Publishing Info: September 8, 2012 by Andrea Lynn Colt
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 5, 2013
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.
Thank you to the author, Andrea Lynn Colt, for approaching me to read this book and providing my a copy.
TORCHED is a cute and funny story wrapped in a contemporary wrapped in a mystery. Meet Rose Whitfield: cheerleader, popular, about to lose her virginity to her boyfriend Ryan until someone burns his parents’ boat and frames her for it. Meet Paxton Callaway: mortal enemy of Rose, football player, neighbor, and suspect numero uno on Rose’s list as to who started the fire. So how do Rose and Paxton possibly end up working together? The fact that none of her friends things she’s innocent — even her best friend, Alina.
Okay, so that’s the story — Here’s how I felt. I thought TORCHED was a cute story but it never quite got to the “wow” point for me. I was sort of iffy on Rose for a lot of the book, mostly because although her friends seem worse, she was never quite a peach herself (although in the end she does start to realize this and change her ways, so that’s good). She wasn’t particularly mean, but she was oblivious to a few key incidences where her pranking and general attitude was hurting other people. Ouch.
I loved the romance between Rose and Paxton! I mean, Ryan who, right? I actually hated Ryan throughout the book (which I think was the point, although I might have hated him a bit more than intended). Paxton went from best friend to mortal enemy to love interest throughout the span of Rose’s life and you guys — You know how much I love best-friend-turned-boyfriend stories!!! So yes. I loved it. There are also a few PG-13 scenes and I was like “Whoa boy!” but one of them was kind of odd and I thought they went a little too far all at once. Confusing sentence, I know, but I’m trying not to give away any spoilers there…
I guess I was really hoping for a little more Nancy Drew from Rose. Yes, she and Paxton did do a lot of hunting for the real culprit of the fire, but I was hoping for a bit more. That may be just because I’m a mystery girl at heart! When we find out who did it in the end, I wasn’t quite convinced of the motive and the means in which they pulled it off so that was just kind of “ehh” for me, but it still wrapped up the book nicely!
Rose: I think I finally started connecting with Rose, especially towards the end, but sometimes she seemed a bit too naive for me. Always trying to bake cookies or take someone out for waffles as her way of apologizing and making everything better – although at the end, she does start to realize that sorry just doesn’t make everything magically better. She was seriously wronged in this book and she really starts to grow as a person. I like that this book is a standalone, but if there were to be another book about Rose, I’d be interested to see where her character goes and how she’s grown up since this event!
Paxton: Loved Paxton as the love interest here! I was never totally ga-ga over him, but it’s the whole “used to be best friends” thing. I love friendships turning into romances!! And he was really easy to connect with throughout the whole book. Minus a minor random anger explosion at the end that seemed a little harsh, he was definitely the most well-rounded character.
Alina: Was I supposed to hate Alina this much? Because wow, I really hated her. She totally dumped Rose after the fire incident, not even trying to listen to her or be on her side and then literally bullies her for most of the book. EW. That sounds like a best friend I’d be dumping and never accepting back into my life again.
Ryan: I think I hated Ryan an unnecessary amount too… I mean, his reaction wasn’t as bad as Alina’s but he did some bad things too. Did not like him one bit!!!
This book was a lot of fun! I’m so glad I read it and I’d definitely recommend it! Plus, I just REALLY love that cover.