Sunday, 4 August 2013

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...

I don't think I can actually give enough praise for this book and how powerful and yet moving it really was. The characters all seemed to have something about their personality that really defined them and separated them as an individual from everyone else. Alice - whose eyes the book is told through - is instantly likeable and you do feel sorry for her: her Mum died of cancer and so her Dad brings her up on his own, and she isn't the most popular of people. Although it isn't her idea to do what happens, which results in killing Tara, and she stands on the sidelines without taking part in the event she is a bystander and feels incredibly guilty throughout the book for not doing anything to prevent what happened. As time goes on she pleads for the three other girls who took part to have a little remorse, and even though this is unsuccessful it brings up old and surprising memories of the past. 

Then there is Tara herself. Normally you know a book is good when the author has got the antagonist perfectly right, and that is what Cat Clarke did. Tara is pure evil and that is reflected from the moment you meet her. However there is this innocent sheen on some parts of her personality e.g. how scared she is before her death takes place, and in Alice's flashbacks you learn how someone can so twistedly climb the popularity hierarchy and how time changes everyone so much in different ways.

When I picked up this book, I didn't believe it would actually be that great. I am one of those people who will start reading a book and if I don't find myself engaged within the first few sentences, I am certain that the book probably isn't for me, but I was gripped by this. So much that I completed it within three days - which at the time I was quite proud of. But that is what a good book does. As for regarding the ending, I was a bit 50/50 on my opinion of it as personally what Alice did was the right thing to do, but it just left me thinking what next? I felt that although I really anticipated the ending, it didn't really give closure on anything, but nevertheless, I was incredibly impressed and it is easily one of the best books I have ever read.

Holly x

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