Friday 6 January 2012

Torn review

Cat Clarke
December 22nd 2011

Four girls. One dead body. A whole lot of guilt. 
Alice King isn’t expecting the holiday of a lifetime when she sets off with her classmates on a trip to the Scottish wilderness, but she’s not exactly prepared for an experience beyond her darkest nightmares… 
Alice and her best friend Cass are stuck in a cabin with Polly, the social outcast, and Rae, the moody emo-girl. Then there’s Tara – queen of mean. Powerful, beautiful and cruel, she likes nothing better than putting people down. 
Cass decides it’s time to teach Tara a lesson she’ll never forget. And so begins a series of events that will change the lives of these girls forever... 
A compelling story of guilty secrets, troubled friendship and burgeoning love.

When I turned the last page of Torn, I was honestly a little bit taken aback at how much I'd enjoyed it. Well, I'm not sure if enjoyed is the right word... I mean, of course I enjoyed it! But I guess it was a little bit like Stolen or something. It was a little bit evil in the way that all the things you didn't want to happen happened, and even though you knew it was the right thing to do, it kind of hurt to read it. I wanted to shout at Alice a lot in this book for doing the RIGHT thing. That's pretty bad, right?

It was kind of unnerving as well, because while the other girls were very strong personalities, Alice was just incredibly normal. It's kind of scary to think that this could happen so easily, just getting caught up with the peer pressure to do something bad, and the way it all happened was so feasible... There were times, though, when I thought it got a little far fetched, but it brought completely back with the grief and the guilt. Honestly, I wasn't expecting it. I thought the book was just going to be about the 'prank' and nothing more than that, but it ended up being a really strong contemporary about guilt and popularity, and what some people will do just to get to the top.

I loved that there was so many layers to it, and seeing how each of the different characters reacted to what they'd done. And learning the truth about what had actually happened that night. There were some bits that genuinely chilled me, just because of how cold and cunning some of the characters had been... (no spoilers here!) 

I also loved the whole romance element. It was really well done, considering the implications of it, and the conditions under which it was formed. I think that Cat pulled it off really well, and it was just so intense, especially by the end. There was just so much emotion and honesty in it. And just the end of the book in general. I'm only going to say really generic things about it because I want you to feel all that emotion completely untainted, but it was cruel. Like, you might not think that when you start it, but when you've been through that whole journey, it was just completely wicked. But in that kind of WOW way. And it just made me like the book even more.

I honestly cannot recommend this book enough to people who like this kind of contemporary. I can tell you that it's called Torn for a reason - because of the books content, yes, but also because of how much it will tear you up as a reader. It isn't sad or anything, and it (probably) won't make you cry, but it will make you feel, and that's the most important thing.

I really want to write a longer review for this book, I need to talk about it! But I can't do that without spoiling it all for you, so you have to read it! So that we can talk about it on Twitter and GR and stuff! Honestly, it's brilliant. 


  1. I really haven't read much about this one. Glad you liked it -- I'm going to check it out. Thanks!

  2. I really enjoyed (or was rattled deeply by it ~ it's not right to say you 'enjoy' a book that deals with emotional and psychological trauma) 'Entangled', Cat Clarke's debut. I'm pretty excited to read this one ~ it sounds so sinister compared to 'Entangled' which had a sweeping beauty underneath it all.

    Layers. Layers are good. :P Hehe. Definitely got me all excited now!

  3. I NEED to read this as soon as possible! It sounds SO good! Glad it made you feel - books like that are always awesome, even if you don't like what it makes you feel (like if it makes you really really sad - no one wants to be really really sad, right? ;P ) Anyway, was it even better than Entangled? Because that was AWESOME :) Great review!

  4. I've been looking at this one for a while now - I'm so glad that you enjoyed it, I love when a book takes you by surprise and turns out to be something that bit extra special.

  5. I totally get what you mean about it being a bit evil - I felt the exact same way. Yo kinda feel wrong about enjoying it, but it was awesome, right? Lol. Fab review, btw!

  6. I loved, loved, loved this book, I have to agree with everything you said, I actually did shout out loud at Alice at one point!

  7. cicely let me know if you want a copy of Wink murder or a finished copy of This is not forgiveness as your prize for linking up for first BBC review


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