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Torn to Pieces

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  433 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Anne is used to her single mother’s being away on extended business trips. But when her mom is a few days late coming home and her hotel phone has been disconnected, Anne knows something is wrong. Then a strange man starts leaving messages on their answering machine, threatening a woman Anne has never heard of.
Frightened and worried, Anne confides in her grandparents, who
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  433 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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J.M. Robison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Clark
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Torn to Pieces by Margot McDonnell, is one of those YA books that blends plot twist after plot twist in a most skilled way. As each one reaches a solution, the answer builds your anticipation as well as the suspense. 17 year old Anne is used to her mother's quirky and unpredictable ways. Mom is often absent, supposedly off on an assignment, interviewing someone famous so she can do their biography. Anne, her mom and her grandparents who live down the street, have also moved numerous times, even ...more
Georgina Lacayo
What a book.
This is the kind of books that make me feel all of the emotions that the characters felt throughout the chapters.
Sometimes I got startled from my own gasps.
And the plot, oh my, it's a plot you'd ceratainly find in tv shows, or at least that's what I wish it became. And really, it's not even that long, but it's the way it unfolds smoothly, not in any way confusing you, not for long intervals, and how it keeps you craving the words, making you want to try and guess who, what, why. Thi
Savannah Nelson
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Torn to Pieces is a very good book because I love mystery, and it is full of it. I think everyones' parents keep things from their children to either protect them, or maybe they are scared of how their child will handle it. I would reccomend this book to girls and boys who like mystery because you are constently trying to figure out what is going to happen next. There is a lot of foreshadowing in this book. Every once in a while it gives you a piece of a letter written by Penny Cadwell to her da ...more
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Torn To Pieces" was a REALLY well written realistic fiction book. There were so many twists in the story line, that it made it hard for me to put the book down! "Torn To Pieces" was about a girl, Anne, who was used to her mother being away on business trips. But when her mother is a few days late coming home, and misses Anne's birthday, which she has never done before, and misses Thanksgiving which is also unusual, Anne knows her mother must be in some sort of trouble.
In "Torn to Pieces", Anne
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 9th grade and up, particularly girls
The writing was a little choppy for me and the story line sort of confusing. I don't read many thrillers but this one didn't really get exciting until over half way through the book. I can't really seeing a teen sticking with it. I'll recommend it to teens who like Caroline Cooney. Some drug use (pot) and underage drinking.
May 25, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Competently written and ultimately forgettable. Misnamed book. No one is really torn to pieces in the book and the book lacks any kind of emotional resonance.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Growing up, Anne was used to her mother’s long trips. She learned to adapt to her mother’s schedule. However, when her mother has not returned from one of her trips, Anne begins to worry. No one can track her mother down. Her grandparents give her a letter revealing all of her mother’s secrets. Her whole world takes a huge turn and her life is at risk. Along with life threatening problems, she encounters other normal teenage girl concerns, boys.
This book is full of plenty twists and turns. As w
Brandi Doherty
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
good book with a lot of twists
Veronica Furfaro
Very slow beginning, but once the mystery unfolded it was beautiful.
Sara A
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book I recently finished is Torn to Pieces by Margot McDonnell, it is a suspenseful novel to keep you turning the pages. In the beginning it was boring but as i continued more and more secrets unraveled and the more and more interesting it got. I really enjoyed this book especially becuase it had a new twist with every page you turned.

Torn to pieces is about a 17 year old girl Anne who lives with her mom who is out traveling most the time due to her job, the only other family she has are he
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine that one day your mom said she was going on a business trip for three days and didn't come back for almost three months. Wouldn't you worry about where your mom was and when she would be coming back home? Wouldn't you even start to think that something wrong may have happened to her? This is how Anne felt when her mom suddenly disappeared on one of her business trips. One day late from the scheduled time her mom was suppose to come home turned into several weeks. She knew something was ...more
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anne's mother is odd, and she knows this. Their life has always been strange, with her mother running off with little or no warning to do her job. Anne has always been told that her mother is a writer, and she believes it. And I'll give Anne this much credit: it makes sense that she would. Too often, a plot like this will drop anvil-sized hints that something is amiss. There are no anvils here. The hints that Anne's life is not all that it seems are just that, hints, and ones that would be so ea ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Breanna F. for

Anne is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her quirky mother. Ever since Anne was little, she and her mother (and her grandparents) would move around every once in a while. Anne's mom is a writer so she does a lot of traveling, and Anne is by herself. She often stays with her grandparents just down the street, because it's creepy being alone in that big house.

Anne has always found her mother to be a bit strange by the furniture that she buys and the long
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Torn to pieces
By:Margot McDonnell
Torn to pieces by Margot McDonnell, is about a girl named Annie. She thinks that her mom travels around the world and writes articles of situations and people. Then one day she doesn't come home and she said she'd come back in 3 days, and it had already been 3 weeks. Annie also meets a new guy named Tel who she had feelings for and liked. She met another guy who she invited to stay over while her mom was away in the guest room. After a time goes by something occ
Kat O'B
The book jacket teaser describes a mystery/thriller in which Anne, a 17 y/o girl, makes shocking discoveries about her mother's true identity after her mother disappears. This book has a little bit of everything, including false identities, federal agents, double-crossing lawyers, hidden money, threatening criminals, robbery...all the way to the new boys at school, teen romantic interests, best friends, and school assignments. Overall an interesting read, but I found some of the plot elements un ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel grabbed my attention for the very beginning. Torn To Pieces is about a young lady named Maryann. She is a senior in high school at the age of 17. She is also in the school band, she plays in the brass section. Her mother is always off on business trips so shes not back for a day or two. this causes Anne to be home alone and take care of herself. She is a very independent scholar when it comes to this. However one day changed her whole life. Her mother went on a business trip and never ...more
Lissa Notreallywolf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liberty Abbott-Sylvester
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
This book had me hooked the very first chapter. The writing is great. The characters are charming. The plot was one that kept me guessing and I really enjoyed it. Its a YA book, a quick read, and quite enjoyable!

