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Torn

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  552 ratings  ·  65 reviews
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 retur ...more
Paperback, 404 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Closet Case Press (first published July 15th 2009)
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LGBT for YA
10th out of 341 books — 561 voters
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Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
55th out of 843 books — 2,153 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah
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 m
...more
Billy
Aug 09, 2011 Billy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens who are GLBTQ
Recommended to Billy by: Don
Shelves: bisexual
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 b ...more
Robin
Feb 16, 2010 Robin rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
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 experim
...more
Julia
May 10, 2011 Julia rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: glbtq, ya
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 anythi
...more
Jen Knox
Torn is a quick read, but it's not an easy read. I found the subject-matter compelling, and more 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 tha
...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by LadyJay for TeensReadToo.com

14-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 usuall
...more
Miranda
Jun 01, 2013 Miranda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teenagers
Recommended to Miranda by: Goodreads
*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, Krist
...more
Amber Lehman
Mar 02, 2012 Amber Lehman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Philip Nork
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 mo
...more
Lauren at Live Read and Breathe Reviews
I love the concept of a young girl and her friends finding themselves in a big world of possibilities. Trying to find their definition of normal where we are brought up with a way that society and religion try to make us conform to their definition of what normal should be.

First there is Krista who is a biracial 14 year old being basically raised by her older brothers because her mom left her for a missionary trip and her dad was a sperm donor. Her first kiss happens to be with a girl which open
...more
Erica
Apr 15, 2011 Erica rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: queer
I have never read a book like this. Never read a book anywhere near this! Torn is edgy in a way you wouldn't expect. I wouldn't be surprised if Torn became the next big controversial novel. Listen to this:

*spoilers*

Krista moves to a new city (cliche) and makes two new friends, including Brandon, who's gay. It turns out that Brandon has a traumatic past. He'd been sexually molested by his older brother when he was a child.

Now listen up. THIS part you won't believe.

While Lehman doesn't explicitly
...more
Chris Phillips
"Torn" by Amber Lehman ISBN 978-0-9795933-6-9

Review by Chris Phillips

Lehman has written a very good coming-of-age book. She confronts issues both common to teenagers and uncommon. As the publicity said, Gay and Lesbian issues are core to the plot and handled openly and honestly throughout.

Krista is the main character. The story begins with her moving to Southern California from Ohio, going from a parochial school to a public one and her mother going on a mission trip all at the same time. Even
...more
Amber Lehman
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
...more
Anna Motteler
I have never read a book quite like this, and to be honest, after reading a few reviews of it already, I'm a little aggravated with people. This is a POWERFUL novel and I can see why some people could not handle it. Mainly "older" women. I'm 18 years old and I could feel the book speaking to me throughout the entire thing.

So many kids/young adults these days have a lot of trouble dealing with their sexuality and their bodies changing. Sometimes we think we're one sexuality but then a life-changi
...more
Renee
Going out there and saying that this was one of my all time fave books. I was completely blown away! For the first time I actually wrote notes besides my kindle clippings. It was filled with so much emotion and angst.

Where can I start without writing too lengthily? Well The book opens with a girl Krista who moves from Ohio to Orange County California. She is starting High School and is 14. On the first day she meets Carrie who is the first girl she sees when she shows up at 0 period. I think th
...more
Glenda Bixler
Torn
By Amber Lehman
Closet Case Press
ISBN: 9780979593369
404 Pages

“The world is a difficult place for children. Thank God we turn out as well as we do.”

In addition to loving to read, I appreciate books that have been obviously created with care. Amber Lehman, in Torn, gives credit to Jill Ronsley. Kudos to both of you for creating a truly beautiful book. Torn is a young adult novel (17+) based upon true stories gathered by the author during her own life. Readers will recognize the love and concern
...more
Emma
Okay. I'm torn (ha, title pun) about this book. On the one hand, I finished it, and it's no short book. I enjoyed it, I really did. On the other hand, it... well. It wasn't great. This review contains a few SPOILERS. SO BEWARE.

Pros:
Not badly written.
Explores non-hetero orientations.
Engaging, entertaining, fast read for 400+ pages.

Cons:
Ignorant characters.
Annoying characters.
Inconsistent characters.
You get the idea.

