Saturday, 27 June 2009

Torched by April Henry

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: March 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 224pp

When Ellie's parents are busted for possession of marijuana, the FBI gives her a choice: infiltrate the Mother Earth Defenders (MED), a radical environmental group, or her parents will go to jail. At first Ellie is more than willing to entrap the MEDics, but the more time she spends undercover—particularly with Coyote, the green-eyed MEDic that she can't stop thinking about—the more she starts to believe in their cause. When talk turns to murder, Coyote backs out, but Ellie is willing to risk everything to save her family—even if it means losing Coyote and putting her own life on the line.

This book offers an okay read, specifically for those who're interested in the hot subject of fighting for environment. Or maybe just suspicion and action. However, I suggest you don't hold your hope up as Torched is not as tremendous as the synopsis might sound.

In some aspect I enjoy this book. The story just revolves around the world of MEDics and their concern for the environment as well as the FIB and their will to stop the so called rebellious kids. It was great to learn about young teeenagers who thought of Mother Earth more than themselves and would do whatever they could to protect it - even though sometimes it turned out to be counter-productive. I liked the "war" between them and FBI too. It, actually, was the hot point of the story.

On the other hand I felt most of the time the book didn't unleash the fullest of its potential. Like everything was brought to the middle and left hanging there, which would definitely make the readers feel uneasy. For example, Ellie never ever wanted to be a spy in MED yet she just came to them willingly a short time after she was asked instead of putting it off and having the agents nag her (that way it would be more persuasive you know). The intensity wasn't enough either. Not until the last few chapters was it all set on fire, and it was such a pity, in my opinion.

Overally, Torched shows us how things get out of hand when goodwill is accompanied by negative actions such as violence and blindness, which, will somehow wake the alertness in us about a lot of things in life. Nevertheless, I wish it could have been delivered in more compelling way.

Rating: 2.5/5


Marie said...

Thanks for the honest review. I think the romance aspect actually sounds like a bit "much".

Anonymous said...

The story looks interesting, but after reading your review, I'm not sure this one is for me. Thanks for the review though! :)

Euro Crime said...

I've read one of April Henry's adult mysteries - it started well but it fizzled out.

I'm a new blogger at

Yan said...

I agree with you. I thought it sounded so good but then kind of died.

P.S. I am always so jealous of your layout! There are SO FREAKING CUTE!! ;P