Written by: Cat Clarke.
Published by: Quercus.
Released: 22nd December 2011.
Official synopsis: "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..."
Last September, I reviewed Cat's first book, Entangled, and the review began with the following sentence: "This book is amazing! There. I've said it. Entangled is amazing." And it's true! And unfortunately, I have to begin the review of Torn in exactly the same way. Because it also is amazing... So...
This book is amazing. There. I've said it. Torn is amazing! (Is this going to become a Cat Clarke tradition?!). I've said before that the pink-ness of the Entangled proof putting me off a bit, and to be honest the use of pink, did again have a little effect on me. Not really a fan of pink, and to be honest, pink doesn't fit the story, but, a cover is a cover, there to get attention, and no doubt, this cover will. But having read Cat's work already, the cover was the least of my worries! I was fretting about what was inside.
Entangled took things to a fantastic new level and I wondered whether Cat could do it again.
With masterful skill, Cat takes us on yet another earth-shattering ride as Alice King fights with her conscience and her best friend. Does she do the right thing and compromise her relationship with Cass, or does she keep the secret, despite the fact that it's getting harder and harder to keep?
I knew Cat was amazing, but Torn, for me only proves that even more. The writing is so addictive and one-hundred percent teenage. Cat gets right into the mind of her characters - in particular those of a narrative nature - and never once does the voice of Alice faultier. It's constant and oozes along naturally. It doesn't read like "adult writing for a teenager from a teenagers point of view but obviously not written by a teenager..." If you didn't know Cat, you would think this book had been written by a fifteen year old, no doubt about it.
The five main characters, Alice - who we've already spoken about.., Cass the best friend, Rae the girl that doesn't really speak to anyone because she's too into her music, Polly the girl that, sadly, rightly or wrongly, we all know - no real friends, a kind of outcast. And then of course we've got Tara. The popular girl. Queen Bee. This book could be real, because it takes five girls who could go to any school, anywhere in the country, no doubt in the world.
To be honest, saying anymore would really spoil the book. It's so finely woven and beautifully crafted that trying to tweaser out tidbits it so freaking hard and anything I say could give the game away, quite literally. Just know that from start till finish, you'll be hooked - addicted to every word from the North London, main setting, and the field trip in Scotland that kickstarts the terrible events that take place... Characters you can actually believe in, fall for, feel for, and at the same time dispse. Twists and turns. This whole book is an experience that should not be missed.
I just wish I could forget it all to read it again! More please!
My thanks to Quercus for my copy!