4.1 87
by Erica O'Rourke

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Everyone has secrets.
Even best friends.

Swirling black descends like ravens, large enough to block the glow of the streetlights. A dull roar starts like a train on the 'L', a far-away rumbling that grows louder as it pulls closer, until it's directly overhead and you feel it in your chest, except this doesn't pass you by. Verity, white-faced and eyes


Everyone has secrets.
Even best friends.

Swirling black descends like ravens, large enough to block the glow of the streetlights. A dull roar starts like a train on the 'L', a far-away rumbling that grows louder as it pulls closer, until it's directly overhead and you feel it in your chest, except this doesn't pass you by. Verity, white-faced and eyes blazing, shouts through the din, "Run, Mo!"

Mo Fitzgerald knows about secrets. But when she witnesses her best friend's murder, she discovers Verity was hiding things she never could have guessed. To find the answers she needs and the vengeance she craves, Mo—quiet, ordinary, unmagical Mo—will have to enter a world of raw magic and shifting alliances. And she'll have to choose between two very different, equally dangerous guys—protective, duty-bound Colin and brash, mysterious Luc.
One wants to save her, one wants to claim her. Which would you choose?

"Who doesn't love a character torn between two dangerous worlds and two risky guys? The only thing safe about this book is how good it is." —Lee Nichols, author of Deception, A Haunting Emma Novel

"Dark, exciting and totally addictive!  Just.  .  .wow!" –Kristi Cook, author of Haven

"Dark, magical, and delicious!"
New York Times Bestselling Author C. L. Wilson

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Jessica Atherton
Maura "Mouse" Fitzgerald stays on the sidelines of life until vicious attackers kill her best friend, Verity. Maura vows revenge before understanding the cost. Convinced their mob connections caused the attack, her family hires a bodyguard, Colin Donnelly. Handsome and laconic, Colin creates unexpected emotional confusion for Maura. He tries to keep Maura from searching for Verity's killer, but she refuses to acquiesce, as usual. She gives up her wallflower ways and partners up with the mysterious Luc, Verity's old boyfriend. As she tries to resist her attraction to Luc, she discovers a world of dangerous magic. In this suspenseful tale, Maura must choose between Colin and Luc, safety and danger, justice and revenge. Maura's voice comes across as a genuine teenager, full of awareness, self-doubt, and a healthy dose of snarky remarks. Other characters are not as well developed. Colin suffers from cardboard cutout syndrome and does not come alive until the last part of the book. O'Rourke indicates the existence of a complex magical realm but does not develop it. Instead, the plot-driven story focuses on Maura's maturation as she tries to make up for her failure to protect her friend, culminating when she saves the magical world. This book would work well for audiences who enjoyed the romance of Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Simon & Schuster, 2010/VOYA December 2009) and The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (Delacorte, 2009/VOYA April 2008). O'Rourke delivers a great combination of adventure and paranormal romance. Reviewer: Jessica Atherton
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—It's an increasingly common premise: a magic world coexisting with the non-magic, one chosen individual possessing special powers, an ambiguous prophecy, and an urgent need to save the world. Except in this novel, the protagonist isn't the chosen one. In fact, she is murdered before the book even begins, leaving behind her best friend, Mo Fitzgerald, who doesn't even know that magic exists. Mo has always stayed below the radar and in the shadow of Verity. But even she could tell that the creatures that killed her friend weren't human, and she's determined to figure out what happened. Her journey takes her into a realm filled with magic-users called Arcs, demonlike Darklings, and a power struggle that threatens all stability. In addition, Mo's family may or may not be involved with the mob, so it's not just supernatural baddies that she has to watch out for. O'Rourke's heroine is refreshing: determined, spunky, and unpredictable. The two requisite love interests are more formulaic, but Torn should still satisfy readers with an insatiable thirst for well-written, fast-paced fantasy and leave them eager for the next installment in the series.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews

A disrupted magical prophecy pits fate against choice in O'Rourke's debut.

Maura "Mo" Fitzgerald wakes up in a hospital room to face a handful of impossibilities—namely, that she has witnessed the murder of her best friend, Verity Grey, and that said murder was committed by evil, supernatural creatures. Rocked out of complacency, Mo discovers that Verity was not only living a double life as a powerful magic user called an Arc, but had been the prophesied key for preventing a magical disaster on par with a nuclear meltdown. Mo isn't fated—or qualified—to save the world, but she finds herself falling into Verity's role as well as the arms of a mysterious, handsome Arc whom she suspects of having been romantically involved with Verity. She struggles with grieving, her family's shady ties and a protective bodyguard, all the while trying to figure out whom she can trust in a destiny not meant for her. The romance is on the less-developed side, but the male lead makes up for it in dark charisma. While some of the plot twists are predictable, and the shadowy consortium of villains is ill-defined, the novel shines when Mo deals with the implications and ramifications of her role as a substitute for the chosen heroine.

