It Was Different This Time We Weren T Acting On A Dare I Knew Our Motive We Were Practicing The Act, Hoping To Impress The Right Boy When It Came Time But Then Something Happened In The Mix Of The Moment, In The Mix Of The Alcohol It Wasn T Planned, But Somehow Our Kissing Experiment Turned Into Something Else Things Went Further And Once They Had, Once I Returned To Earth From The Euphoria I Wrestled With My Feelings At That Frank Realization, Questioning Whether Our Said Objective Was Entirely True When Fourteen Year Old Krista McKinley Transfers From Catholic School In Ohio To California S Public Crestmount High, She Discovers She Has A Lot To Learn Luckily, She Is Befriended By Carrie And Brandon And Things Start To Look Up But When A Simple Dare Tests Krista S Values, It Sends Her Entire World Spiraling Into A Confusing Series Of Events That Leaves Her Questioning Her Identity As Well As The People Around Her


10 thoughts on “Torn

  1. says:

    This was a terrible, terrible, trashy book It should have been titled Mary Sue and Gary Stu Question Their Sexuality , because that is what it boiled down to.I saw this on a list of the best GLBTQI YA books, and I don t know why Yes, several characters in the book are gay bi questioning, but with the way the book ends, it seems to send the message that being queer is just a trendy phase to tide you over until you find your ONE TRUE HETERO LOVE And don t get me started on the characters As mentioned above, Krista and Brandon come off as Mary Sue and Gary Stu respectively especially Brandon, who has a horrible past of abuse, but is brilliant, beautiful, rich, and talented at everything Ever It s like reading terrible fanfiction.In fact, most of the characters in the book are either woefully underdeveloped, or bad fanfic esque paragons of perfectness with just a little bit of parental angst to make them interesting I also found all the partying kind of ridiculous and over the top This is basically the Hollywood fantasy of what high school kids are like, only in novel format.In short, I was appalled.


  2. says:

    Being gay myself, I was interested in reading this book even though the storyline revolved around a 14 year old girl I had read many reviews Most that had mentioned her friend Brandon as being the most dynamic character I would have to say that this is true I was moved by and cared deeply about what happened to Brandon throughout the book Although it is true that the love interest is between the two girls Krista and Carrie there was also a relationship between Brandon and Nick Brandon is beautiful, sexually experienced at 16, and is extremely wealthy and popular at his school While he is out to many of his closest friends, not everyone at his school knows and so he tries to keep up a front with the girls for the sake of his professional surfing reputation This has to be extremely difficult and trying to do He is also a bit cocky and extremely intelligent He was unlike any clich I had ever read about I can see how his emotions and even perhaps his shift in feelings veered toward Krista after their night together But I would be lying if I didn t say I would ve preferred him to staying with Nick But at least his decision is well explained.


  3. says:

    o stars I detest this book.This is worse than garbage, worse than shit, at least those items are useful to some degree When I first bought this book, I was intrigued by the description, which reads as follows It was different this time we weren t acting on a dare I knew our motive we were practicing the act, hoping to impress the right boy when it came time But then something happened in the mix of the moment, in the mix of the alcohol It wasn t planned, but somehow the kissing experiment turned into something else THings went further ad once they had, once I returned to earth from the euphoria I wrestled with my feelings at the frank realization, questioning whether our said objective was entirely true You would think main plot of this book would be about questioning one s sexual identity WRONG This book had very little to do with that Most of the book concentrated on rich spoiled orange county white kids, with nothing better to do in life than shopping at malls buying the latest trendy fashions at stores called teen hotties The children in this book are concerned about dressing like sluts than anything The book has no plot and, no structure, and very little character development One character gets drugged and date raped and the next chapter the whole thing is forgotten the questioning relationship between the girls only appears in the first 50 or so pages Oh yes, and the girl finally realizes she s not gay only when she decides to sleep with a boy and discovers that she likes having sex with boys What the hell So if you want to find out if you re gay, sleep with the opposite sex, problem solved.The main character, who is 14, develops a crush on a 28 year old man She throws herself at him and not once does the author ever recognize that relationship is borderline perverted, but yet there is still a development of their relatioship HELLO, this type of relationship in California is called STATUTORY RAPE Torn is flawed in soooo many ways I can t began to write all my concerns into this review.


