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3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  464 Ratings  ·  139 Reviews
Witnesses to a mystery on the battlefield, a British medic and an American Navy SEAL confront Afghanistan's fog of war.

In war-torn Afghanistan, a girl walks right into a hail of bullets: Elinor watches it with her own eyes. The young British army medic risks the line of fire to rescue her, only to realize the girl is gone.

To find the missing, mysterious child, Elinor enli
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by Chicken House (first published August 2012)
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Vicky (A Backpack Full of Adventures)
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
Jun 18, 2013 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
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
Kathryn Green
More like 3.75 - this book was very touching and moving and definitely makes you think about the war. There were a few plot holes and the writing wasn't really that amazing but I still enjoyed this and recommend this.
Marlon Balraj
Aug 06, 2013 Marlon Balraj rated it really liked it
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
~✡~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
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
Nov 21, 2013 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Michal Hope
May 16, 2014 Michal Hope rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 07, 2014 Grace rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 15, 2013 Esimon rated it it was amazing
Loved it. I will need to buy a copy for my school book shelf.
Frank Townsend
Jun 19, 2017 Frank Townsend rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

David Massey is a very successful writer in England. His experience in emergency supply delivery inspired him to write many books regarding the military. David wrote: Torn, a militaristic novel. Ellinor, a medic for the British army is the main character of this book. She decided to join the army to support the war in Afghanistan and to somehow influence surrounding soldiers lives. Most of the people in the camp have very different views than hers initially. Once she is stationed in Afghanistan
Jun 16, 2017 Jelka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5 stars

Normaal geef ik geen halve sterren, maar deze keer wel. De verhaallijn was zo fantastisch dat het een dikke 5 sterren verdient, maar de schrijfstijl vond ik iets minder dus daarvoor 4 sterren. Vandaar dus 4,5 sterren.

Doordat ik nog nooit van dit boek had gehoord, en het ook geen bekend boek blijkt te zijn, verwachtte ik er niet al te veel van. Wat was ik verkeerd zeg, dit boek was zo goed en zal mij voor altijd bijblijven. Dit boek verdient zeker veel meer lof. Dit is één van die boeken
Raathi Chota
Jun 02, 2017 Raathi Chota rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: favorites
It's the first book that I've read that left me crying. Also the first book I've read about the war and even though it's fictional it touched me. The characters themselves because even though Ellie didn't know those people for too long she still put them before herserlf. Her friendship with the boy was cute and even with Ben ;)

All in all I enjoyed this book and wish I could have finished it sooner. The end left me speechless and I was hoping to turn the page and find out more but I guess the end
Ty Osborne
Feb 23, 2017 Ty Osborne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book, and I think that my students would like it, too. This area (Northern VA) is rife with military families, and my students are interested in all things military. The fact that this is a young, female protagonist - a medic- is wonderful. And of course, there's the YA love situation - with a hot SEAL!

There were some parts that got weird- a ghost, for instance- but in my head it's the kind of stuff that teenagers love. I will definitely keep this on my classroom bookshelf.
Jan 30, 2017 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i think this book was great it was interesting there was lots of action and
interesting facts about both guy and girl it was getting interesting when all
the war started
John Clark
Sep 01, 2013 John Clark rated it it was amazing
What was she thinking? Nineteen year old Brit Elinor Nielson finds herself working as a medic in Afghanistan, warily partnered with American soldiers in the hinterlands. It's hotter than Hades during the day and cold enough to make her teeth chatter at night. Nobody's sure who the enemy is or whether they're making progress toward gaining trust and restoring peace. Her first morning finds her being spied upon by a bunch of male soldiers while showering and encountering inexplicable hostility fro ...more
Benjamin Chavez
May 06, 2017 Benjamin Chavez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really good. IT hooked me in as soon as I opened the book. The plot was very interesting and the way they incorperated real life event and a specific point of view made me like it even more. Im not that big of a fan for war books, but this got me very interested. The book was a mix of mystery, action, conflict, and a bit of comedy. The author used these perfectly to make the book flow well and keep the reader interested.
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
Brandon Wang
Oct 23, 2015 Brandon Wang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon the book Torn, by David Massey when I was just looking through Mrs. Fritch's library. The cover art features a very rushed drawing of a machine gun and explosions, which drew my eye to it automatically. An American soldier. A British medic. Afghanistan. Can love survive a war?
The main character of this book is a nineteen year old girl, named Elinor Nielsen and the story is told from a first person view. Wanting to feel like she's contributing to her country and her loved ones, sh
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
Feb 17, 2014 Suzanne rated it liked it
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
Leigh Collazo
Jun 22, 2013 Leigh Collazo rated it really liked it