The admirable ambition of this novel makes up for its uneven patches. (discussion questions) (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)

Product Details

Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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Torn 4.1 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 87 reviews.
Unwasted_Words More than 1 year ago
Mo has been groomed to be a good girl. Quiet, accepting, never talking back, she's been taught not to think not to act. Her demure state becomes the basis for her biggest regret, the night her best friend Verity is murdered in front of her. Mo wakes in the hospital and finds herself the only lead to the grisly attack but the ambush wasn't normal. She can't exactly tell the police and her family about the unnatural element of Verity's death. Unfortunately the events are being blamed on Mo and her uncle's ties to the mob. Her life is turned upside down as the police stubbornly investigate the wrong angle and her already overprotective family puts her on lockdown. It's not all bad though with the hot and dangerous bodyguard Colin shadowing her every move. Colin's presence does get a bit inconvenient. Verity was a very special girl. One with power. And that power has somehow passed to Mo. She'll have to trust the handsome mysterious Luc to help her full fill Verity's lost destiny. Mo will be thrust into a magical world that's not quite welcoming and Verity's killer is still out there. The conspiracy is bigger than Mo could have imagined and trusting the wrong person could cost Mo her life. Torn was a fun read. It was nice to watch Mo break free of the social constraints she and her family imposed on her, growing into a stronger more assertive person not content to living in the shadows and disappearing. There wasn't as strong of a mob presence as I would have thought given most reviews I read prior to my purchase. But the love triangle is one I enjoyed and has the possibility for more in the future. Though this reads like a stand alone the threads where open enough for sequel that I would pick up.
Dee38753 More than 1 year ago
Erica O'Rourke did a fabulous job with this darkly, exciting novel about Mo Fitzgerald who is torn between two guys and worlds she doesn't begin to understand. Torn is definitely addictive. You cannot put it down once you begin. The only thought is to get back and see what is happening next. Mo Fitzgerald is a normal seventeen year old about to be senior in high school who is a witness to her best friend, Verity being murdered. Somehow, Mo escapes from the murderers and vows to find them and exact vengeance for Verity. Mo is no stranger to secrets, but learns that even best friends have secrets from one another. Attempting to get vengeance for Verity, Mo has to choose between two men that are both equally dangerous in their own ways. Colin, who is duty bound to protect her, and Luc, well he is very mysterious. In her effort to get revenge on Verity's murders, Mo must enter a world she doesn't know even exists, a world of raw magic and deal with people who aren't everything they seem. Can she do it? No spoilers here! O'Rourke has created characters and a story line that is made believable with her masterful crafting. Mo seems likes any other high school senior you might actually meet on the street and the dialogue between characters flows with reality even in the face of the unbelievable. This book was provided to me free of charge by Kensington Publishing Corp for an honest review. The opinions are my own.
StaceyPagan More than 1 year ago
I am under the impression that this novel will be a trilogy and I might be a "Thirty Something" but there is nothing like a great YA novel! A YA novel that has this thirty-something year old wanting MORE! I had never heard of Erica O'Rourke, but she is now on the top of my "to watch out for" list for certain! Mo has been dealt a hand of cards that your average teenage girl would not normally be able to handle. Her daddy is in prison, her mother is a workaholic to keep a roof over Mo's head and food on the table, her over protective uncle is part of the mob and her best friend Verity dies in her arms during the summer before their senior year. For most teens, this would be more than they could handle before cracking, but Mo never cracks. Mo in on a journey to find out why her best friend was killed; she wants justice and will stop at no ends to find it! However, while searching for this justice, she realizes Verity was not the perfect friend she made herself out to be. She finds herself entangled with an overprotective bodyguard (Colin) hired by her uncle while lusting after Luc, a far from normal young man from New Orleans that not only shows her magic, but sets her heart aflutter. Mo's journey leads her to learn how and why Verity was murdered, along with learning new information about her uncle and father, and in between she learns that the world isn't as normal as we all think it is. A little magic here and there can turn a person upside down. I'm really looking forward to reading the next novel in this series. I was a bit disappointed at the conclusion until I realized there will be two additional novels. O'Rourke hooked me from the first chapter and I couldn't stop until I put the novel down! I'm certain young teenagers will enjoy this novel as much I have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Remember when a teacher would ask you to write a 10 page paper but you could only come up with 2 pages... so the next 8 pages are BS... that is what happened with writing this book. The dialog between characters were awful, many many many times the author would paraphrase whats already been written... this caused the characters, esp Mo, to become annoying. It took me 3 painful months to finish reading and i was determined to finish it. I realized today because of all of the paraphrasing and wasted words, i can finish the book by skimming it. Thank goodness i am done, and this will be the first author on "writers who needs to pay me to read their book" list.
