Torn by Stephanie Guerra

Release Date: May 15 2012
Stella Chavez has always been the good girl who never attracted attention. She is on the soccer team so she does have a jock boyfriend but other than that she's not popular but she's not a total loser too. Her mother works tirelessly to feed her and her younger brother and sister that she has had to raise when she is gone. Her brother is a gaming addict and she makes sure he doesn't just eat junk food all day. She needs to make sure her sister doesn't hang out with the wrong people and be with someone in a gang. She wouldn't have to do this if her father was around. She can remember her father being loving but there was also that split personality that came in with drugs. He ended up in the end leaving the family to fend for themselves.

Insert new girl Ruby who's a wild child, uses and abuses men, drinks, curses, and does anything she wants to. It's not like her mother is going to do anything about her. She doesn't even seem to care. With Ruby, Stella can be someone else completely. She's been with the same friend's since kindergarten and they are boring and safe. With Ruby she gets to experience life a whole nother way. But what happens when her friend crosses the line with a man who is older than your average High School boy or even college boy. She has always been in control until now. Will she able to help her friend get away from him before she gets seriously hurt or will she fade away out of her life like her father?

First of all a round of applause for a Hispanic who wrote a story with a Hispanic as a main character. *Applause* I know there are other books where that happens like Matt de la Pena writing the amazing story of Danny in Mexican Whiteboy but I don't usually come across a YA book where the main character is anything other than white. It's not a bad thing because those books are great but it's nice to have some diversity. And then she incorporated her being Catholic so that made me happy as well.

Everyone thinks Stella is so nice and safe in the beginning but she must have some wild child in her to want to be friends with Ruby. Either that or she's a follower. She drank too already. More out of courtesy in the beginning but later on... At least she had a line that she didn't cross. Ruby on the other hand got handed into her by a smooth talker who's a thirty four year old man with gray hair. In the beginning she would make guys chase her and I was as dumbfounded as Stella when I saw her change. I thought this book was absolutely brilliant. Very engaging. I loved Stella and even Ruby even though she bugged me because she was just... everywhere. She's not the greatest person. Let me leave it at that. Awesome book and highly recommended.


  1. In general, I agree, although I also like Ruby!
    Rating: 5/5

    By caring about someone who has leaped into the adult world and provides her with the chance to tag along, a young woman unwittingly finds herself moving away from the safe and predictable world of her early adolescence. Although the young women's attendance in high school is central to the plot, this is not a book tied to place or time. The actions and the thoughts of the characters occur universally, and so the story holds interest for adults and has staying power, and is much bigger than a teen novel. It is about being true to oneself and handling complicated situations while being in a caring relationship. Major and minor characters alike are realistically complex, and continue to live in my mind. The events of the book are not overdone, but there are plenty of tense moments when you care about the people and what may happen, and so you are driven on to keep reading while wondering how you yourself might best respond. Without being pedantic or judgmental, the author enables the reader to care about the main characters and to rejoice in their authenticity and competence as friends and as human beings. I look forward to this author's next publication.


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