Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Review: Torn by Cat Clarke

Torn by Cat Clarke
Release Date: 22nd December 2011
Publisher: Quercus 
Source: Bought for Kindle
Reason for Reading: UK author loved by everyone

Goodreads description:

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.

My thoughts:

I've sat back and watched the love that exists in the blogosphere for Cat Clarke. I've seen the release of each of her books with their intriguing premise and evocative covers and I've thought to myself "one day". Unfortunately, when the day finally came for Torn, I just didn't love it as much as I wanted to. 

My main issue with Torn is that it made me feel uncomfortable. Some people, I guess like isn't the right word really, but that sort of uncomfortable, tense feeling is something they look for/appreciate. A lot of people watch cringe comedy for instance, which is similar. I just cannot tolerate that feeling at all. So that feeling being present, all the way through this book, really impacted my enjoyment of it. It's good that a book can affect me so much, but when it is causing such an adverse reaction it isn't that great. 

At first I thought the plot was a bit far-fetched but when I thought about it, I could totally see it happening. A prank gone horribly wrong, scared girls panicking and making totally the wrong call and then leaving it too late to come clean. It made me totally suspicious of the disappearances we see in the news. 

I thought the characters were totally authentically teenage which was really great; Cat Clarke captured that teen voice perfectly and they were so diverse. I didn't really connect with any of them that much though, which didn't improve how I felt about the story. Rae was probably my favourite character and I really felt for her throughout this whole story. I really liked Jack as well he was so sweet and kind and caring and I just felt so sorry for him all the way through. I wanted him to know what happened but at the same time I didn't want anymore pain caused. 

The ending happened the way it had to happen and whilst I know it was an intentionally ambiguous, make-your-own-mind-up end I couldn't help but feel that it had to end there simply because there was nowhere else to go with the story.

TL;DR: I really wanted to love this one, but unfortunately I just...didn't. I can see why it has such appeal though, it was a really good book, it just wasn't for me. So if you're into a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and give you that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, this is the book for you. 


  1. I read Undone a few months ago and it got a 5/5 for me - such a great book! You should check that one out. I haven't read Torn yet, but I really like the sound of it, so I'm hoping I'll enjoy it when I get to reading. Shame it didn't work out better for you.

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  3. I have another of her books I've been meaning to read. I forgot all about this one. Too bad it was sort of a dud for you, Cait, but it's awesome that the author did a great job with the teenage voice!

  4. awwww Its a shame you didnt like this one so much Cait… to be honest I love that uncomfortable feeling you are on about and I think Cat does it so well, its present in all of her books really so you may struggle with the others just as much unfortunately :( x

  5. This is probably my east favourite of Cat's novels, primarily because, like you, it made me uncomfortable!

  6. Cat is really brilliant at writing teenagers, isn't she? It's a shame you didn't enjoy this one, but oh well. I think the thing I'm most uncomfortable in her writing is the whole rape thing in Undone, but I can see how you wouldn't like this.


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