Author: K.A. Robinson
Format: eBook and Paperback (coming soon)
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA Romance / NA Romance
Series: The Torn Series #1
Best Read in Order: Yes
Purchase Now: Amazon § Barnes & Noble
About the Book:
Two people with battered souls are thrust together unexpectedly, leaving a profound impact on each other’s lives.
In K.A. Robinson’s USA Today bestselling debut novel, Torn, Chloe hasn’t had the easiest childhood. With a mother who was absent most of the time, she practically had to raise herself. Determined to start a new life and leave her demons behind, she heads to West Virginia University with her best friends Amber and Logan. On the first day of classes, she spots a student who takes her breath away. Drake is a pierced, tattooed bad boy, and no matter how hard she tries to fight it, he’s all she can think about.
Drake has never cared about anyone other than himself, but when Chloe takes the empty seat next to him in class, he is instantly drawn to her. Drake is left wondering whether this girl can take his cold, womanizing heart and alter him forever.
Falling for each other was never a part of their plan, and when it happens, things do anything but fall into place. Long-hidden feelings are revealed and friendships are tested to the brink as Chloe and Drake become helplessly entwined in each other’s love.
The description had me hooked, and I had heard very good things about this book: unfortunately they failed to mention the doggedly immature and wholly indecisive Chloe. Robinson has a clever way with presenting her characters: although I will admit to being tired of the heroine who literally has little to appreciate but the beauty that accompanies a rather flat personality. I was hoping to see more of the mother / daughter conflicts: reasons, clues or even some resolution that gave me insight into Chloe’s choices or why she would dither until those choices were determined for her. For someone who ‘raised herself’ her decisions aren’t always great ones, and I had to keep reminding myself that no teenager makes good choices all of the time.
Almost instantly we are thrust into a love triangle: Logan the best friend and good guy and Drake the new insta-attraction hottie bad boy that she just met. I didn’t find much to like about Drake: he really was flat in development and all of his “bad boy” qualities seemed to come only from the fact that he has tattoos, is in a band, goes through girls like Kleenex and doesn’t want to commit to anyone or anything. Logan had a few more positive attributes beyond his long-term friendship: patience, honesty and a clear way of presenting his tender and caring side.
It felt to me like a resetting of many of the popular “teen focused” stories that tend to pop off into “Team X” and “Team Y” groups – as readers pull for one boy or the other. Sadly, it also fell into that sort of feel with conversation, situations and romance: the characters did not, despite my wanting them to, speak to me with conviction or the solidness I would hope for. With a few steamy sex scenes – this book is definitely on the higher edge of a YA / NA story in terms of content, but lacking those tweaks to characters and plotting that would make it a great book. As it is, this is a book that kept me reading: I was more curious to see who Chloe would choose, and to see how she justified her decisions than rooting for either male in the story. It didn’t make the level of must read for me, but there will be people who will adore this story, particularly fans of teen protagonists and love triangles.
I received an eBook copy from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.