Monday, January 14, 2013


Review Time! Torn is the second novel from 2011 YA debut author Cat Clarke! Her debut, Entangled (Review) was one of my favourite debuts of 2011 and I can't tell you how excited I was to read Torn! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC unfortunately I didn't get around to reading it till the end of 2012! You can purchase a copy of Torn from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld. Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy!

(Goodreads) 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...

The Short Story? - There were aspects of Torn that I really enjoyed but other aspects that I found lacking. I didn't love this one as much as I thought I would yet there was something about Torn that made it very easy to read and slip into. Eerily captivaitng, Torn is a novel about a girl who killed her best friend, dealing with dirty secrets and overwhelming guilt and self redemption. Clarke's Torn is a poignant novel about regret, friendship and the secrets that destroy. A killer work of mystery thriller, this one is for fans of disturbing realistic fiction.

The Long Story? - This book is right down my alley except it wasn't. I thought I was going to love this book and I would have if something more happened in the novel. I found it a little repetitive and that kind of put me off and the ending was a little bit of an anticlimax, I feel like in this case, an epilogue was essential. However if we moved past the repetition and anticlimax, the novel wasn't all that bad. Some disturbing part of me loves realistic fiction about girls who commit murders and friends with secret agendas. The murdering part of the story itself was fantastic, I loved it, it was a complete page turner and the unravelling after the act was committed was brilliant too. There was a "Lady Macbeth effect" happening -  hallucination and suicides from the guilt, the internal struggle between the truth and self preservation, the balance between right and wrong. The plot itself was fantastic, I just wished the repetition wasn't there, it would just made the book that much better!

The characterisation was pretty good. I felt that Clarke has thought it through and she has a character playing every possible role. Someone who is manipulative, someone to master the plan, someone whose guilt destroys her and someone who is fighting with herself to do the right thing. Alice, out protagonist is simply a victim in this story, someone who didn't want anything to do with an accidental murder but has live with the guilt because she was unfortunately roped into it because of the best friend card. The readers got to see in depth her internal struggle and I have so much sympathy for her. Cass and Polly weren't very likeable characters and I think that was the point, to make them into antagonists. Conniving school girls who are trying to hide the terrible truth about what happened to Tara. I also feel sorry for Rae who like Alice was a victim in this whole incident but whose guilt got the better of her. As for the romance, it was very bittersweet but it obviously wasn't going to become anything.

Ultimately, Torn is a novel about a prank gone wrong and the deadly consequences of one mistake. It's a novel about guilt and unravelling. I often wonder what the novel would have turned out like if the girls had just told someone about the accident instead of hiding it. I think Clarke has written a great novel that could have been better with some adjustments and improvements. Great characterisation and beautifully written, I haven't lost faith in Clarke and I'm sure whatever she has planned for us next will be phenomenal!

What's it Worth? - Squeeze into the Budget/ Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

1 comment:

  1. It's always disappointing when you think you'll love a book and it doesn't quite meet expectations. Sounds like you did enjoy this one though, even with the disappointments. I'm making it my mission to read a Cat Clarke book this year

    Cait x