Review: Torn by Cat Clarke

Bullies, bad decisions and consuming guilt, this brilliant book is one for Pretty Little Liars fans.


Torn summary

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…

Torn review

This book made my heart drop. It’s an incredible exploration of guilt, anxiety, grief and regret, and I felt every one of those emotions as if they were my own. To begin with, I thought that this book was simply a teen drama that wouldn’t hit me too hard, but it’s actually heartbreaking, terrifying and thought-provoking.

I found Alice hard to connect with at the beginning. She’s insecure and often foolish, but I quickly realised that these flaws made her believable and kept me invested in her story. She’s consistent and brilliantly developed.

I loved Jack, and Alice’s complicated relationship with him only added to the battering this book gave my heart. Another favourite of mine was Rae – her story is probably the most important of them all.

And then there’s the ending, which is perfect yet frustrating. Even though I’d have loved to have found out more about what happened to Alice after the book’s ending, I love that Cat Clarke chose to end it where she did. It’s about the journey to that point and nothing else, and it’s the journey that carries the most important message. Going beyond that could have changed or clouded the entire meaning of this book, so I’m glad that Cat was brave enough to leave things open.

My rating

**** 4/5 stars

Have you read Torn or any of Cat Clarke’s other novels? I’d love to know what you thought. Let me know in the comments section below.

You might also like:

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham

The Memory Hit by Carla Spradbury

Drop by Katie Everson




  1. Laura
    7th November 2016 / 7:56 pm

    Loved The book but WHAT HAPPENED TO BRUNO THE DOG??? Im dying to know if he was sick or if it was just symbolic that he didnt greet her?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.