Torn by David Massey


Written by David Massey

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Selected by our Editorial Experts

Shortlisted for the 2013 Leeds Book Awards Elinor Nielson, a 19-year-old British army medic, is led into a dangerous intrigue surrounding a mysterious young Afghan girl. What she discovers makes her question everything she believes about love and war.

Barry Cunningham, MD of publisher Chicken House, on Torn:

This thrilling, war-torn drama, told through the eyes of a nineteen-year-old female British army medic, brings to life the war in Afghanistan – and the perils and challenges facing our young soldiers. It’s both moving and fantastically compelling – from the joys of comradeship to the terror of enemy attack and the ultimate victory of love, understanding and compassion.

David Massey’s debut novel is life-affirming. Modern and sympathetic, it will grab the hearts and minds of young adult readers everywhere.

A Review by Katy Poulter, age 12

Torn is a very interesting book which leaves you with a lot of questions that don't necessarily need answering as they spark your imagination and make you think. I knew from the beginning that there was something strange about Aroush and I like the way that the author leaves her character very open to personal interpretation but at the same time I get a really clear yet slightly haunting image of her in my mind. The story was good but the ending was left extremely open so the book wasn't properly resolved. I liked how they all had quirky nicknames like Yugi and Gizmo that showed something about them and made them memorable.

Katy Poulter is a member of the Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel but she has reviewed this novel in the first instance for the Leeds Book Award as it is one of the 2013 shortlisted titles. The organisers have kindly agreed to let us also make use of Katy's review.


Torn by David Massey

Afghanistan. In the heat and dust, young British army medic Elinor Nielson watches an Afghan girl walk into a hail of bullets. But when she runs to help, Ellie finds her gone. Who is she? And what's happened to her? What Ellie discovers makes her question everything she believes in - even her feelings for the American lieutenant who takes her side.

Author David Massey reads from his novel in this video:

About the Author

David Massey

David’s life is like his music collection: seriously mixed up. He’s written sketches for broadcast on African FM radio stations, presented music and magazine shows, and produced the odd drama or two. His talent for fixing things enabled him to make an almost seamless transition from behind the mic to installing radio and production studios all over the place. His wife thinks it was just so he could spend loads of time with sultry Hispanic radio presenters in Miami. Nowadays he prefers the quiet life, running a business with Debi, shouting at the dog, being clawed to shreds by the cat, playing the guitar and – oh yeah – writing.

After heading up an aid expedition during the Romanian revolution and broadcasting in Africa, David witnessed the devastating effect of conflict on young people. Their resilience and ability to be instruments of change helped inspire his story of a teenage army medic. David and his wife Debi now run an emergency supplies business.

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Book Info


304 pages


David Massey
More books by David Massey


Chicken House Ltd

Publication date

2nd August 2012




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