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What Tears Us Apart

What Tears Us Apart - Deborah Cloyed I won't even lie, it was the cover that caught my attention.Absolutely gorgeous.However, the book itself is hard to rate. I loved the story, but it was the writing that put me off.Not writing exactly, but the format it was written in.The past is written in past tense, the present in present tense and then suddenly - another past, from way back - in present tense. It really took some getting used to.This book is more of a 3.5 but I'm rounding it up because of the very complex relationship between Ita and Chege.Ita is basically a saint and a hero in this slum. He's a good person, incredibly smart, and capable of achieving so much with so little. And I could see why everyone idolized him - he runs the orphanage, he checks on people to see if everything is okay, he basically gave up his life and dreams to take care of the others, and he doesn't hold it against anybody.Personally, I'd be livid. I'd hate everything and everyone, not just mope around in self-pity. So I kind of thought his character was too good to be true. All people have little monsters - except - he had none. Just a lot of misplaced guilt. And you might think in the end that he is no saint, nor a hero. He was very judgmental and, I'd say, ungrateful.Chege, on the other hand, made sure that Ita would have the life he deserved, and he would have done anything (and he did) to give Ita that opportunity to make something out of himself.Kind of like a personal guardian angel. For me, he was the true hero of this story.But there is a lot of resentment from Ita toward Chege. I tried to understand, but even I could see that Chege was just looking out for him. Again I'm saying - very complex.What ruined the story for me was Leda's character. All I kept thinking in the end was that if she didn't come between them... which she did and I won't be convinced otherwise. I liked her, initially, but as the time went she was just another little rich girl trying to clean her guilty conscience.All these misunderstandings and assumptions. I was so angry when it all came out in the end. People talk.Maybe it would have been more believable if the characters were younger. If the characters are in their thirties, it just isn't believable that they wouldn't have talked things out. They should be mature enough to know better than making assumptions. Especially when you have people so close as Ita was with Chege. Why did Ita assume the worst of him? When it all comes out it won't make any sense to you. All he ever did was take care of Ita.Now, the relationship between Ita and Leda - yeah, they had good chemistry. They fell in love immediately, but I guess they were it for each other. I liked the romance, it felt like he was saving her even though she was the one that had all that money and could have provided for him and the kids.Like I said, I wasn't the fan of the format this was written in, but I did like the writing itself. Obviously, I've never been to Kenya so I don't know how accurate the descriptions are but the author brought it to life.It has a great cast of supporting characters and I loved Mary and the kids, and Kiani and of course, Chege. The villain in this story is the politics, not any particular person. I liked that.Another thing I didn't like was that you get two extra POVs somewhere throughout the story. The author probably wanted to show you these things so that's why you get them. But it just felt so random.There are a couple of mildly graphic sex scenes in this book. Just a heads up.A few friends told me this blurb reminds them of Fisher Amelie's VAIN. It's nothing like it, the only thing in common is the orphanage. Overall, I liked the story. You get the impression that the author is not just writing blindly, but that she has actually been to this place.I definitely recommend it.**Free copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley.