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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  320 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Afghanistan. In the heat and dust, young British army medic Elinor Nielson watches an Afghan girl walk into a hail of bullets. But when she runs to help, Ellie finds her gone. Who is she? And what's happened to her? What Ellie discovers makes her question everything she believes in, even her feelings for the American lieutenant who takes her side.
Paperback, 259 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Chicken House (first published August 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,599)
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Vicky (Books, Biscuits, and Tea)
Originally reviewed at:

When I first saw David Massey’s Torn and what the story’s about, I knew I had to read it. Even though the synopsis doesn’t give too much away, I had a feeling I’d be in for an emotional ride. My only concern was that (and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way) I don’t normally read war books so I was hoping it wouldn’t be too… you know, war-like and all about politics. However, I shouldn’t have worried – for David Massey ma
This was a very random pick for me, based mostly on the fact that I loved the cover and am somewhat into an Afghanistan phase at the moment. It was a good pick, though, because David Massey managed to deliver an interesting well-written story and a very well created leading female character.

Torn is a very quick read that follows the story of 19-year-old Ellie, a British Army medic, and her first ever experience in Afghanistan. We follow Ellie's first days on the job, the difficulties she has wit
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
The concept here was a promising one; the execution, not so much. I can appreciate writing about modern-day war. I'm certain that in a few decades there will be a plethora of books exploring the psychological, physical, and social implications of the war in the Middle East that we've now fruitlessly waged for more than a decade (many are on the market already). And writing about it in the YA genre when so many of our soldiers are barely out of high school is also not a bad idea. But Massey's wri ...more
Marlon Balraj
See more of my reviews at We Live and Breathe Books

This novel is, if anything, extremely blunt and forward. It does not hold back. From the blurb on the back cover, I first thought it would be a mediocre action-drama with blood and guts and a little bit of love, as tacky but as heartfelt as the rest. Fortunately, I found that David Massey is anything but tacky. This piece is wrought with emotion, humor, suspense, and insight on the human mind under pressure.

What struck me the most was the sense
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
As soon as I saw the cover for Torn, I knew that I had to read it. I absolutely adore the cover and anything about war really intrigues me. The lovely people at Chicken House provided me with a review copy. As soon as it landed in my postbox, it was taken and put on the top of my reading pile. I was very, very, very eager to pick this one up!

Torn was a good read. The writing was enjoyable and accessible and the story was certainly not boring. I personally have an issue where I like to hype mysel
Michal Hope
Go into the Afghanistan war with Ellie, a British medic assigned for the first time to a unit who comes across a band of children fighting against the Taliban and the United States forces. She shows tremendous courage, strength, and grace as she befriends the local hostage, a boy named Husna, and does her best to uncover the identity of a girl called Aroush, a local legend of sorts. The action is true to life and you feel as if you're walking alongside Ellie as she moves through Afghanistan coun ...more
This is a story about a real war that's still going on, but the author has evidently done little research, focusing instead on the plot and the characters. And it shows. He has soldiers using bayonets, Navy SEALS referred to as Marines, and and a private who constantly argues with Lieutenants and Captains. The covers refers to a romance between the main character and an American soldier, but other than almost kissing on page 226, nothing of the sort ever happens. If this was about a fictitious w ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Nate added it
The book starts off with Private Elinor Nielson waking up for the first day of active duty. She is an English girl that has just recently qualified as a medic. She is only nineteen and this is her first time on active duty in Afghanistan. Later on in the book you meet another medic. Her name is Heidi Larson. This is Nielson’s roommate. She is very cranky and doesn’t care much for Elinor.
On Elinor’s first patrol things go very badly. One of her friends, Yugi, steps on a mine. While there are b
Torn by David Massey was emotionally thrilling, yet shows the reality of war and the young soldiers on the battlefield. Lives can be lost in a matter of seconds, and death doesn't care about your age, rank, origin or political standpoint. However, even in the midst of war, it's possible to discover love, which Massey portrayed with Ellie and Ben very eloquently given the character's positions both in their military careers and their geographical war destroyed environment.

My overall reaction to
This is the second time I have read this book, and I have to say that it was just as good as picking it up for the first time. This should tell you how good this book really is. I remembered a lot of the main points and plot twists, but I still forgot enough over the course of a year to enjoy reading. If you like more recent historical fiction or just action stories in general, then you should read this book.
Ellie is a 19-year-old medic in the British Army on her first tour of Afghanistan. She is stationed at a remote outpost and must figure out how things work very quickly. This involves becoming one of the guys to the guys in her squad, dealing with the irrational commanding officer who happens to be the only other medic and woman and figuring out how to handle herself on patrols through hostile territory. On her first patrol she has to help a squad-mate who has stepped on an IED and she gets her ...more
Maybe a 3.5.

With the picture of a gun and flower on the cover, it’s possible this book may be nearly as interesting to guys as it will to girls, even though the protagonist is a female British medic. Elinor has come to join other British troops at a camp in the wilds of Afghanistan. She is daunted by the idea that she will be carrying both an assault rifle and medical supplies on patrol in a land where the citizens can be almost as dangerous as the Taliban. She is also overwhelmed by the cold sh
A seemingly realistic portrait of war further complicated by a group called The Young Martyrs, The Taliban, a secret cache of weapons, and a mysterious young girl with haunting green eyes and jet black hair that appears at curious moments and disappears when her demise appears certain. Ellie Nielsen, a British Medic and her group join American Navy Seals to solve a mystery of sorts during wartime in Afghanistan. The haunting young girl in the blue dress is the daughter of an American journalist ...more
Emma Streets
I have never read a book about war and was really sceptical at first didnt know if i would like it or not so it really did surprise me. This book is about 19 year ellie neilson who is a war medic in Afghanistan on her first day on the job she sees a young gir walk in to an area where there is bullets being fired. But the young girl disappears, and she decided to find out who this girl is. the book has a mystery element about it but it is also a book about the relationships between her and he
Oddly enough, for a story reviewed well for its' gritty war realism, I found this title settled for the easy answer, rather than truly confront the moral ambiguities of war in Afghanistan. Elinor may be a very trustworthy person in her native Britain, but it seemed far too convenient, and somewhat insulting, that she was able to so easily gain the trust of an Afghani boy war orphan when he is brought in for questioning by western forces. Likewise, the evil perpetrated on the villagers is not the ...more
Loved it. I will need to buy a copy for my school book shelf.
Tale of war set in Afghanistan, with a 19-year-old heroine. I appreciate the use of a teen as our lead character, showing the reality of our military. Young people are being trained and sent to fight before their brains are fully fledged. It contrasts with the "horror" of the Young Martyrs, a group of Afghan children who are traumatized and galvanized by war. Both groups are children in my eyes. But there's my rant.

Well told, but the emotional aspect didn't run too deep for me. I didn't feel for
Lorraine Villasenor
Overall, it was an interesting realistic war young adult fiction book. I really enjoyed following a strong female character, Ellie, as the reader discovers her experiences in Afghanistan both good and bad. I would have liked to see her relationship develop a little more with Ben, but I realize that was not the focus of the story. Massey does a good job of showing the consequences of war and who can be affected no matter their circumstances. I think that was the hardest part to read. I think stud ...more
Raina Parikh
I liked the life-like portrayal of war. I'm not sure if the scenes Massey described were realistic or glossed over but they helped me gain a greater appreciation for the soldiers and medics in this war. Elinor was a great narrator. Her romance with Ben doesn't add much to the plot but is still a welcome distraction from the stresses the war places on the soldiers(and honestly me too. I have so much respect for our men and women.). I also wish Elinor's relationship with her three soldier friends ...more
James Drabek
James Drabek 802
Torn by David Massey 1/3/14

Main Characters
Private Nelson, Yugi, Chip and Hedie

Setting Afghanistan

In a war a girl walks right in the path of bullets as young private Nelson risks his life to save her life. All of a sudden she's gone. Private Nelson is walking and finds himself to walk upon a land mine. Him and Yugi are stuck there because it didn't blow up. While their waiting for help they hear paths of bullets rush by them. Nelson and Yugi decide they have no choice but to ru
Christina Maria
A lot of of the book read like a bad fanfic in terms of characterization, pacing, and telling v.s. showing. This began on the first page with a classic Sue character infodump, continued with unrealistic behavior and interactions between characters, multiple dead herrings, and ended conveniently with the bombing turning out to have been perpetrated by a corrpt Afghan official instead of the Americans, as was previously implied (and would have been more interesting). The plot had potential, but lo ...more
jv poore
War changes things. That which was clear-cut, becomes blurred. Good or bad; easily distinguished in theory, mesh and blend together during battle. The single-minded, grim determination to conquer the enemy can be difficult to maintain when the antagonist is but a small boy. When the terrorists are children, barely into their teens, shooting hate-filled daggers from wary eyes; combat training doesn’t take over. Facing the haunted eyes of the beautiful girl in blue, as she quietly, almost hopefull ...more
(3.5 Stars)