More reviews at Mrs. ReaderPants.

REVIEW: I liked this one more in the beginning and end than in the middle. War books really aren't my thing, and there are lots of battle scenes, many ending in someone's bloody death. I love the way Ellie and her unit stick together, even after only being together a few days. Characters are drawn well; although there are several major players, their unique personalities make it easy to keep track of who's who. I love the mysticism of Aroush's identity and why sh
Joelle Good
Feb 23, 2017 Joelle Good rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Torn" was a breath of fresh air in young adult literature. I keep recommending it to all of my reluctant readers. It is an extremely quick and engaging read. The protagonist is a young British woman who is a medic stationed in Afghanistan. It centers around the importance of building relationships with the people of the country they are occupying especially when the people there believe you are not the "good guys." It also brings in the unusual perspective and journey of women in the military ...more
This is an easy read about a young British medic's short tour in Afghanistan where her unit ends up on a top secret mission. Elinor also sees the mysterious young girl in blue walk through a volley of bullets. As she tries to find the girl, deal with the Young Martyrs rebel group and keep her feelings for the U.S. Navy Seal in check, her unit faces hostile forces and fights for survival. The characters, especially Elinor, are flat and at times, not very believable, but the quick pace and action ...more
Nov 20, 2013 Orli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I tell you my opinion, you need to know I positively relished Torn before my dog tore it up. It was sad but ironic. I left it out by mistake, and I came back to see the spine completely chewed, which as any bookworm will know, is GUTTING, but its quite ironic considering the title of the book! I p

I started Torn on a big high. I loved the pace of the first few chapters (although I would have liked a little more context to how Ellie got to be a nurse and got to go to Afghanistan and more ab
Rating: 3. 5 Stars

I've been struggling to write a review for Torn for quite some time now. I'm not exactly sure what I can say about this book, to be honest. It is a stirring, strong, and heartfelt story, but I've come to realize that it doesn't completely make a lasting impact on you. Its short length works perfectly for its subject matter - after all, none of us want to read an excruciatingly long story about war, no matter what Leo Tolstoy may believe. And debut author David Massey packs a pu
Matilda Leonard
Dec 14, 2013 Matilda Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Can I start with the fact that someone must have really wanted me to read this book? First of all, the author comes into my school, which authors do, so that wasn't important...

I don't normally buy books from these authors, but guess what?

There just happened to be a fiver in my pocket.

So I bought it, and the fiver fairies praised me.

Three things I liked about this book:

1. The way it was told.

I don't normally read army books, for fear that they will just list endless different weapons and ha
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
Jun 14, 2013 Maryam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
*Thanks to Chicken House and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This and other reviews at Beanbag Diaries

Just yesterday, I was telling a friend how I don’t like war stories. Damn. David Massey proved me wrong and I love him for it! Torn is bloody (excuse the pun) brilliant!

Ellie is a British medic who gets to see a lot more than she has been prepared for in her initial days in Afghanistan. Something that she wasn’t prepared for at all was that there would be ammunition in the
Aug 16, 2014 Angie rated it liked it
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
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Goodreads Librari...: Adding a book to my profile 5 32 Oct 07, 2013 03:45AM  
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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.” 2 likes
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