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.
Provided by Netgalley – Dear Netgalley, I’m sorry it took so long…
At the very beginning of the book I was unsure of just how much I was going to like this book. I don’t normally read very much YA contemporary fiction and it definitely had a Sarah Dessen feel. (maybe because that’s the only YA contemporary I’ve read…) I liked Sarah Dessen for a time and then read too much of her stuff all at once and got tired of seeing girls do stupid stuff and getting themselves into terrible situations and having no one to turn to to help them. That said, that was one of the best things about this book. A loving family life.
In Torn, Stella has a mother who works all the time but still manages to help comfort and give advice to her kids. A lot of responsibility is heaped on to the kids because she works so much but she does things that she finds important with her family (like meeting friends, boyfriends, and going to church). She has instilled good morals into her kids, trusts them, and expects the best from them. I love her.
Stella was a great character and a product of household. She worked hard and didn’t fall too far away from her morals and ethics. She dared to care when others wouldn’t and even got into some really hard situations for her friend because they were the right thing to do, even though they were the last thing she wanted to do. I also liked that she would stand up for herself. There were times when she couldn’t but for the most part she always tried.
Ruby, on the other hand, was kind of a nuisance. If I were Stella, I would have slapped the crazy out of Ruby and told her to straighten up, if she didn’t I would have walked out.
The thing is, I was really frustrated with Stella for putting up with everything that Ruby did. But Stephanie Guerra ended up making it totally understandable of why she would do so.
Overall, good read. Even though it’s not my normal genre.