Anne has the perfect life...that is if her mother, Penny, would ever stay home. Penny, a ghost writer, does nothing but travel. She's always gone for days, never telling Anne any details. But one day, Penny doesn't come home. Anne begins a search that will turn her world upside down and
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

I grabbed this book originally because I thought this cover was amazing. The book synopsis is also very intriguing and made me want to read this book even more. Torn to Pieces was a mystery in a mystery mixed in with a bit of thriller. I did like the idea of this novel but it just felt like it was a bit slow throughout. Also I wasn't sure how "realistic" these events would be, saying that I know that this is a fictional novel lol.
The characters in this book were okay. I think Anne's mom
I haven't read a teen thriller in awhile, so I wasn't sure what to expect. This book was OK, but I didn't love it. However, I think reluctant adolescent readers will find it interesting and satisfying. There are many, many plot twists (which is probably which turned me off to the book -- it got less and less believable), there's a little bit of romance, and really interesting characters. It's easy to get hooked on this one, so I'll keep it in mind for kids who think books are boring. It's defini ...more
Kaylee Collins
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kayla Grant
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a puzzling book because of the life the character lived and her confusing family.
Anne's mother is not a stay at home mom, she is rather the opposite. Her mom is never at home and always away on business. Anne starts to worry when she her mother doesn't arrive home on time and she is not picking up her phone. A threatening man leaves voice mails on the phone for a mysterious woman. After explaining the disaster to her grandparents, they give her an envelope with the details she nee
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Torn to Pieces is a wonderful realistic fiction book. The main character, Anne Cadwell, lives on a large estate with only her mother and cat, here grandparents live a few minutes down the road. Everything is normal for Anne, even though her mother is hardly home because of her travel schedule. Until one day her mother doesn't come home from the trip, and from there Anne finds out many things about herself, her mother, her friends and her grandparents. I really enjoyed this book because it made y ...more
Oct 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book because I am interested in dramatic and suspenseful novels, as soon as I read the blurb I was immeadiatley intrigued. Novels like this one never get boring and action is continuous from begginning to end. Yes, i loved it, normally i get sick and tired of reading the same book for a long period of time, but I was happy that i took the time to grasp every aspect of the novel. No, i cannot relate to the novel because my life is not nearly as dramatic as the characters in the novel ...more
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adults
Recommended to Raji by: No one
Anne is an ordinary teenage girl who leads a perfect ordianry life, in her opinion anyways. Her mom is a great biography writer who travels the world 24/7. And Anne is left in a big stone house in the middle of Centerville finding new friends and trying to fit. But when her mother disappears, there is a robbery at the house, and her own friends betray her, Anne realizes something is terribly wrong. And soon the world she knows is torn apart from who is good and trustworthy to who is the traitor. ...more
Laura Gardner
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, ya, thriller
I must have read _The Face on the Milk Carton_ over five times as a teenager, so when I read a review that compared this book to that one, I knew I had to get it. Torn to Pieces is about a girl who thinks she knows her life, but really doesn't at all. Her mother isn't who she thinks she is, doesn't have the job she thinks she has and has secrets hidden all over their beautiful stone house. And once her mother goes missing, Anne has to put the pieces together and figure out who she can trust quic ...more
Isabel Freedman
I think this book was okay. I think the plot was interesting but the characters were kind of boring and their actions were too predictable. I think Anne is very nice, almost too nice, which sometimes got boring. But a quote that shows she's really nice is, " You were a much better friend to me than I was to you." (245). This shows that Anne is considered a good friend. It shows that people think she is nice. Overall I didn't really like tihs book, I just wish there was more suspense and deeper c ...more
Jul 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good book! I liked the suspence however i liked how the author gave you clues on what was going to happen next. then other times you were completely on your own.
Actually some of the parts reminded me of a scary movie where the girl is about to go into the closet to check out a noise..and in your head you are screaming 'don't go in there! don't open the door' but she does it anyways...that's how some of the book was to me.
Even all the screaming in my head it was still a good b
Laura (Booksforbreakfast)
I really enjoyed this one! There was just enough suspense at a time so there's constantly something going on. I liked the writing a lot and the concept of the novel. It is divided between Anne's POV and letters her mother has written her, helping guide her through her life. There were so many twists I wasn't expecting that I had to keep reading. My heart went out to Anne and I was always going back and forth between trusting different people. It seems to change constantly! I really enjoyed this ...more
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What's the Name o...: A girl whose mother goes missing.....[s] 8 85 Jan 04, 2014 10:02AM  

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Margot McDonnell is a former high school teacher and earned an MFA from Arizona State University. She lives in Phoenix.
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