Review: Salvage by Keren David


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 know that Keren David has a devoted fan base for her novels, so I’m ashamed to say that this book was my first Keren David read.  Firstly, a great big shout out has to go to the cover design team because, WOW-IE.  I’d seen the cover art online but it wasn’t until I had it in my hands that I could fully appreciate it.  It’s the best shade of blue ever and the photography is very clever once you’ve read the story.

Aiden and Cass have very separate lives but when a twist in their fates brings them back together after years apart, they have a chance they thought they lost. A chance to reconnect and find the family they both had lost so long ago.  Aiden has had a troubled upbringing, passed around care homes and families until he could legally leave and start his life over.  Cass was adopted into a good family and attends a great school but her  once happy family is now falling apart.  Aiden and Cass are brother and sister and Salvage is the story of their lives as the reunite and the aftermath.

A throughly entertaining and gripping read which has me adding Keren’s back-catalogue to my wish list already.   Keren David is a fantastic writer and I can say without a doubt that if you’re a fan of her work already, Salvage won’t disappoint.  It was brave when it needed to be and funny or tender when the characters needed a breather from the tension.  The twists in the story had you on tender hooks and completely absorbed waiting to find out.  I thought the side-stories with Aiden’s depressed friend from the care homes and Cass’ relationships with her adoptive parents were perfect ways to compliment the main story.  

Salvage is a fabulous contemporary YA and I can’t wait to read more by Keren David.  Gritty, emotional and clever way to look at how people can judge others and how those judgements can leave lasting effects, worse than the truth itself.

Published by Atom Books and is available here and bookshops now

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