review by Maryom
On a school outward-bound type trip, Alice and best friend Cass find themselves sharing a cabin with popular but bitchy Tara, emo Rae and the largely ignored Polly. Following a terrifying pot-holing expedition, Tara's meanness reaches new heights and Cass thinks it's time to take her down a peg or two. As things slide from funny to disastrous, Alice finds herself dragged into helping cover up what really occurred.
Torn is another stunning book from Cat Clarke filled with that edgy thought-provoking angst that teens seem to love and which strangely brought back memories of French lessons reading Sartre. Jean Paul had many a hero torn between the cushy option and doing what they knew to be right - and this is where Cat Clarke's heroine Alice finds herself. Should Alice tell all? Does Alice even know all?
The reader is enticed along as Alice's back story is slowly revealed and they come to realise how much the dynamics of the group have changed over the years, how peer pressure and school cliques have shaped the girls' characters and attitudes. This sort of incident is not one to walk away from untouched and I was fascinated by how the girls' characters continued to evolve in unexpected ways - though we aren't talking dead flatmates here, despite the Shallow Grave reference.
Torn is a thought provoking book that proves that not all YA fiction has to be about werewolves and vampires. There's a mystery, quite a lot of romance and important decisions about taking responsibility to be made, as Alice tries to work her way out of the mess.
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Quercus
Genre - teenage, YA,
Other reviews: CarnelianValley
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