Torn by Annie Brewer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Torn is a story of two people who grew apart, and found their way back together.
Skylar and Jackson had been best friends since they were children. As they got older, things started to change. Jackson became the popular football player dating the head cheerleader etc. Skylar’s passion is art and wasn’t in the popular crowd. One of the main reasons Jackson changed and distanced himself from Sky is the feelings he was starting to develop for her. Feelings that went beyond just friendship.
How do you fall in love with your best friend?
Skylar was the perfect best friend. She was always there for Jackson, to listen to him, spend time with him, just be there for him. Then his mom left and everything changed. Jackson didn't feel adequate. He doesn’t think he deserves a girl like Sky. So he settles for what he thinks he deserves. Things are changing with Jackson. He still has the same fears about Sky, but he doesn’t want to let them control him any longer.
I’m afraid of getting close to her and then fucking it up. I’m afraid of getting hurt myself. I’m afraid of her leaving me for something better. Is love supposed to make you crazy? If so, I’ve been there. I’m there now and it’s a strange feeling.
Skylar has spent the last few years wondering what happened with the boy she used to consider her best friend. They were so close, then they just drifted apart. Thank goodness she has her friend Randa and Jackson’s brother, Jared, whom she’s always been close with. Skylar hasn’t had the easiest time in high school. Especially since Jackson’s evil girlfriend Amber has always had a vendetta against her. For some reason, Jackson is taking notice. Standing up for her when Amber is being nasty. Talking to her again. Dumping Amber. Sky doesn’t know what to think about all these changes. All she knows is she’s happy Jackson is speaking to her again, noticing her for once.
Skylar wants to be friends with Jackson. She misses him, the relationship they used to have. And lets face it, she wants more than that. She’s always loved him. She has no idea that he’s had any romantic feelings for her as well. Jackson see’s a future with Sky. He always has.
Sky has a plan. After high school, she’s going to travel to Europe with her mom for the summer, then possibly attend art school in NY. Now that things between she and Jackson are different, will her plans change? Will he be able to fit in with them? The more time they spend together, the more things go back to the way they used to be. The way they were always meant to be. Sky loves Jackson. Jackson loves Sky. But is love enough? Their futures are uncertain.
Torn is a book I’ve really enjoyed. The story kept my attention, had a nice pace, and I loved the characters. Jackson... you will love Jackson. He is a bit of a broken boy, but oh so lovable! Jackson could be a little cocky at times, but he became the biggest sweetheart. I was swooning over Jackson! Sky is a strong leading lady. True to herself, independent and loyal. There are also some fabulous secondary characters. I especially loved Jackson’s dad <3 br="">
The dual pov was great- loved reading from Jackson’s perspective. I just adore friends to lovers stories. Torn is all about finding yourself, following your dreams and your heart. I had the opportunity to beta read this book from the beginning and even though I really enjoyed the version I beta’d, this new version is so much better! It was almost like reading an entirely different book with the characters I’ve come to know and love over the last few months. I feel that Torn is Annie’s best book yet. If you are looking for a sweet ya/na read with just enough drama and angst to keep it interesting, give this one a go! I am SO looking forward to book 2- and my next Jackson fix! I need to find out what happens next with Sky and Jackson!!!
**ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review**
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Skylar McKenzie is a serious artist with a plan. She'll graduate high school, travel around Europe, then leave her life in Texas and move to New York. She'll also leave her feelings for the boy she's known her whole life, behind and move on. Or so she hopes.
Jackson Cruz is ready for a future as a star quarterback once he graduates high school. It's the path he's been leading for years now. But when his cheerleader girlfriend cheats on him, and a teammate causes a lot of drama, he wonders if this is really the life he's wanted, or if there's something more.
They thought they had it all figured out-their futures. But life doesn't always go as planned. With feelings revealed, their dreams on the line, this is a year for changes, choices, and a love that might or might not overcome all obstacles.
Told in Jackson and Skylar’s POV, this is a story about acceptance, first love, embracing your passions and finding your way, even if it’s not the way you had planned.
“Jackson?” Skylar’s voice is a breath of air.
“Do you think your dad will ever date again?” Her question surprises me, but I’ve wondered that myself. He just makes an excuse that he’s too busy.
I move my head so I can look at her, “I’d like to think he’ll meet someone. But he doesn’t seem interested.”
“My mom’s the same way. She works too much so she claims she’s too tired.” Absentmindedly, I run my fingers up and down her arm. “I think she’s still scared of the idea.” I can relate. “Sometimes I can still hear my dad’s voice, telling me what to do.” Her voice takes on a haunted tone. My hand reaches her fingertips, slowly tracing the length of her newly manicured fingers. “Does the pain ever go away?”
I stop moving; wracking my brain for an answer but come up short. “I don’t know, honestly. We've both lost a parent in a different way. I imagine it’ll get easier. You know why?”
She pivots her body so she’s on her side, facing me. “Why?”
I lean close to her, reach out to touch her face and say, “Because I’m gonna remind you of all the memories I have of him, to make you smile, laugh and feel grateful for the time you got to spend with him. Because that’s what he’d want.” A tear falls from her eye. My head dips slightly, kissing it away.
She wraps her arm around my waist. “That would really help, Jackson. And I’m sure he’s watching us from wherever he is, smiling and happy that his daughter is happy with such an incredible guy.”
It brings a smile to my face and I hope her dad knows how grateful I am to him for bringing such an amazing girl into the world. I’ll do my best to show her how special she is. I can be that guy for her. I will be. I hold her tight against me, massaging her back. Our legs are tangled together. There’s no such thing as perfect; in a perfect world, maybe. But this is anything but a perfect world. However; this night, this moment, is as close to perfect as you can get. I close my eyes, soaking up the warmth emanating from her body, listening to her steady heartbeat.
Annie Brewer leads several lives. At home she's a caring mother of two with a heart of gold. Online, she's a best friend to several and puts a smile on her many fans every time she utters a word. In her own world, she's a dreamer. But the biggest part of her is made of books, books, and more books. It's not a surprise she's turned out to be such a talented young author. Some of her many hobbies include reading, drooling over Ian Somerhalder, Channing Tatum,and Christian Grey (etc.), reading, reviewing, reading, watching Vampire Diaries, reading, and last but not least WRITING like a maniac. She currently resides in Texas, where she dies of heat-strokes every few seconds, with her many books and book-boyfriends, and her two adorable little girls.