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.
Torn was the first book I read by Cat Clarke, and though it is aimed at a younger audience, I did enjoy it.
Torn follows Alice King as she comes to grips with the events that happened during a school trip to the Scottish wilderness. Alice returns home after the trip with a dark secret. Part of her knows that she should tell the truth, to her father, her boyfriend, and even the police. At the same time, Alice is aware that she and her classmates could face serious consequences for hiding something so terrible.
Despite enjoying this book, I did find that the ending wasn’t really what I’d expected. It seemed quite rushed. Another problem was that I couldn’t really connect with a lot of the characters. Though I did feel some sympathy towards Alice, she did seem a bit immature, while her best friend Cass is just not very likeable and appears to be intent on causing trouble. I also thought that the relationship between Alice and Jack was rushed and unrealistic.
Nevertheless, Torn is an emotional and thought-provoking book. I found myself glued to the very end, anxious to find out what would happen Alice and her friends. Torn tackles grief and guilt, as well as some of the typical problems faced by teenagers. Although I do think Cat Clarke wrote book for young teenagers, some of the content might be better understood by older teens.