Torn by Cat Clarke

Challenge 31 – “A book by an author with the same initials as you.”


★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

From the very get-go, the plot is not one you’ll come across in your typical high school novel. Clarke builds on this with an unusual perspective, and a setting after what many would debate to be the climax of the story. This not only builds on the mystery and intrigue surrounding the Tara debacle, but makes the reader question where the story is going to go next.

As the pages unravel, due to a well-managed plot and strong characterisation, Clarke twists and bends the story so you’re never quite sure where the tale is going. One minute you’re thinking one thing, and the next it’s something else completely. The introduction of Not-Dead Tara really shakes the reader as well – I was not convinced by her role at first (it added a more fantasy element to what was a quite realistic story) but she certainly grew on me as a character as the novel progressed. Particularly when it became clear her role was just that of a conscience.

The ending was probably my least favourite part of the story as the pacing wasn’t quite what it should have been. It managed to feel both abrupt and dragged out, suggesting elements weren’t balanced in how they were handled at the end. That being said, the ending wasn’t entirely predictable, and even once you though it had concluded, Clarke twisted it again. Of course, the whole boyfriend/brother finding out was inevitable, but Clarke didn’t let that define the inevitability of the ending.

Overall, Torn was an extremely enjoyable read, although I would not recommend making it your first Clarke novel. From what I’ve read of her work (which is only a limited selection), Torn is not the best she has to offer, but it is a strong novel nonetheless. And certainly good if you’re looking for something standard, but a little different…

Recommended for fans of:

  •  Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
  • The D.U.F.F. by Kody Keplinger
  • Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

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