In an America split into the genetically superior and inferior, a fiercely ambitious ballerina and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks must stop a deadly virus that is spreading quickly.
Determined to escape from TOR-N, a corrupt Narxis research center, Davis meets another recovered patient, Mercer, whose sweet smile and quirky sense of humor give her hope in humanity again—and a way out. As they make a perilous journey seeking clues that could lead to a cure, Davis and Mercer’s friendship begins to evolve into something more… but she’s still struggling to let go of her feelings for Cole, whom she believes is dead.
Meanwhile, Cole has plans to change his identity in order to compete in the Olympiads—where Imps have now been invited to compete against Priors. He begins training with Mari, the intense and rebellious daughter of a retired fighter, but through trials and tests that are both exhausting and exhilarating, he finds himself in over his head—literally.
Will both Davis and Cole have the strength to resist temptation? Will they have the courage to face the answers they’re seeking? Will their love survive across the divide?
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and with participation in this tour via St. Martin’s Press & NetGalley.
Torn is a heart-stopping race against time as two lovers fight against all odds to get back to each other.
- When I read Feuds, the first book in this series, I fell in love, the starry-eyed, heart pounding kind with Davis and Cole. Their imperfect love was beautiful, complicated, and yet, fueled by hope in light of everything being stacked against them. The hope carries over into Torn. The breathless, warm glow of love in there in memory, in grief, in every single step each character takes. They’re all struggling to escape a dehumanizing system of genetic hierarchy and each character has a story rife with angst, anger, and anguish…mostly with perseverance. They fight to stay above the condemning prejudice and go against the curve to pave the path to a better future.
- The FEUDS world is complex, plagued with viruses and genetic engineering, body enhancement and alterations are prominent. Beauty reigns and those with blemishes are outcasts. The Priors have rule of the world and each city has their own system of segregation. From the cityscape to island life to the slums, each place is alive and incredibly detailed, you can picture every location, it’s dirt and grime, the clinical, pristine beauty of the cities. The island is grotesque. The human rights violations aside, how they treat the people as if they’re nothing, disposable, the stacked bodies, the decay, it’s enough to make you sick.
- It’s torture as the POVs switch from Davis to Cole, knowing that they’re risking everything to get rescue their loved ones, the Davis believes Cole is dead…it’s brutal watching her soak in the memories, her heart torn and broken. The adrenaline and anxiety is high as they race towards each other and time starts to run out, it’s the nail-biting kind of rush that they’ll learn the truth in time. This propels the plot forward.
- Davis wars with herself, her need for comfort and reassurance is high. Mercer is there for her, a protector when she feels lost and her feelings are easy to understand. There’s a twisted and bittersweet honor in her emotions. Davis is stronger than ever, she’s hardened and opened her eyes to the injustices around her.
- Cole’s desperate determination to save Davis…be still my teeny little heart. Swoon level extreme. The way he sees her is almost worshipful, a girl can fall hard for that.
- There were a few discrepancies in terms of character descriptions, like lost hours, different clothing colors.
- Some of the subplots fell flat. The situation with Jan, Mercer, and that whole party scene built up only slightly and then chaos. The fact that there were no real repercussions, that after all that time spent together that there wouldn’t be a chase or attempt to contact immediately was weird.
- Parts were too easy…like whenever something was needed it randomly appeared or fell right into the character’s lap. While there were trials and dangers, this sudden appearance of a saving item or fix took away from peril. You always knew that things would work out.
- Secondary characters while wonderfully written and lively, their parts were brief. I would have loved to have seen more of Mari, Vera, and even Michelle. Favorites from the first book were hardly even mentioned.
Avery Hastings is an author and former book editor from New York City. Avery grew up in Ohio, graduated in 2006 from the University of Notre Dame and earned her MFA from the New School in 2008. When she’s not reading or writing, Avery can usually be spotted lying around in the park with her affable dog. Like her protagonists, she knows how to throw a powerful right hook and once dreamed of becoming a ballerina. In addition to New York, Avery has recently lived in Mumbai and Paris, but is happy to call Brooklyn home (for now).
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