24 May 2012

Review: Torn by Stephanie Guerra

Torn by Stephanie Guerra

Published: 15 May 2012 by Marshall Cavendish

Pages: 263 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher for review

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository


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.

My Thoughts

Oh contemporary YA.  I wish I could say ''it's not you, it's me'', but that would be a lie.  We are both equally to blame.

Now that I've finished my kinda crazy inner dialogue, let me tell you why Torn has neither improved nor damaged the relationship I have with contemporary YA.

Positives - this is a YA story without romance.  Sure, there are boys but they are not the focus of the story, the friendship between two girls, Stella and Ruby, is the main focus, with some asides into family relationships, self-esteem, high school bitchiness and some other of the 'harder-hitting' YA subjects.

I liked Stella for the most part, although at times I just wanted to give her a good shake and tell her to woman-up a little, and Ruby was certainly the firecracker.  I also liked Stella's sister, Jackie.

Then there are the negatives.  Not really negatives as such, more disappointments on my part.  Firstly, there could have been a lot more background on Ruby's family, which would have helped to paint the picture of why she behaved the way she did.  Secondly, and probably my biggest issue with Torn is the ending.  Too neat, too perfect, too many bows - it's nice to leave a book open-ended, but it shouldn't necessarily be an easy ending.

I think I'm sounding a bit more down on this book than I really should - even though for me it was flawed, Torn touches on some pretty sensitive subjects and does so with a fair amount of grace.


  1. LOL. That first sentence. Awesome. This doesn't sound too great for me either. Pushing your reading boundaries can be good, but it can also end up here.

    1. Contemporary YA is probably the hardest for me to enjoy. This was a good, quick read but it left me feeling a bit unsatisfied.

  2. Contemporary YA is not my favorite. The only one I absolutely love is Dreamland by Sarah Dessen.



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