Torn

Torn
Cat Clarke
Reviewed by Katie Clapham
Quercus
Thu, 22/12/2011
9780857382054
£6.99

The most popular girl in school is dead and there are four people who know what happened.

On the school trip to the Scottish wilderness, Alice and her best friend Cass can’t believe it when they’re put in a cabin with goth girl Rae, mousey loner Polly and Tara Chambers, the beautiful bully who can make their lives hell - if she feels like it. When Tara and her clique decide to play a mean prank on Polly, the newly forged foursome decide to get their own back, but what begins as a mean joke spirals out of control. Bound together by their horrific secret but unable to look at each other, the girls’ lives are changed forever as they deal with the consequences of that fateful night.  
 
Clarke’s second novel is a real page-turner, the neat chapters lend themselves to ‘just one more’ and some smart pacing means the story is a slow-burning reveal of its all twisty secrets. Alice is, for once, a truly normal teenager and her anxious inner monologue makes her a believable narrator. Tara is a figure that, sadly, all school girls will instantly recognise. The romantic elements will satisfy the typical YA audience but the home-grown horror of a real world thriller is what makes this story stand out. A crime story fit to tempt teen audiences from fantasy and fashion and into the wilderness of real life – where endings aren’t always happy.
Cat Clarke, Torn, YA

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