Book Review: 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.

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.

Release Date: April 1, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Source: NetGalley

This was a fast, fun read.  It was about two girls who are polar opposites.  Stella is a "good girl" and Ruby is the new girl at school.  For some reason, Ruby decides she and Stella will be best friends, and they quickly form a friendship so exclusive that Stella's old friends are left out.

Ruby lives a totally different life from Stella.  Ruby's mom lets her go out at all hours, drink and date inappropriate men.  Stella, in comparison, has led a sheltered existence.  However, now that she and Ruby are so close, she starts letting loose too.

Before long, Stella has to decide between Ruby and her fun, fast ways and her old life of her "safe" friends and living to make her mother happy.  Ruby has some secrets, and as Stella uncovers them, she has to decide what to do: betray her friend in order to help her, or keep Ruby's secrets and keep Ruby happy?

I enjoyed this book.  There were some things I didn't like about it, namely all of the underage drinking and drug use.  I know it's representative of our times but I just don't like reading about that.  There were definitely some adult themes to the book, themes that left me wondering if this book would be better suited with an adult classification.

My favorite thing about Torn was the friendship and loyalty between Stella and Ruby.  I liked how Ruby was much more than she seemed to be on the surface.  I also liked that Stella did not just bow down to Ruby's strong personalty.  She stood up for herself, and Ruby really respected her for it.  I liked Stella's maturity and level-headedness (most of the time, anyway) and those aspects of her personality helped Ruby with some much-needed growth.  I also really enjoyed how Stella and Ruby resolved the conflict at school with the "mean girls."

Overall, I liked this book but didn't love it.  There were a lot of good things about it, and some things I could have done without.  I liked the writing style and would definitely read Stephanie Guerra again.


  1. Doesn't sound like my style but I really dug your review :)

  2. I really want to read this one. Mainly because it reminds me of the Thirteen (which I loved). Thanks for the review!

  3. It sounds a lot like the contemp fiction that I already read. I don't think this one is for me, but I'm glad that you enjoyed it!


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