Torn by Stephanie Guerra
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.Publishes in US: April 1st 2012
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.
This was such a realistic and gritty read! I could totally relate with Stella, the good girl from rough circumstances who gets drawn into a friendship that is all encompassing and more edgy than she's used to. We read all the time about boyfriends who influence girls' lives and take over the relationship in ways that are not so positive, but in real life, there are girlfriends that can do that too. (This isn't BLGT by the way. I'm down with that, but that's not what I meant so no one gets wrong idea.)
It is a nice change to have a book that focuses more on friendship and family, because even though Torn does feature a romantic interest, it is not all consuming. Now, don't get me wrong I love a good romance, but sometimes it's nice to have a change of pace. But, anyways, back to Stella. I really admire how loyal she is, and how brave she is--the things that she does for Ruby in the end really are awesome, and I hope my friends would do the same for me if I were in that situation. I also really think highly of Stella in regards to her family. She is responsible, she complements her mom, and she looks out for her siblings. Stella is also stellar in how she deals with her boyfriend--I can't say a whole lot without spoiling, but I appreciate the writer having the guts to go there, and not keep everything peachy and predictable.
Ruby is well written too, she's wild and appears carefree. And I love how the layers are peeled from her little by little to show what makes her tick and what led her to be like she is. The way that she learned from her past and dealt with the bullying, well, let me just tip my hat.
Ms. Guerra's writing was solid, and the pace kept me interested the whole time, I didn't want to put it down, and wanted to know what would happen next.