I enjoyed this story. It was not really extensive but it was well written. The author was able to be descriptive enough to bring the reader (listener) into the story and onto the front line. At times it was slow. Most people think of something much faster pace when it comes to a war story, but it really did not take much away from it. I would recommend if you are looking for quick and enjoyable read (listen).

*I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest review*

Torn by David Massey is set in Afghanistan. Eighteen year old Elinor Nielson has signed up as a medic and finds herself sharing a tent with unfriendly Heidi, and the subject of a joke by members of her platoon.
While I love reading about wars that have occurred during history, this is the only the second YA book I’ve read that deals with war in the present (the other being Something Like Normal).

I admired Eli for signing up, that alone is brave, and she really proved herself as intelligent and c
Ms. Yingling
Elinor is a British medic new to her post in Afghanistan. She has a difficult bunk mate, Heidi, who is very resentful of her presence, and goofy cohorts who get off on the wrong foot with her by watching her shower. The group pulls together when they take a young boy, Husna, whose entire village was destroyed, with the exception of some children, who have formed the Young Martyrs group that is intent on killing adults on any side of the conflict. Husna maintains that Americans bombed his village ...more
Normally I wouldn't pick up a book that's set in a war zone, but after reading the blurb for Torn I just felt that it would be different and knew I wanted to give it a try.
At 259 pages this was a really quick read for me and I breezed right through it engrossed in the story, it was different to other books like this, sure it had a message but there was a story and relationships and a little romance, I really enjoyed it and think it will appeal to young readers.
I think I'll first point out that I
Sally Kruger
Ellie, a young British medic, thought her training would prepare her for anything, but front line action in Afghanistan inspires terror in even the most battle-hardened soldiers. On Ellie's first day in her new unit, she deals with an IED explosion and the death of a young Afghan boy. She never expected to see youngsters aiming and shooting guns almost bigger than themselves.

Thrown right into the action, Ellie quickly learns that her superior officer, another medic named Heidi, is moody and defi
Lisa Nocita
Although not typically my genre, I thoroughly enjoyed Torn<\i>. The story of a young, British, female medic who finds her first tour of duty in an outpost in Afghanistan. She is immediately thrust into the action and has to prove herself to her company. She quickly finds favor with a group of men but her superior officer, also female, takes an immediate dislike to her and proves to be a tough adversary. In an unsettling firefight, a young boy is killed and Ellie finds that his death brings ...more
Sharon Thomson
My first thoughts on this book were that I hoped it wasn’t going to be too ‘war-like’ and all action. However I was very pleasantly surprised. David Massey has managed to create a book that is informational, thought provoking, emotional, funny and insightful.

Several times I had to remind myself that this book was written by a man. He managed to get inside Ellie‘s head so well and voiced her thoughts, fears, emotions very clearly and intuitively.

This book is a must-read for everyone. It frankly t
I had incredibly high hopes for David Massey’s debut, but there was something about Torn that just didn’t quite hit the spot for me.

Torn started slowly which was surprising and David Massey’s throws us straight into Ellie’s first day as an army medic in Afghanistan. He took the time to evoke the smothering heat and constant threat of the base and Ellie’s already fairly fragile mental state was quickly established. She was terrified of getting something wrong; putting other people in danger and t
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David Massey's varied career has taken him from teaching and music journalism to presenting, producing and writing for radio.

As the Romanian revolution was ending, David led a team taking supplies to Bucharest and Timisoara. On the way home he stopped near Checkpoint Charlie to help chip holes in the Berlin Wall. Rather fittingly, David and his wife Debi now run Globehuggers Emergency Supplies - a
More about David Massey...
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“Why didn't I ask him for his number, address, e-mail — anything? Why? Because I'm in a sodding war zone, that's why. And I'm a soldier. And this wasn't supposed to happen.” 0 likes
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