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Torch Red: Color Me Torn

Review

Torch Red: Color Me Torn

Book three in Melody Carlson's TrueColors series stresses the cultural pressures and potency of peer influence to engage in sexual activity without a second (or initial) thought. Teens will find helpful and pertinent information and encouragement as they read about the pitfalls of succumbing to the lie that "everyone is doing it."

Carlson once again vividly portrays and highlights her protagonist's (Zoë's) emotional journey as this high school teen battles against her conscience while fending off the emotional and physical pulls to go all the way with new boyfriend Justin. Zoë is certain that she is the last virgin in her high school, and it doesn't help when a transfer student, Shawna Frye, arrives with her own sexual history that she seems intent on continuing at Zoë's school.

After Zoë's best friend, Emily, confides that she has become sexually active with her boyfriend Todd, Zoë retreats further and attempts to earnestly figure out a way to define right and wrong regarding sexual behavior. With a school play opening up, rehearsals take Zoë's time and attention, as does Justin and his ever-escalating demand for more physical contact. As is often the case, rumors and accusations fly steady and strong at Zoë's school after she discovers the new girl, Shawna, making out with Todd. Zoë tells Emily the truth, only to be verbally thrashed. More confusion for Zoë on the moral code issue springs forth. To the rescue is another student, Nate Stein, a Christian who helps Zoë sort out her social and spiritual happenings from a Godward perspective.

When push comes to shove, Zoë is forced to make the choice every teen must confront. Will she or won't she give in and join the majority (or so Zoë believes) of her classmates by becoming sexually active? Carlson's descriptions of rainbow parties, underage drinking, and especially her take on current sexual habits is right on the mark. Readers will be challenged to see further than their next "good feeling" and be more prepared to stand for personal integrity after finishing this text. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Michele Howe on July 1, 2004

Torch Red: Color Me Torn
by Melody Carlson

  • Publication Date: July 1, 2004
  • Genres: Christian, Fiction
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress
  • ISBN-10: 1576835316
  • ISBN-13: 9781576835319