Torn – Cat Clarke
Release Date: 22nd December 2011
Other Titles by this Author: Entangled
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.
Entangled was one of my favourite books from earlier in the year so I was extremely excited to receive a copy of Cat Clarke’s sophomore novel. And I absolutely loved it.
I have to admit that shortly after starting Torn I was starting to wonder if it was a contemporary novel at all, though I’m not going to tell you why. There was an element of the story that could have been taken in a few different ways and though I was sceptical at first, I soon decided on what made it a psychological thriller like Entangled. I think this doubt is definitely one of my favourite things about Cat Clarke’s writing though and I hope it’ll become a trademark of her novels.
Tara is a very fascinating character. I mean, she was horrible and I hated her, but she was interesting. I completely understood why Alice, Cass, Polly and Rae wanted to get their revenge on her; I would. Nevertheless, there were glimpses of Tara through Alice’s memories and Jack’s stories that hinted at a character that I’d love to learn more about. Although I wanted to know more about her, I couldn’t always find it in myself to feel too sorry for her (yep, I’m a horrible person!).
I think that characters are Cat Clarke’s strength. I felt Alice’s entire struggle. I felt her guilt over Tara, her indecision about Jack, her feelings of blame, but also her desperate attempts to carry on with her normal life. As well as this there was the underlying theme of Alice’s physical insecurities and issues about her body that weren’t made a big deal of. They were just a part of her, a part of nearly every girl. Even though Alice’s experience isn’t something that most people experience, Cat still managed to fully engage me in her thoughts and her story.
Torn is a gripping, suspenseful and emotional novel that I devoured in an afternoon. Cat Clarke is quickly establishing herself as one of the best writers in YA and I can’t wait to read what she has up her sleeve for us next.