REVIEW: TORN BY NATALIA JASTER

Torn (Selfish Myths, #2)

☆☆☆1/2

Could you break someone’s heart to save your own? 

Anger is an exiled god. Banished for rebelling against the Fate Court and jilted by the goddess he can’t forget, he prowls the mortal realm with a bitter aftertaste on his tongue.

But Anger’s not as alone as he thinks.

In a celestial city where the stars shine brightest, immortal outcasts reign.

Merry is one of them.

She’s like no one Anger has ever met—a starry-eyed misfit hiding just as many forbidden secrets as he is.

As a revolution simmers between renegade deities and their ancient rulers, Merry is the key to Anger’s retribution. She’s the only one who can help him defy the Fates and reclaim his magic.

According to a dangerous legend written in the stars, she also has the power to mend his broken heart.

The price: In order to do that, he must break hers.

This NA series from Natalia Jaster is still unlike any other NA series I’ve ever read and all things considered, it’s probably up there in my list of favourites. It feeds into that balance between the things I love in YA and the things I love in NA and borderline caters to my every need. When I first read Touch this year, I was incredibly affected by the story and the way Jaster crafted her story and immediately knew that I needed more. Finding out that we’d be getting a story about Anger definitely intrigued me but wasn’t quite sure of where his story would take us, given how we left him, but I knew he deserved for his story to be told. And I feel like Jaster did a really good job with not just exploring parts of his past to understand his character but handling where he is now and dealing with the aftermath of getting banished. The story here was a good one and I feel it did Anger a lot of justice, but it just didn’t invoke the same feelings in me that Touch had. I enjoyed it, but not quite as much.

THE GOOD

  • What I did love about the book was the further exploration of Anger’s character and his feelings for Love, and having him see the difference of what he felt for her and what he now feels for Merry. I’m always a bit wary when we meet a side character who’s initially in love with the main character because you wonder how it’s going to carry over to their own story and how much it’ll cloud their judgement about their new love interest. But on the other hand, you want to see the character develop into a better person because of these new feelings, if that makes sense, and I think Jaster accomplished that with Anger. One thing I did notice about him was that he actively wanted to let Love go but the issue was that he needed an outlet, or some kind of way to accomplish that. He needed closure, and while Malice’s stupid plan was, well, stupid, it would let Anger achieve that goal. I think Anger did accept the fact that Love is gone and is in love and happy with Andrew, and he can’t change that or make her feel something for him, but his issue is that he still has some residual feelings but no outlet, and that’s why he needs to see her one last time. I get it and I feel it. But when he meets Merry, he finally sees what the idea of love actually is and how it’s more than what he felt for Love because it’s two sided, and he needs to receive love as much as he gives it. And the biggest lesson he learned was not just that he can love again, but he can love someone more than he has before, and I liked that this was the lesson he learned. His character went on a good journey and I really enjoyed what Jaster did with him.
  • The climactic drama was pretty interesting here and I thought it was right for the characters and the story. Anger gets the chance to see Love again, and attempt to make her somehow remember him, and he mostly takes the opportunity to get the closure he needs. He’d taken the deal with Malice to break Merry’s heart to get a few minutes with Love where she’ll see him again because he needs to close the door on her. While Malice forced his hand on this, Anger took the opportunity nonetheless, and Merry followed him and saw what happened. It’s understandable for her to be upset at Anger, given how she knows what he felt for Love and it seems like he’s choosing her again, but Anger knew that it was a goodbye for him. He knew he was choosing Merry, and he’d continue to choose her, and that’s the moment where you see how much he’s changed. And later, when Malice has Love captured and points arrows at both her and Merry, Anger knows who he chooses, much to the chagrin of Malice. But again, that shows what Merry’s love has done for him and how it’s changed him. I think that these moments showed not just how much Anger grew but how important the relationship he has with Merry is and I thought these moments were fitting for the story.
  • I loved the ending where the entirety of Love’s and Anger’s class came back together, albeit banished, and decided to make a plan to go after the Fate Court and try to have them change their ways. The theme of free will is incredibly important in this book and the Fates believe that humans don’t need free will, but rather need the gods to wield emotions for them, and giving them free will makes their purpose obsolete. But Love and Merry, and now Anger, all believe that the humans deserve free will and it’s not fair for the gods to take that decision away from them. I like how going after the Court has brought the five back together, and now with the addition of Merry and Andrew, and potentially more banished gods, it’s possible to overthrow the Court and give humans back their free will. I love seeing ensembles come together and work toward a common goal and this ensemble is absolutely a found family type, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here. 
  • Just a quick note on the writing, I am still over the moon in love with Jaster’s prose. I loved seeing the difference between how she’d write for Merry and how she’d write for Anger, of how his prose felt more urgent and to the point, and lacked the typical flowery language, but with Merry, it had an almost elegant flow to it and had romanticized language to it, which fit her character. I liked that there was an effort to differentiate the two and it’s how you knew which POV you were in even if you weren’t told about it. Merry’s prose made me feel what her character and what her goddess was supposed to feel like while Anger’s prose also made me feel why he’s a rage god, if that makes sense. I just love Jaster’s prose and fell in love over and over again.

THE BAD

  • The relationship between Anger and Merry didn’t just feel insta-lovey, but it was precisely instalove because that was Merry’s exact thoughts when she first met Anger. She fell in love with him right then and there and even labelled it as being instalove. The one thing I dislike the most is when authors fall into the instalove trap and the fact that instalove is what Jaster deliberately set out to do with this relationship really turned me off of enjoying it the way I wanted to. I knew going into the book that obviously Merry and Anger would eventually fall in love and be together but I didn’t expect Merry to immediately fall in love with him and while I’m a believer in love at first sight and all, I don’t believe in it quite like that. For me, love at first sight is more of a feeling deep in your gut about a person and not a “I love this person right here” kind of vibe. And I think because I knew it was instalove, at least for Merry, I couldn’t really get on board with the relationship for the longest time and why I didn’t love the book as much as I loved Touch, which had its own instalove vibes but it was handled in a better way. I also think that this was why I wasn’t the biggest fan of Merry because she hyper-romanticized things and gave in to the instalove, but I did appreciate her other qualities rather than flat out hating her. Their relationship was still good but it was knocked down a few pegs for me.

THE BOTTOM LINE

  • This book is a great addition to Jaster’s Selfish Myths series and shows me how great a paranormal/fantasy NA series can be. It’s the right kind of series to introduce to the NA genre, but is filled with great characters and wonderful life lessons. I loved the journey Anger and Merry took here, instalove aside, and I can’t wait to see where the gang goes next.

BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Torn (Selfish Myths #2)
Author: Natalia Jaster
Release Date: June 20, 2019
Pages: 302 (eBook)
Goodreads

Until next time,

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