By: Stephanie Guerra
Published: May 15th 2012 by Marshall Cavendish
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Goodreads description--Stella Chavez is your classic good girl: straight As, clean-cut boyfriends, and soccer trophies . You’d never guess that Stella’s dad was a drug addict who walked out when she was a kid. Or that inside, Stella wishes for something more.
New girl Ruby Caroline seems like Stella’s polar opposite: cursing, smoking, and teetering in sky-high heels . But with Ruby, Stella gets a taste of another world—a world in which parents act like roommates, college men are way more interesting than high school boys, and there is nothing that shouldn’t be tried once.
It’s not long before Stella finds herself torn: between the best friend she’s ever had and the friends she’s known forever, between her family and her own independence, between who she was and who she wants to be.
But Ruby has a darker side, a side she doesn’t show anyone—not even Stella. As Stella watches her friend slowly unravel, she will have to search deep inside herself for the strength to be a true friend, even if it means committing the ultimate betrayal.
Torn very much reminded me of a television show from the 90s called My So Called Life minus Brian Krakow—who happened to be one of my favorite characters of the show. Specifically the storyline of Ruby and Stella's friendship from Torn and Angela and Rayanne's friendship from My So Called Life.
I was actually impressed with this story. I went into it not knowing or expecting much, and I came out of it pleasantly surprised. A lot happens in the 263 pages (more than some other books with an added 200+ pages). I was surprised that there was more depth than I expected. The characters not only had real problems, pasts that affect their presents and futures, but the psychology was really there in my opinion.
I wondered in the beginning what would draw someone like Stella to someone such as Ruby. They didn’t seem to have much in common at all. Yet, it all made sense when everything was revealed and puzzle pieces started to fall into place. And while I typically prefer books that center around a romance, this one centers around a friendship. And that was okay. I didn’t feel like it was lacking because of the absence of a growing romance that I could support.
This was a story not only about friendship but about the growth and experiences of the main character, Stella. It was a growing experience we don’t often get with characters. Watching her learn about herself and come out of the self-absorbed box that teenagers sometimes live in (not always something they do on purpose) was extremely enjoyable and I wanted to keep reading.
This was one of the better books I’ve read recently with real and flawed characters you can relate to and feel for facing some pretty heavy situations provoked by painful pasts. 4 Stars for Torn.
Have you read it? If so, what did you think? Let me know!