  4. says:

    I am glad I got this as an ARC from the author I appreciate that, I do But I won t give a positive review to a book that doesn t deserve it Brandon shook his head and turned away, shifting his weight as he violently raked his hands through his hair He looked like an agitated animal pacing its cage He took an audible breath and faced her again Look We weren t trying to hurt you We re all friends here Let s not turn this into an episode of Dynasty, okay Nobody is trying to hide anything from you, Carrie Seriously p 242 I m not sure why I finished this book instead of putting it aside to read a book I d like I wonder if part of why I liked it so little is that I m annoyed to have spent so much time on it Or am I pissed off that a book about a bi girl and gay boy has them getting together in the last pages This is YA where the characters are like leaden figures meant to represent types, rather than fleshed out characters In my experience, the extreme wealth and consumerism is distasteful, imaginary and implausible The lack of parental figures, psychologists and police in spite of molestation, incest, drug and alchol abuse, rape and statutory rape strains credulity Fourteen year old Krista moves from Catholic school in Ohio to Orange County, CA Her best boy friend is gay Brandon, who sleeps with Krista This upsets her girlfriend Carrie, his boyfriend Nick and the boy who wants to be Krista s boyfriend Ryan, who is also Brandon s best friend I didn t mention Krista s friend Aeliese s much older brother Daemon who is religious, doesn t date and is celibate, with whom Krista is obsessed I think this novel may have been fun as a flow chart.


  5. says:

    Torn is a quick read, but it s not an easy read I found the subject matter compelling, and so given that Amber Lehman doesn t hold back details or sugar coat her characters experiences In a note from the author, Lehman says I have never ceased to be amazed at the gentle intimacy that we humans can have for each other, and on the contrary, have never ceased to be shocked at the tendency for brutal inhumanity This short reflection is truly sums up the over arching theme of the story that follows Torn is centered on Krista, a fourteen year old girl who just moved to California from the Midwest and her struggles to find a sense of identity and value in her new community Our protagonist does what teenagers like it or not do she experiments She embarks on a familiar but nuanced story of sexual awakening as she faces an abundance of temptation, while trying to figure out her personal sense of what is right and wrong as well as a clear definition of her sense of self Lehman recounts very realistic scenes with vivid intimacy and candor, scenes that are not uncommon to those coming of age years and should not be ignored for the courtesy of fragile ears I recommend this book highly It is a well written story with the edge of real life.


  6. says:

    Should you pick up this book Is TORN the right novel for you Ultimately you will have to decide, but I can tell you a few things about it that may help you in your decision What it s not high literature This is not a literary novel It is commercial fiction And it is a teen drama at that for the sqeemish If you are easily offended by drugs, sex, cursing and other unmentioned unfortunate real life circumstances this is not the book for you What it is focuses on a group of affluent teens from orange county, CAtheir lives, friendships, struggles a GLBT novel Characters explore sexuality gay, straight, bisexual, and lesbian for older teens This may be debatable since maturity in teens can very widely, but it was my intention that this book be for older teens due to the mature content If you are still undecided and have any questions about the novel, please feel free to message me with your questions I am than happy to answer whatever may be on your mind And happy reading whatever you chose to pick up Amber Lehman


  7. says:

    I was a little taken aback when I opened the box which contained Torn The first thing I saw was a sticker saying Winner, Next Generation Indie Book Awards and then I saw that the book was over 400 pages long I figured I was in for some long dull reading but was I wrong.From the time I read A Note from the Author and saw the words If I had been successful in this task, I have created a place in which hearing these stories is as intimate and personal, as confusing and saddening, as the moments when these stories were first shared with me I was hooked And author Amber Lehman didn t fail.Krista is fourteen and new to Southern California, having moved from Ohio a completely different world From the time she stepped out of Our Holy Sisters private school and into Crestmount, her new public school in California things were extremely complicated for her from the clothes she would have to wear to the fact that boys now were on campus Not to mention, here she was a fourteen year old trying to find her place in the world without the constant supervision of a mom Krista was being watched by her older brother while she was away on business.Being the new kid in school isn t easy, is anything when you re a teenager Luckily Krista meets Carrie, who soon becomes her best friend Carrie introduces her to Brandon, a dreamboat who all the girls adore, but does he feel the same Along the way Krista also befriends Nick, Aeleise and Ryan These friends, especially Carrie, Brandon and Krista, are typical teenagers Or are they Growing up is hard trying to figure out who and what you are Throughout Torn the characters each take turns at figuring out their place in this world We find out that Brandon is gay, but accepted by those who know Carrie and Krista would never tell Brandon acts as though he likes girls, even takes Krista to the Homecoming dance That s where things started to get confusing for Krista Brandon and Krista, along with Carrie and Ryan decide to leave the dance early and end up drinking on the outskirts of town and to liven the evening up play an innocent game of Truth or Dare When she is dared to kiss Carrie, Krista not only does it, but finds out she likes it It makes her feel things she never had before.As challenging as growing up is, when you don t know your place it is even harder These friends all experiment with drinking, drugs and sex as most adolescents do Carrie and Krista think they like each other in ways neither ever thought about before meeting Brandon, although swayed by the local boys, also agrees to be Krista s first sexual encounter and boy, that kind of stirs the pot Krista believes she is falling in love with Daemon, the older brother of Aeleise and a Bible fanatic Torn examines all these situations and reads like a dairy that Krista would write It was an easy read, in fact a page turner The 400 pages flipped very quickly The experiences these friends share are unique, but are things that many teenagers will relate to The underlying messages are that friends are there for you, even when you think they aren t, that whatever we experience as we grow up will affect us in some way, and that people can, and will, change.In the words of Amber Lehman, The world is a difficult place for children Thank God we turn out as well as we do I recommend this book to anyone early teens, so that they realize they are not alone in their search for self discovery To males and females we all need someone to help us through at one time or another And to adults not only to see what today s teens think about and have to deal with, but to relive some of what they did back when they were younger It was a great way to spend a few nights, I am truly grateful that I read this book And I m sure you will be, too


