Torn may seem like another typical love triangle story with a narrator with a troubled past, but it is more than that. It focuses on the values and loyalties of friendships. Due to her past, Chloe never had that familial love in her life. All she had were her two best friends. Since not being familiar with love, she also had no love from a significant other, except for a romp with her cousin's friend during a vacation. Chloe discovers and develops love with a guy and also her best friend. It's all new to her, so she is torn between where her heart lies and where it can lead to. This story doesn't only cover friendships, romance and college, but it also tackles the topic of child abuse along with drug and alcohol abuse and the affects of it all.
Robinson (author) did a great job with the foundation of the story as well as the pacing and flow. However, I found one little detail that threw me off. Chloe explaining her troubled past of her childhood with her abusive/absentee mother who resents her, took away from the moment she opened up about it to Drake. I'm not sure if Robinson was opposed to going for the mystery of it or shock value, but thought it was unnecessary to give every detail so early in the story. Giving us little by little throughout the story is a good way to go, even though that it's a common route, but there's a reason for that. It's the type of thing that keeps readers on pins and needles to piece it together before it's revealed. All that aside, I think it was redeemed by the flashbacks in detail of the intensity of the abuse she went through. Despite the timing of revealing her past, I like how it tackles the subject of abuse of alcohol, drugs and neglect. It's not something a mother should put her child through.
The direction to go with the friendships already set in stone before the book begun was brilliant, because then we get to see the depth of each of their friendships as the story goes along. Everyone is a sucker for the instant-attraction detail in the story. Instant-love isn't as realistic, so the instant-attraction (being more realistic as it is common to find in real life) sets things in motion for Chloe and Drake's relationship. They try to fight the attraction for each other by leaving their dynamic in the friend zone. Fate has a way of butting in when it comes to who belongs in the friend zone, and who you belong to romantically.
The friendships are so vital in this story as it is in any college students lives. The dialogue and banter is rich that can have you laugh, cry or think along with the characters. They are the constants in their lives, and they get through troubled times together. Friendships are put to the test, which can help build a stronger bond or destroy them. When it comes to choosing between friends and boyfriends, Chloe is torn between whom to stay loyal to and whom to go out with. Her heart is split by the two she loves. Should the best friend get the girl? If not, where do they stand?
The sex in the story were abrupt, however, I like that it wasn't descriptive. Albeit it seems that Chloe wasn't all that into it, so at that point the sex just seemed more like a filler in the story. That just made it lack intimacy. I'm not sure how it'll go when the time comes for the couple to make love. I would sure hope that it means something to them, but so far I don't have high expectations on the intimacy level if it's written the same way.
I'm not even getting into the infidelity, because that subject makes my skin crawl no matter who is doing cheating. I just feel bad for Logan. Chloe shouldn't have kept stringing Logan along when her heart is elsewhere. I only hope that saying once a cheater, always a cheater isn't true.
And Holy mother of cliffhangers! Emphasis on mother. When people say that the past can rear it's ugly head, they weren't kidding. What a way to set things in motion for the sequel. K.A. Robinson, I applaud you for such a cliffhanger. Thankfully the next book is already out, so I don't have to torture myself with having to wait to read how it all goes down and resolved.