Sunday, 25 March 2012

Torn by Cat Clarke

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.

 So if you've read some of my Waiting On Wednesday's, you'll know I was stupidly excited when I found out that Clarke was publishing another book, and I was practically stalking out the book stores in an attempt to actually find the book - and when I did I swear I could have cried (okay, a bit overdramatic, but close enough.). It's taken me a couple of weeks to get round to reading it, but from when I picked it up yesterday, I was hooked.

The storyline was brilliant, to say the least. When I first read the blurb, it sounded like it was going to be a quite dramatic book - and from having previously read Clarke's other book, Entangled, I was prepared for it to be quite thrilling and to tackle some particularly tough issues. And it was both those things - but not quite to the extent of Entangled, which was a bit disappointing. But I suppose that the whole issue of going on a school trip and accidentally murdering one of your fellow classmates is a pretty major topic all on its own. One of the things I loved about the plot was that it wasn't the type of murder you expected it to be - from the blurb it sounded like they knew they were going to kill her - but in actual fact they didn't, and I think that really worked well,because it added another twist so that the storyline was more like; What do you do when you're playing a prank on the mean girl of your school, but your best friend goes over-the-top and pretty much kills her? And that brings up all these other questions - because Alice was there, is she a murderer too? Will she get into trouble, despite knowing very little about the plan? And I think that constant question is what made the book very addictive - you wanted to know if they got caught. If Alice was guilty. If Rae was guilty. If Cass was guilty. If Polly was guilty. However, despite the addictive storyline, I found the ending very disappointing. It was a cliffhanger - but the kind of cliffhanger that is a full-stop in the fact that there isn't going to be a sequel; that's your lot. And in a way, that was the best way to end the book - but I can't help but wish there was an epilogue, saying what happens to the four of them in the end - what happens to Jack, to Tara...there are so many unanswered questions, and I guess that will bug me for a while. So I will warn you that while it is a great read and I definitely recommend it, prepare to feel slightly lost at the end.

Despite that one flaw, I really did love the book, and for once I actually liked the majority of the characters - or at least felt the way I was supposed to about them. I really liked the characters of Alice, Jack and Rae - and I really disliked the characters of Tara, Cass and Polly, but not because they were badly characterized - the exact opposite really. I thought all the characters were properly thought-through, and each one was unique - well, with the exception of Sam and Gemma.

If you have read Entangled, I highly recommend this book. In my opinion, it isn't as good - but it isn't far off it. Clarke's novels are always gripping and interesting, and I can't wait to find out what book she will write and publish next!


  1. This sounds like an interesting read thanks for the review!