  8. says:

    Updated June 2 2013 It was November of 2010 that I originally read Amber Lehman s Torn after finding it on goodreads.com This book had some good reviews and was rated reasonable high on a few polls so I thought I would check it out Torn covers a lot of issues in its hefty 400 pages and, as a LGBTQ themed book, the main issue is sexuality New girl at school Krista is befriended by Carrie in dance class and immediately accepted into her circle of friends On the night of Homecoming, Krista participates in a game of Truth or Dare and ends up kissing Carrie, which plays havoc and confusion with her feelings Is it a phase as her older brother calls it or is it something Krista turns to her gay friend Brandon for help and this is when the drama really begins Torn isn t the best written book around, but the one thing that Amber Lehman did really well is create real characters The characters made this book a page turner Of all the characters, the stand out was Brandon, the charismatic teenage surfer hiding a traumatic past Throughout the novel, he grows and changes as a character His development paid off Brandon is the character that makes me pull Torn from the book shelf to reread again and again.This book is not for everyone The target audience is 16 years and older and there is a detailed and well written sex scene in it As tough as some of the subjects it presents are, this book unravels real issues that we hear about all the time whether in real life or on the TV I m really looking forward to reading Amber s next book Boy Out of Bounds due for release next year.


  9. says:

    Reviewed by LadyJay for TeensReadToo.com14 year old Krista is in for some major changes After attending a private Catholic school in Ohio, her family moves to sunny California, and Krista is thrust into the completely foreign world of public education.These kids are very different from her They all dress well, drive fancy cars, and act much older than they appear to be It is all a little overwhelming to Krista especially since she comes from a rather religious family Her parents are usually away on some type of mission trip, helping to build a church or handing out Bibles to those who can t afford them.Krista is eventually befriended by two teens, Cassie and Brandon They take her under their collective wing and begin to show her the ropes Krista begins to open herself to new ideas and experiences She is starting to discover her own identity, and the process is frightening yet exhilarating at the same time.Krista s world is different now, but she doesn t want to lose the values that she was brought up with Her dilemma is finding a balance between her new life and the one that she left behind.TORN is definitely a coming of age novel All of the characters are searching for their niche in the world There are all forms of experimentation in this novel, including sex, drugs, and alcohol Some of the content may be a little mature for younger readers, so tread carefully if you decide to pick this one up.


  10. says:

