Published: December 22nd 2011, Quercus
Pages: 372 pages (ARC)
Acquired: Via UK Book Tours
Summary (from 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...
A compelling story of guilty secrets, troubled friendship and burgeoning love.
My review: Entangled was one of my favourite books that I read last year and I wasn't sure that Clarke would be able to top it with her second release, Torn. Do you know what? I think she might have done just that. Torn is incredible, pure and simple.
Torn is one of those books that I was sure I would adore, based solely on the summary and the author's previous work. I love anything creepy and anything involving bitchy teenagers so combining the two adds up to pretty much my perfect book. The pace is fantastic, racing and immediate one second and then slow and subtle just as you're beginning to get overwhelmed by the horrific situation the girls find themselves in. The thick of the action is great but I think it's the quieter, understated moments where Clarke really manages to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
Not only is Torn a mystery and thriller in all the right places, it's also teen drama at its finest. We see the social hierarchy at the school shift and change after the 'tragedy' and it's fascinating to see how each of the girls cracks (or doesn't) under the pressure of the secret they're desperately trying to hide. Each of the characters brings something to the book and I love how each of them is so distinct, with each girl dealing with her issues differently. Rae was an absolute gem of a character, kudos to Clarke for not making her the stereotypical emo girl.
I actually really loved the romance in Torn, which surprised me. I often tire of the love story if it isn't the central part of the plot but it works so well here; Alice and Jack's relationship is relatively slow burning and entirely realistic, which was great. Plus, sexytimes are always something we need more of in YA so thanks for that, Cat. God damn it, bring on the sex!
There were also two dogs, which made me really happy. I like a good canine character, particularly if their names begin with B. If I squinted at the page Bruno could almost look like Bertie, which was exciting. Although, more exciting than that was finding my name in the acknowledgements! I didn't even know either, so that was pretty darn awesome. Cat is not only an absolutely BAMF when it comes to writing kick ass YA, she's also a brilliant friend and all round lovely person. Go, Cat, go!
First line: 'A funeral without a body is like a wedding without a bride.'
Read if you liked…: The Hole - Guy Burt
Total: 18/20 (A)