I should start by saying I am bisexual, and I was looking for a book with bisexua
...more
Debbie
The first year of High School is tough enough with all the changes and challenges of education, but the new social environment can be confusing even for the most popular of kids. Krista was dealing with extra. Coming to a new school, in a new state, a dad out of the picture, a mom out of the country, living with her older brothers and then she ends up in Public School for the first time in her life. Having come straight from Catholic schooling, boys as friends was a new concept and being attract ...more
Don Gow
Torn, a new book by Amber Lehman is a complex story that sheds light on the angst and joy that is common in the life of modern teens. A story that could have degenerated into a simple expose of modern teen morals, it is told with honesty and feeling. I was taken aback at first by the young age of the lead character until I realized that this is a modern teen's life. As modern society has evolved, we have made our children grow up faster than at any time in history, and then we decry their lack o ...more
HILLZ
This book was not at all what I expected. There was a time when I really had no idea where this book was headed, but it was a fantastic ride! Even through the main character was only 14, the book is written in a way that I was still able to relate to her. Certainly an eye-opening read! Really enjoyed this book.
Stephanie
Amazing story!! The emotions & situations in this book are touching. The author captured the thoughts of the youth so well. I adored the characters, they were so believable.
Shalonda Williams
Dec 21, 2009 Shalonda Williams rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who is a teen or needs to understand the realness of life as a teen or child even
I am so excited for Amber and this book of hers. "Torn" was such a great read. I was taken by her characters and by the end, I found it hard to say goodbye to them. I was ready to know what happened to them in life like I would about someone I've grown to know and love.

Krista's story is very common and if it is not talked about amongst parents and children as serious business, I'm afraid that there will always be that gap there; that void that can't be filled.

I was not disappointed in the least
...more
Nancy
"The world is a difficult place for children. Thank God we turn out as well as we do."
TORN writtern by Amber Lehman is a young adult novel based on true stories gathered by the author's personal experience. Therefore, this novel is much more touching and readers will recognize the love. It is a brave and candid book about a group of teenagers searching for their identities and dealing with everyday school and family issues. In addition, TORN openly speaks about the realities of life faced by tod
...more
Lauri
For some people, discovering their actual sexual identity is easy; they are heterosexual and always know that without questioning it; or they have always known they were homosexual. Times have changed, and I think it's probably easier in today's world to be gay or lesbian than in the old days. However, I would imagine that not knowing for sure one way or the other would still be pretty rough to deal with.

This novel deals with a group of teenage friends. When a new girl moves into town and joins
...more
Terry
It’s not easy being a teen and having to fend for yourself without any parental supervision, but in Amber Lehman’s, Torn, we find out exactly what that’s like for 14–year old Krista. With her mom gone on a church mission for a year, she is placed in the care of her older brother, Marc who does his best to oversee both Krista and her other older sibling, Josh. But with a job of his own Marc can’t be all places at all times. This allows Krista and her best friend Carrie—and soon to be her love int ...more
Ruth Silver
Torn is a Young Adult Contemporary story, told in the first-person by fourteen year old, Krista. Thrown into a new school and with new friends, she finds herself mixed up very quickly in a world of sex, drugs and lots of questions about her own identity. Amber Lehman's writing is clear and easy to read but with some heavy subject matter, making Torn appropriate for ages 17 and up. With topics of rape, incest, sexual abuse, statutory rape, drug use and sex - one wonders what wasn't touched on in ...more
Kristina Jo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie
Torn by Amber Lehman is an important book. She very deftly peels back the layers between desire and love, the vulnerability of sharing with someone, the personal intimacy of sexual choice.
This book spoke to me in so many ways. Beautifully drawn characters. Lovely. Brava Amber!
Alyssa
In all honesty here, I was quite disappointed with this book. When I read the description of the book, I expected the protagonist to be dealing with potentially falling for her best friend. Sure, she deals with that. For five seconds. I feel cheated by this book. I felt like her feelings for her best friend were an afterthought most of the time. I kept reading hoping that it would come back up, but it was like Carrie dropped out of the story. She was thrown back in the story at the end of the bo ...more
Mel
ooo thank you First Reads! I am excited to read this book, and think it will be great addition to the library at the youth detention center.
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3071494
Hi! I'm from southern California and have lived here all my life. I have been reading and writing stories since I can remember. I loved book projects at school and this inspired me to continue making them at home. My early stories were fun and fanciful and full of fairies. As I grew older, more serious subjects began to steal my interest. TORN reflects the time period between high school and my ea ...more
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