Bmt_Butterfly More than 1 year ago
This would have been a really good book if the the main character wouldn't have been so whiney the whole time. It makes me think of when you tell someone not to look back and they do it anyway just because they are so stubborn. Good story but the girl hated how the girl was portrayed.
blh0074 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story line and I'm looking forward to more books in this series. The book is an easy, fast-paced read. I found myself thinking about the story when I wasn't reading and looking forward to picking the book up again.
Truly_Bookish More than 1 year ago
Maura "Mo" Fitzgerald and her best friend Verity get attacked while out one night. With Mo's family connections to the mob, everyone assumes that she was the target of a hit that went wrong and killed Verity instead. Everyone except Mo that is because she saw the creatures that attacked and they may not have been human. Mo is a likable, smart girl who is a bit shy but was never jealous of Verity who constantly got the spotlight and the attention. We get to know Verity through Mo's memories and in flashbacks and the two girls have a good, solid friendship. After the attack, Mo struggles to come to terms with Verity's death and the fact that her best friend was keeping secrets from her. One of those secrets is the dangerously handsome and charismatic Luc who may have been Verity's boyfriend and who also holds the answers to Mo's questions. Mo's life is further complicated by the equally handsome Colin who has been hired to protect her but it's hard for a girl to solve a murder mystery when her every move is being watched. Torn is a great combination of magic and the mob. The story is fast paced and exciting. Mo finds herself caught up in the dark and deadly world of powerful magic that she never knew existed and the mob world that she always knew but tried to distance herself from. Once you start reading Torn, it's hard to put down. I want to know more about the world of magic that Luc grew up in and more about Colin's back story. I loved Torn and can't wait to read the sequel, Tangled, which comes out in February of next year. The covers of these books are so gorgeous and striking... Content: Profanity, kissing and violence. More appropriate for older teens.
fictionalromance More than 1 year ago
Holy cow this was a super exciting read. I sat down one evening and stayed awake until I read every page. I maybe 30 but I do enjoy YA books and this one is now one of my new YA favorites. I can't wait to read the other books in the series. Mo (Mouse/Maura) tries to go unnoticed all her life except her quietness is what she becomes known for thus the nickname Mouse that is shortened into Mo. Between her sudden new found unwanted 'fame' because of a terrible tragedy and the attention of two slightly older men Mo's life gets turned upside down in a hurry. Trying to resolve the issues at hand, she uncovers family secrets and her best friend's secretive second life. What I loved about it; 1. Torn is very fast-paced. 2. The opening line is unique and grabs your attention. 3. The characters (good and bad) are all well rounded and help make Torn what it is. Without either the good or the evil characters, I don't think this book would have been as great. 4. The ending was perfect and created a level of excitement/anticipation to know more about Mo. 5. The leading men Luc and Colin were both yummy in their own way. Like Mo, I think I would have a hard time choosing between the two men. 6. The romance was sweet, soft, and not rushed to the point it felt unbelievable. 7. The actual plot was crafty and refreshing. 8. There were no slow points. 9. The attention to detail in the book created a very vivid picture in my mind as if I had sat down and watched it on TV. 10. The level of magic and how it was used in the book was also fun and thrilling. I liked the paranormal element Erica, the author, added. The witches (if you call them that) were amazing. The Darklings were just creepy but in a good way for the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all 3 books in 3 days I had the book with me everywhere at work picking my kids up at school cooking dinner lol couldn't put it down sucks its only a trilogy would of loved to read more!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got into this by reading the middle book first, so of course I wanted to finish the story. Harry Potter readers will need a new lingo to read these books (compare "appareate" with "beyond") which is OK. Still, as regards the fact that sex is primarily for the purpose of pro-creation it seems a little thoughtless that almost non of this found its was into the series. Still, it was nice to give men a little more recognition for beinng able to oppose their passions than is often given them. I will not look for more books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to read the 2nd book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another good one... Number 2 is just as good as Number 1. And if you liked these two, don't forget to move on to the 3rd, it's awesome :)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waiting on the next book to come out. Good series, stong storyline.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great reads can not put down not for teens only