Book Review: Torched

Published By: Andrea Lynn Colt
Publication Date:  September 8th, 2012
Page Count:  370 pages
Buy it at:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Source:  Gift from the Author
  Audience:  Mature Young Adult Mystery

Torched is about a fall from grace and the recovery thereafter. Rose is one of those girls I would have loathed at school... “popular” chief cheerleader, nasty, self-involved, and she doesn’t see that most people are only paying her lip service. She thought everyone loved her. She thought her prank war with Paxton Calloway was cute. She was wrong. She wakes up from her perfect daydream of a life with a thud when one night she is carted off to jail by the police for an arson attack on her boyfriend’s boat. Rose is clueless, but the evidence is convincing, and no one believes her because she’s been a prankster for years, all the while denying everything. Suddenly every door slams in her face, she is shoved and humiliated at school and she has no idea why she was framed. Rose is determined to get to the bottom of it, and starts her investigation with her prime suspect, Paxton. 

Despite the fact that Rose pretty much made me want to slap her at the beginning, I really warmed to her. Her responses to the injustices she suffers are pretty graceful, and she comes out the other side as a more thoughtful person. There were several moments when I appreciated that she took a different road than some teens would have. I enjoyed her efforts to break the cycle of hurt, and use her confidence from cheerleading to keep her chin up when everything seemed to be going wrong. 

The mystery element to Torched was also great; I found myself thinking about who the heck could have framed Rose, and why, several times when I wasn’t able to carry on reading – a sure sign of a good book! I also thought I’d cracked it at one point, only to then find myself unsure when I read on. Ultimately, when the perpetrator was revealed and I was pretty surprised. It made sense, but it wasn’t obvious, and I loved that.

There was also a really good slow burning romance through Torched. It built to such a satisfying moment that I was pretty much a puddle of goop at that point! Nothing too adult by way of action or language, but I thought it did skate a little too close to unprotected intercourse before rational thought kicked in for some parents to be comfortable with. 

All in all, this was a really satisfying read and I felt I gained from it.

 ~Sparks fly in this romantic young-adult mystery~

Cheerleader Rose Whitfield's senior year goes up in smoke when she's framed for arson. Sure that the culprit is her neighbor Paxton, with whom she's been feuding since middle school, she sets out to clear her name and take Paxton down hard--not necessarily in that order.