The Tearings moved me to tears. VC Repetto's gripping debut novel took me to dark places where unexpected glimpses of hope lingered reminding me that in humanities darkest hour, a small light can shine within us all. The Tearings begins with Maya, a normal seventeen-year-old girl with a very normal seventeen-year-old life. She's on the swim team, has normal teenage emotions, has friends, enjoys going to the movies...and in one cough Maya's world is ripped from her. Maya is forced in a "healing center" where she soon uncovers a horrifying truth. The Tearings reminded me of a modern day Schindler's List. In parts of the novel that I struggled to remain composed, I thought of that little girl in her little red coat. The Tearings evoked emotions within me that forced me to think of scenarios we, as humans, ignore because the thought is too inconceivable, and yet the fictional atrocities woven throughout this haunting novel have sadly been very real in our history. Let my words be heard: The Tearings will stick with you, grab you, and not let you go. As heart wrenching as The Tearings is, there is hope, not always the hope we expect, but the hope we don't see coming that restores faith, and that hope can come in the form of a blanket, a piece of bread, a sip of broth, and that the symbolism of survival can come in the shape of a dandelion. The Tearings reminded me that death is not the biggest challenge we face, but that living with scars inflicted by the ugliest shades of humanity is often harder. Maya emerges as a champion, as a fighter, and her words cut you deeper than any knife ever could. I will continue to cheer for her, and eagerly await the second installment!
From the moment the black vans appear to take the sick away, Maya knows there is something wrong. She seems to be the only one to question the sudden disappearances at school and the masks everyone is forced to wear to keep from catching the new disease spreading through the entire United States. Even when word of the new “healing centers” reaches the public, no one dares to ask what is happening.
But when Maya catches the disease, the one they call The Tearings, and is taken to one of these centers along with her mother, the truth becomes all too clear. She is separated from her family and forced to work, becoming one of the more fortunate ones who is not sent to the testing wings. Bullied by the guards to the point of death, she meets David Summers, the enigmatic young Captain who appears to loathe his position of power in the camp and who seems as drawn to Maya as she is to him.
When Maya suddenly becomes the disease’s only survivor, she must put her trust on David to find a way to escape the camp and get the truth, and the cure coursing through her veins, out to the world.
14+ for violence and adult situations
My throat was raw, throbbing, and dry.
Panic rose immediately.
I was sick. I’d caught it.
I dug my nails into my hands and tried to get a hold of my galloping fear. Maybe I’d just slept with my mouth open during the night. That could be it, right? It didn’t need to be the worst thing imaginable. Except, I knew it was.
In seconds I was bolting up out of bed and running to the mirror hanging from my closet door. It hurt to open my mouth. Patches of red and fuzzy white had spread across my tongue and palates, making me wince when I touched them.
Sudden tears made my vision waver. Whatever this super-flu was, I had it.
I brushed my tears away with violence. There was no time for that right now. I had to think. My first instinct was to run into Mom’s room and tell her, but I made myself stand still for a few seconds more. Once she knew, she’d call the ambulances; there’d be no stopping her. They’d take us away to the health centers, so this might be the last few minutes I had to face this without needles poking at me.
As much as I tried to convince myself that allowing the ambulances to take me to the centers was a good thing, I couldn’t stop my stomach from clenching at the thought of riding in those black monsters that patrolled the streets. I wanted to stay home.
On impulse, I grabbed my cell off my night table and pressed one of the speed dial buttons.
Derek picked up on the fourth ring. “Maya?”
“Is everything okay?”
I hesitated. This was it. Once I told someone, there’d be no stopping this. “I woke up with a sore throat.”
Okay, okay not terrifying, but seriously freaky. The Tearings follows 16-year-old Maya as a deadly virus strikes her home town and then spreads across the U.S. When Maya catches the disease and gets taken by the black vans and forced into one of the many “healing center” it’s only a matter of time before the disease claims her. But when Maya suddenly becomes the disease’s only survivor, she must put her trust on David, the man running the healing center, to find a way to escape the camp and get the truth, and the cure coursing through her veins, out to the world. I absolutely loved this book. It took me two days to read because I had to keep putting it down, not because the book wasn’t awesome, but because it kept freaking me out! The plot is so realistic with everything that goes on in today’s world with biochemical warfare and such that I can absolutely see some disease getting unleashed on the world and American citizens being totally unprepared for it. The really scary part is the government reaction to everything. The way they swooped in and basically took kids to concentration camp like places made me want to cry. The fact that no one asked any questions or even tried to find out where all the sick people were disappearing made my heart hurt because I honestly feel like if something like this happened people would do exactly that. I love how strong Maya’s character is though. The way she stood up for herself after being bullied by some of the other kids and the way she stood up for Tom was just brilliant! At first I was so annoyed that she wouldn’t stand up for herself, but after getting sent into isolation she came out a new person and I really liked that about her. And oh my god, her connection with both Tom and David were so palpable that I can’t seem to choose who I like more! Am I Team Tom or Team David??? I don’t know. Can I be both? I seriously loved the entire premise of this book. I hated the soldiers because they were terrible people, but it gave the book that extra push it needed to be supremely frightening. There is nothing scarier than realistic issues. We’ve seen the government get out of control in history and we’ve seen what people can ignore to protect themselves throwing that all together in one book made for a fast paced and exciting read. I would highly recommend The Tearings to any of my fellow reviewers and readers. Excellent read