Reviews

The Torn Skirt, by Rebecca Godfrey

thejuliamary's review

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adventurous dark

4.0

soldroolz's review

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adventurous dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

sara is my godqueenwife. 

cascadingcause's review

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1.0

This book romanticises so many terrible things. It’s just one stupid mistake after another. Yes, it’s a teenage girl. But it’s just so hard to believe someone can be that stupid. The only reason I finished this “faux edgy wannabe” book was because I’m trying to meet my challenge. Disappointed I spent money on the book.

bigrepmireya's review against another edition

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3.0

I wasn't sure about this book at first but the ending was very good.

yangyvonne's review

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4.0

Sara is just 16 and living in a quaint town in Canada, but she has a burning desire in her to do something, go somewhere. She is fascinated by a teen rebel, Justine, and in the span of one week, goes from a loner tomboy to a suspect in an attempted murder. In between, she befriends a teenage hooker, is taken-in by a gay man who cuts and dyes her hair, goes to a party at a house owned by a heroin dealer, cuts a fellow student with a knife and is expelled and helps the hooker (Alice) fleece a John for his money so Alice can leave town. Meanwhile, her mom is in a cult in CA and her hippie dad has abandoned her when he caught her masturbating in the garden.

The book is all in Sara's voice, so you are never quite sure what is real and what is in her head. Add to that the lack of any quotations used by the author and this is one confusing story. I never understood her need to follow Justine and why she was okay with going to prison. You never learn enough about her past in the cult to see why she is unable to assimilate now. Maybe it is my own age, but it just seems so self-indulgent and detached from any teen angst or coming-of-age that I could relate to. And her escape from juvenile hall was also unrealistic and very sad - she is now a runaway for a crime she didn't commit and no high school degree 11 days from graduation (at 16??)

mollyfy's review

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adventurous dark emotional reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

coralnaudet's review

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adventurous dark mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

1.0

Unorganized. Sounds like an angsty 14-year-old wrote it. If I could give this book 0 stars I would. Suffered through it. 

writersrelief's review

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5.0

This is no tired, typical young adult novel filled with teen angst. While the protagonist is a sixteen-year-old girl struggling to find her place in a hostile environment, Godfrey’s storytelling goes far beyond plot. Books about teenage girls dealing with pressures of authority, peers, sex, drugs, etc. are a dime a dozen. But rather than relying on a shocking plot to compel her audience, Godfrey digs deeper to present that tired story from a different perspective. Sara Shaw, the main character and narrator, is neither whiny nor emotional. Like Caulfield, she tells us what she sees, feels, and experiences by removing herself and letting the audience figure it out for themselves. Instead of whining that she is scared and abandoned, searching for someone to trust and love, she tells us coldly and mechanically of the hooker she has just become friends with: “…I couldn’t leave China in a room where men knocked on her door, never knowing, never caring, never asking about the maps she drew and saved. Call her what you want. She was the first girl to befriend me, and I would have done anything for her.” She explores an underworld of drugs, prostitution, people being used and exploited and thrown away, but manages to remain on the outskirts, seemingly untouched. But again, it is that hard shell of hers that gives away how damaged she already is.

My first love being poetry, this novel is in my top five favorite books of all time for Godfrey’s exquisite talent for language. With sentences as lovely as, “Lose the necessary innocence. And what good was it anyway? It was just like a library card or a set of spare keys, something small you lose and then realize you never used…I envisioned innocence as a small trinket falling out of the King’s Hotel and down onto the rainswept streets.” The use of subtle but compelling internal rhyme and rhythm, assonance, and alliteration in her prose has led to my rereading the book about a dozen times. Even though I’ve memorized the plot by now, the pleasure I find in the structure and art of Godfrey’s language allows me to enjoy the book again and again the same way a favorite poem can be read infinitely, deepening the reader’s appreciation with each reading. I recommend this book to anyone who loves the art of language, even if you don’t love young adult novels.

arkham's review against another edition

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dark inspiring reflective

4.5

ljbentley27's review

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1.0

The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey is about teenager Sarah Shaw and how she manages to ruin her life in one week. That seems a fairly simple explanation but to be honest I couldn’t even begin to describe the intricacies of this story. It is too complex and not in a good way.

The book felt very contrived. It has been written with the intent to be as controversial as possible. It includes knife fights, family communes, teenage prostitution, juvenile delinquency, masturbation, drugs and attempted murder. Ok, a lot of books have these issues in them. My problem is that it all comes out of nowhere. There is no plausible reason why Sarah Shaw suddenly starts acting in the way she does. There is no build up to it. It just seems to happen rather instantly.

As a reader, I don’t need all the answers however The Torn Skirt has ambiguous an implausible roots that I just couldn’t understand or like it. This is one that I wish I had left at the very bottom of my TBR pile.

The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey is available now.