Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Book Review Wednesday: Torn by Stephanie Guerra (contemporary YA)

TornTorn by Stephanie Guerra

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This year I've been reading contemporary YA like it's the only thing ever published. Which is different for me, because that's what I write, and when I was writing fantasy, I avoided reading it at all cost. However, I cannot get enough of this genre.

This book made me happy that I went on a library binge and grabbed pretty much every book in this genre that I could carry (about 10 at once, no exaggeration). This book made me want to wallow in it. It made me want to go into it and never come out. For a book that is so focused on character, and really not a lot happens, it was compulsively readable. So much so that I actually wanted to do stretches so I could listen to it. So much so that I found excused to do laundry so I could listen to it while folding clothes. In short, I found every excuse I could to hang around the CD player.

If there was anything bad about this book, it's that some parts of it were a little cheesy. I liked the character, but she could be pretty saccharine at times. Still, it was nice to read a strong female lead who isn't 'hard'. Stella was sweet and caring, but she also didn't let people walk all over her--and when she did, she recognized it. She admits at times that Ruby was using her, but she was letting it happen. Sometimes that did bother me, esp. when she was doing something really stupid for Ruby, who was kind of evil to her for most of the book.

Audio note: Great reader on the audio--just a trace of an Hispanic accent, perfect for the character (half Mexican but raised by her white mother since early childhood). Highly recommend the audio.

Overall, this was a great read, if you're into reading about friendship (I'm taking a romance break), and if you don't need a ton of action in your books. It was one of those that sneaked up on me and suddenly I'd well up (esp. the parts with her sister, who I adored beyond words--I wish I'd written that character).

Content: mature language (including F-bombs), adult situations (including statutory rape and hard drugs), included but not explicit.

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