TORN TO PIECES by Margot McDonnell


Age Range: 12 & up
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When her mother doesn’t return from a business trip, Anne is handed a letter that shatters her world, as it reveals both that she’s adopted and that her mom’s work revolves around shady, illegal dealings. McDonnell doles out the revelatory letter in alternating chapters, providing gripping installments of Anne’s family history and her mother’s second life as a cunning runner of drugs, money and information. When underworld associates appear looking for paybacks, Anne frantically works to piece together the past, desperate for answers and her mom. This mystery’s unrelenting pace, as well as Anne’s mercurial attraction to two boys who continually surface throughout her ordeal, keeps readers turning pages. Evan, homeless and abused, evokes empathy while Tal, movie-star–hot and earnest, makes Anne swoon. Uncovering the guys’ hidden connections to Anne supplies a final surge of adrenaline in the final pages. A believable teen narrative voice with touches of insecurity and humor compensates for a somewhat far-fetched plot and resolution. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-73559-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2008