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.
A novel by Kelly Braffet
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.
reviews & blurbs
Excruciatingly rendered characters and locomotive plotting…The plot is on a collision course that is going to end ugly—but also, in Braffet’s hands, beautifully…Perceptive, nervy, and with broad cross-genre appeal.
Kelly Braffet’s wonderful new book is about as dark and twisty as it gets . . . a creepy, squirmy, steamy, scary stew that simmers to its punishing but perfect conclusion.
This summer’s must-read . . . Braffet expertly captures the suffocating confines of small-town life and the desperation of its outliers, with prose that simmers and thrums.
Braffet’s captivating, realistically creepy third novel . . . uses graceful prose, astute dialogue, and vivid characters to carry the plot to an unexpected and believable finale.
Kelly Braffet’s Save Yourself goes to the heart of small town life and how challenging it is to live in the shadows of other people’s assumptions, expectations and manipulations . . . a powerful novel.
Braffet compassionately but honestly portrays engaging, confused characters in light, uncluttered prose. But a sharp turn keeps this from being a simple meditation on grief. This is a probing and emotional read that does not rest easy.
Save Yourself is an astonishing, fully-realized tale of two families struggling to communicate through layers of trauma, written with a steady, careful hand. Kelly Braffet isn’t afraid of dark places–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.
Spectacularly nightmarish. . .
There’s storytelling skill to burn here. Ms. Braffet has empathy for her working-class characters and brings neglected places to convincing life.
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.