacted on the life he had in the present and I really found myself rooting for him. I was hooked to his story and I kept turning the pages because I was desperate to know what would happen to him.
I liked Cass, I warmed to her straight away, and I really enjoyed reading about the secondary characters in her life, such as her brother Ben, and her mum and dad too. I really loved Will, I felt he provided some light-heartedness to the story and so his scenes made me smile as it lifted the book a bit.
Salvage is very emotional and it has stayed with me long after I finished the last page because of how lifelike the story is. I feel as though I have been on a huge rollercoaster of emotions, I have felt happiness, fear, heartache and so much more whilst hooked to these pages – wow.
Salvage is a highly emotional and raw story, with characters that will draw you in and a story that you won’t be able to put down.
When the opportunity to review Salvage by Keren David arose, I was incredibly excited. It sounded like a brilliant new book that seemed to have already received much praise. Whilst the book wasn't quite what I had expected, it was an excellent read that discusses much deeper issues that your average young adult book.
Salvage is written from the alternating perspectives of half brother and sister Cass and Aidan. They haven't seen each other in over ten years having been separated at a young age when they were both put into social care. The lives of these two siblings couldn't have been more different with Cass being adopted by a MP, sent to a leading grammar school and thought to be heading to Oxford University, whilst Aidan has moved from foster family to foster family and eventually ended up on his own, at the age of 16, having left school with little to no qualifications and now works in a shop. When Cass' Dad is revealed to be having an affair, her family life is spread all over the newspapers and catches the attention of Aidan who can't believe his luck. Finally having found his little sister he searches for her on Facebook and gets in touch.
Although Salvage may seem like the story of two long lost siblings finding each other, it is actually so much more than that. There are so many different things going on that are all somehow interlinked including family, young love, friendship, parenting and much more. All these different plot strands are seamlessly woven together to create a complex story that will hold your interest throughout. This isn't a particularly action-filled story so don't expect lots of plot twists or anything like that but it's still a really, really good story. Serious issues that affect many youths today are explored and I can't say whether they're factually accurate, but this story sure does make you grateful for the family life you have.
A lot of teenage girls will probably be able to relate to the character of Cass who is 16 years old, under a lot of pressure from her parents to seem outwardly 'perfect', achieve high grades and go to a good university whilst dealing with boy drama and family drama. I wouldn't say she's particularly likeable, but she's got a lot of sass that you can't help but admire. Aidan is a character that you grow to really sympathise with and he has such a big heart. None of these characters are perfect; their lives are pretty messed up and the author isn't afraid to show this. Salvage is definitely a more 'real' story than a lot of other teenage fiction that is currently on shelves and not just because it doesn't feature vampires or werewolves – the characters genuinely seem like real people.
I have to admit I did find the ending a little disappointing. As I was reading the last few pages I could see that there wasn't much story left to go but I felt like there was so much left to say. The ending was bad, per say, I just felt slightly let down in that there wasn't a conclusive ending with one character's story left very open-ended. For some, this could be a good thing as there is plenty of room for imagination and future development, but personally, I like it when stand alone stories have complete finales that leave me satisfied and not feeling like there was something missing. There were a few lose ends which weren't exactly 'important' but it still bothered me that there were left unfinished.
All in all, Salvage was a refreshing young adult read that isn't a story you've read a hundred times before. It is refreshing and deep, the perfect thing to pick up if you're starting to tire of your standard teenage drama.
The book Salvage was a very good book getting into all the bits no one really thinks about.
I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to people aged 12-16.
I hope the author writes more books like this and if they do I will definitely buy it!!!
Salvage by Keren David is a real page turner. All the characters were incredibly well developed, particularly Aidan and I found the part where we first meet him really exciting because as a reader you do not know exactly what he is like. The genre of Salvage is my favourite as it is very true and full of real emotion. I would compare Keren David to John Green because of the topic of the book and would personally recommend it to people aged 13 and above.