caren reads.

What Tears Us Apart

What Tears Us Apart - Deborah Cloyed In 2007, an unfair election in Kenya erupted into a crisis of epic proportions. Violence, protests and economic impacts spread throughout the country as supporters of the winner, Mwai Kabaki, a Kikuyu, were attacked for the injustice. Leda, who had been searching for a purpose in her life, never imagined that when she made the decision to volunteer at an orphanage in the Kibera slums, she’d get caught up not only in its creator, Ita, but in this very same crisis.Leda’s never been a people person. She’s lived a life of privilege—meaning plenty of money—but she’s been saddled with a mother who doesn’t seem to care about her in the least.Ita, however, is an angel among demons. He’s smart and determined, but he’s lived a life of sacrifice, of violence, and of doing whatever it takes to get by. And while Leda’s always been alone, he’s been surrounded by people who love him, who want nothing but the best for him. Who would, and have, done anything to ensure his survival in the world so that he could one day reach his full potential.From the very first chapter, I knew I was going to both love and hate this book in equal measure. It was heartbreaking and tragic and real; everything a good book is supposed to be. I’ll admit that, at first, I was drawn in by the amazing cover, and I’m happy to report that what I found underneath it was everything I’d hoped it would be.Told in alternating POV’s and timelines, the way this story unfolds isn’t what you might expect. But it worked for me. I enjoyed the anticipation of what was coming up next, of what I would discover—and from whom—during the next little bit. These characters were amazingly developed, and seemed to jump right off the pages and straight into my heart. Especially Ita, with his quiet sweetness and dedication. I absolutely loved him. Loved. And Ntimi with his childlike innocence and excitement. I wanted to put him in my pocket and bring him home to live with me forever. Even Chege, despite his obvious downfalls, in the end, I just felt sorry for him. For them all, really. This book was a perfect example of how sometimes good people do bad things because they really and truly feel like there is no other choice for them.Don’t get me wrong, I gave this five stars because of how much it affected me, but it wasn’t perfect. There were things I didn’t like (mainly Leda’s behavior in a few spots), but what character doesn't have flaws? Overall, I felt like the point of this novel was that forgiveness is the biggest gift you can give anyone. To forgive is to be free. Nobody’s perfect, and you have to weigh out what’s more important: a person’s flaws or their goodness. I do wish there would have been an epilogue of some kind, so we could see into the future for these two and the boys, and even Kioni. It would have been a nice addition, but even without it, I was happy with the way this all came together and would recommend it to anyone who’s in the mood for something real and different than your typical romance novel fare.Full review:

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