How did I get it?:
I bought it at Storytellers Inc.
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. . .
I first heard about Salvage from a few British book bloggers. I haven’t read anything by the author before, but Salvage sounded like a gritty piece of UKYA that I really wanted to get into. I’m glad that I picked it up, because I thought it was a fantastic story. It didn’t take me long to get into and as soon as I was into it I tore through the book wanting to find out what was going to happen to the characters I grew to care about.
Salvage is told through dual perspectives. The reader hears from Cass and Aidan who are brother and sister. Cass was adopted by a loving family who gave her the best opportunities. She’s a clever girl, headed for Oxford University. Cass doesn’t remember a lot about her birth family, but when her adopted family starts to fall apart a way into her old life opens up with a Facebook message from her brother Aidan. Aidan notices a picture of Cass in the paper and reaches out to his sister. He has had a completely different life to Cass. He was never adopted. He’s survived many a foster home and bedsits. He wants to make Cass part of his family again, but he has to make her realise what it’s like to be part of his family…
I was really impressed by how the author didn’t hold back at all in this story. She really dug deep into the subject and I think gave a very raw account of life in foster care. Of course it’s not the same for every person that experiences it and there are more good experiences than bad, but there are some bad experiences out there and I think they deserve to be told in stories. I also thought it was interesting to see how Cass and Aiden had such different experiences with their upbringing. If we’re being philosophical we could think about it with the nature/nurture debate. Did Cass have a better upbringing and therefore future, because she had more opportunities and much more unconditional love than Aiden?
This book has such interesting, complex characters. They’re not always easy to like or understand, but they’re three dimensional and feel very real. I also think it’s a book that will appeal to both male and female readers, which is brilliant!
Would I recommend it?: