Books Magazine

Torn – Cat Clarke

By Bibliobeth @bibliobeth1


What’s it all about?:

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.

What did I think?:

Having read Cat Clarke’s debut novel Entangled and really enjoying it, I was excited to read this, her second book. Now I know I’ve only read two of her books, but I’m guessing that Clarke doesn’t like to shy away from difficult or intense subjects! Our main character Alice, is heading off on a school trip to Scotland with her best friend Cass, but ends up being stuck in a cabin with two typical teenage misfits, Polly and Rae, and the most popular (and horrible) girl in the school Tara. Things go drastically wrong when they decide to teach Tara a lesson after a particularly spiteful incident, but things don’t exactly go according to plan…

Back in the present day, Alice is having a hard time coming to terms with what has happened, and is suffering from the fact that she can’t talk to anyone about it. I think the author did a wonderful job here of letting the reader into the secret quite early on so we experience all the guilt-ridden emotions that Alice does, and feel the complexity of the situation which does not seem to offer any quick or easy resolution. I also loved the close and loving relationship Alice had with her father, her mother having died of cancer several years previously, it seemed to make the situation more despairing as she feared his disappointment. All the characters in this book are written well, and although they may not necessarily be likeable, they are real – warts and all. Clarke has a real talent for engineering people that you can believe in and care about, even in a negative way. If an author can make you dislike a character so much, doesn’t that mean they’ve done their job properly after all to spark that emotion in you?

There’s no way I’m going to give the ending away but have you ever put a book down and just said Aaaargh?!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):


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