    I had three problems with this book The characters ages, the timeline, and the punctuation Perhaps my feelings in this regard are due to the fact that my high school experience was very sheltered, uneventful, and socially lacking Having said that, I feel like all the high school aged characters should be a minimum of two years older than they were I was under the impression that age 14 was young for a sexual initiation And for booze sex drug parties, of the type that I never saw or heard about in high school In addition, the whole Krista Daemon interaction, while still inappropriate and embarrassing, would have been acceptable believable to me, anyway if Krista had been 17.And if Krista were a 17 year old junior, Brandon could have been a 19 year old senior Most people are 18 when they graduate high school, but considering Brandon s situation, I could see him having to repeat 3rd or 4th or 5th grade, thus being a year older than most high school seniors This scenario still allows Brandon to be experienced and two years older but only one year ahead of Krista in school.I found myself questioning Lehman s timeline as well as her characters ages Though there are several different examples of this, two obvious instances strike me After the event that causes almost all the drama in the second half of the book I m trying to write this without spoilers , there are two mornings the morning when Krista gets the balloons p 212 213 , and the morning when she realizes that she left her books at Aeleise s house 217 But when Ryan comes over that second afternoon, Krista tells him that the event occurred the night before 220 , when she had actually been studying for history with Aeleise 216.The second instance of a confused timeline was when Brandon started avoiding Krista after the cringe inducing encounter of ultimate No way ness with Daemon Still spoiler free It s Monday morning after the encounter, when Aeleise doesn t want to talk to Krista and Brandon takes her for a wardrobe change 343 345 Four days later maybe five, if I m misreading it , it s Monday again 346.And again I questioned when I realized that the entire book was only supposed to have taken 4 months from start to finish At the most Late August, when school starts, to late December, at Aeleise Daemon s Christmas party Four months To make new friends become best friends with a girl who talks you into going with her to a booze sex drug party, where you almost get date raped go to Homecoming become best friends with the gay guy who likes to dress live girls like they re Barbies get a crush on the 28 year old brother of a classmate spend very little time doing your homework experiment with kissing another girl freak out about how to tell that girl you don t like girls that way help a friend s boyfriend accept his possible preference for boys have a slumber party with the gay guy, the boyfriend of a friend that might be gay and the girl you aren t gay with comfort the friend when her boyfriend dumps her for a guy avoid the 28 year old in an attempt to stop crushing on him go to church once and leave confused host a birthday party for a girl that you don t like and who acts like a slut around your brother have multiple fights with both your older brothers about the various hijinks you keep getting into have sex with the gay guy in a failed attempt to determine whether you re really straight or not pretend there isn t all sorts of emotional tuggery after you have sex with the gay guy help the gay guy save the guy who s crushing on you from a booze drug and maybe sex party sleep clothed in a bed with two naked guys come on to the 28 year old brother of a classmate in major slut tastic fashion run away when he rebuffs you sprain an ankle when you fall off the lifeguard tower in attempt to escape the creepy guy who turns out to just be the 28 year old who rebuffed you piss off your classmate who is the 28 year old s sister when you platonically sleep with actual sleeping with the 28 year old in his bed get crazy jealous when the gay guy who de virgin ized you spends too much time with his boyfriend find out that the girl your brother rebuffed is writing terrible things about him in the bathroom stalls get the gay guy to take revenge by telling everyone she blew him in his car yesterday, but that s all he d take and thus making everyone think she s a big slut freak out when you buy the gay guy s revenge story mend fences with the classmate who is the 28 year old s sister mend fences with everyone that got pissed off because you had sex with the gay guy somehow manage to mend fences with the 28 year old draw a whole bunch of pictures portraits of the gay guy without telling him approve of the 40,000 ring your oldest brother buys to propose to his girlfriend get a gothic necklace with ten diamonds and a kiss from the 28 year old find out that the gay guy is not the man ho everyone assumes him to be try to convince the gay guy that you don t look at the 28 year old the same way since the cringe inducing encounter of ultimate No way ness refuse to believe it when the gay guy says he s in love with you ignore it when the gay guy admits that he must be bisexual because you re too busy telling him he s lying about loving you let the gay guy kiss you like you ve never been kissed before as a tacit acceptance and reciprocation of his declaration, only without the bisexual part and live mostly happily ever after I don t think so.Okay, the last part was only implied It really ends with the kissing part Spoiler free review EPIC FAIL But the point is that I can t see all of that happening in six months or less A year I could see Even a school year, which is only 9 to 10 months, depending on the evilness of the school The final encounter where Brandon is all I must be bi because I m in love with you, and she s all, What No Okay, could be at a graduation party It could even be in the same setting, cause Aeleise is in Brandon s graduating class, so her brother could throw her a graduation party to which all the same people would be invited Ta da Alternate timeline WIN As opposed to epic fail My final complaint, about which I will be much, much briefer, is that the editing, especially the editing of punctuation, in this novel is inferior Quote marks are left out or added where they shouldn t be dialogue paragraphs change when the speaker doesn t, leaving me to read the page conversation three or four times while I try to figure out who said what commas occasionally show up where there should be no commas etc.For both the punctuation and the four days equals a week timeline errors, I feel that these could have been caught corrected simply with careful reading on the part of the author and or editor s Perhaps a careful reading that would find these issues would also have allowed the author the chance to see and possibly address possible issues of age and or long term timeline Though I would understand if she agreed with me and just didn t want to rewrite all 400 pages of time flies when you re fourteen I could go on, but I won t because I ve been working on this review for something like an hour and a half, which is ridiculous and nonsensical, so I ll be leaving it at that Unless I come back to make it a shorter review Because, really, this is kind of ridiculous Unless someone were to publish it In a magazine And give me money.I received a free copy through FirstReads in exchange for an honest review.