I think Torn by Cat Clarke is the book I was most looking forward to read. Cat Clarke's previous book, Entangled, was just that good - very emotional and hard-hitting that I could not wait to get my hands on Torn. And it's sometimes scary to have such huge expectations for a book. But Torn lived up to all of the expectations I had. I loved the flawed characters, the emotions I felt witnessing this revenge against the mean girl gone wrong and all the guilt and horrible feelings afterwards as everyone involved tries to get on with their lives. It was a wonderful, emotional book and I think I'll always be excited about reading new books by Cat Clarke!
Torn is told from the point of view of Alice King who recently went on a school trip to Scotland. There, sharing a cabin with her best friend Cass, social reject Polly, emo-girl, Rae and Mean Girl Tara. When Tara's bullying and mean girl ways go a bit too far, Cass and Polly decide to teach Tara a lesson in humiliation.
What happens next was difficult to read, but it was also really gripping and I found myself unable to tear my eyes away from the pages. I loved how conflicted these characters are and how much in particular Alice struggles with the choices and decisions that were made. There's a deeper layer of guilt to Alice's story as she begins a romantic relationship with Tara's younger brother Jack. How can she carry on with Jack and not tell her what she knows about his sister's death?! And to make things worse, Tara isn't gone for good. Instead, Tara haunts Alice.
Torn really has so many great things going for it - a really ruthless mean girl, some hugely flawed and relateable characters, a sweet love story, a dead girl, and a ghost! But what I loved so much about it is how much emotion there is, especially from Alice. Not just guilt and horror at what happens, but all the complicated feelings that come with first love and a friendship that have ended badly. I love Alice's relationship with her father particularly as they are both still grieving from the loss of Alice's mother.
Torn as a brilliant book, one that really made me think about seemingly small actions that mean so much more to other people. It made me think about how I treat other people, how honesty and doing the right thing can feel like such a grey area. Mostly it just made me feel. Angry and confused and hurting and hopeful - and I think that's a sign of a great story. Torn is a book not to miss!