Book Summary

Sara Shaw is a 16 year old, she goes to high school where all the kids call her Ice Queen because she rarely smile or talks. Soon her life is turned upside down when her father abandons her, she starts skipping class and meets a prostitute named China.

China gets Sara involved in a plot to rob a man named Dirk Wallace. After they successfully get away from the man, China leaves town seeking her mother and to go to college, leaving Sara to fend for herself. She makes her way to this newly opened restaurant where she goes into the bathroom where she turns on the water and falls asleep on the floor, later to be found by a waiter.

Sara gets put in a place called White Oaks where she meets Amber who becomes her friend. She doesn’t stay there long because she gets adopted by the Mickelson’s, but before she even got to meet them she meet a boy named Nicholas and moved in with him. She lived at Nicholas’s for quite some time, longing to know what was in the blue house across the street.

One day when she came home she found Nicholas with another man, upset she went over to the Blue House where a party was going on. When she arrived she got intoxicated and took many drugs, until she found Justine, and left with her. They roamed the street until they came across a bar. While Justine was trying to persuade the bartender to give her alcohol, Sara noticed a man sitting in the bar, Dirk. Sara gets Justine to leave the bar and they headed for the alley.

Justine got her suitcase and started singing Sara’s name. That’s when they heard Dirk’s voice screaming “You owe me something, you little bitch! You owe me.” Sara ran but Justine stayed, when Sara came back and saw Justine standing over Dirk’s unconscious body. Sara’s knife was on the pavement covered in Dirk’s blood. Sara stopped the bleeding by tearing her dress to make a make-shift tourniquet, breathed life into him, then ran.

The cops came to Sara’s house, and took her with them, suspecting her of attempted murder. They interrogated her but she would not tell them anything. It was not looking good everyone thought she was the one that had assaulted Dirk. While Sara was there she got reunited with her friend Amber, she had gotten arrested for failure to comply.

They had come up with a plan, Amber had stolen a pair of keys that would get Sara out. Amber distracted the chef while Sara slipped out the doors. Sara jumps off a ledge and falls on to garbage bags, and then runs. She keeps on running until she reaches the forest.

Character Descriptions

Sara Shaw- Sara has red hair, and freckles. She claims she was born with a fever. She wears her friend China’s fur coat, and can always be seen with her knife. She is a very strong girl who looks after herself, but always seems to do what other people want.

Justine K.- Justine has short black hair, blue eyes, and she wears a toothbrush around her neck and a little black torn skirt. She gets into a lot of trouble and it is said that she never gets caught. People say she is not the person to be caught up with


Alice (China)- China was know as a prostitute, she had bleach blonde hair, she wore a lot of make-up, and wore Love’s Baby Soft perfume. China is very bold and isn’t afraid to do anything.

Seamus Shaw- Seamus is Sara’s father, he is kind of like a hippy. He grows and smokes pot, and tends to a huge garden behind their house. He loves Sara but doesn’t really know how to take care of her.

Dirk Wallace- Dirk has orange hair, and wears rimmed glasses, he is very awkward. He is a very wealthy man with a family, a daughter named Ashely. But he doesn’t seem happy with his life.

Dean Black- Everyone wanted to be with Dean Black, but he was with Sara. He really loves her. He is the most wealthiest kid in school. Dean has black shoulder length hair,he seems pretty popular and has a very outgoing personality.

Amber- Sara’s meets Amber when she is put in White Oaks. She wears dark violet lipstick, plucks her eyebrows very thin, and is very tall. She is very into fashion, and seems happy, but she cuts and burns herself. She is known to be able to brake into anything


Nicholas Haven- Nicholas has spiky black hair, and his body was rough, bruised, and scratched up. He loves to skateboard and really cares for Sara. He isn’t afraid to speak his mind.


Rebecca Godfrey was born in Toronto, Ontario.
When she was little her family relocated her to Victoria, British Columbia.
She worked in Toronto and New York as a journalist and editor before writing The Torn Skirt. She also wrote a second book called Under the Bridge: The True Story of Reena Virk.


This book takes place in the 1980’s, in Victoria, British Columbia. The island is surrounded by the pacific ocean and not many people get away from it. Half the town is filled with many stoners and prostitutes, where everyone is into to drugs, sex and partying. The other half was “like a fairy tale”, this was the tourist part of town with cobble stone streets, flowers and british flags all over the place.

Direct Passages From the Book

Page 45: “The world is a fucked up place. I really hated the world.”
I liked this passage because it really shows all the horrible things Sara’s seen or heard of in her life, what crazy things can happen and how it has changed Sara as well.

Page 6: “Laying in the crevice with him, I could forget about tree planting and living on an island where the ocean surrounded me, always”
I like this passage because it shows another side to Dean, the real Dean the one Sara loves and can be happy with.

Page 9: “It was just sex, she said. They wanted to do it so I let them. She shrugged her shoulders.”
This passage sickens me, to think that a girl would do something so horrible and it doesn’t seem to phase her at all. That she would just let them do whatever they wanted to her.

Page 195: “Just thinking about it fills me with dread. I’d die before I’d let anyone I loved go before the likes of the lady with the Picasso umbrella.”
I like this passage because it shows that Sara really cares for the people she loves and she would not let anything bad happen to them.

Page 186: “A lot of people thought she was shy but she wasn’t shy, she just doesn’t waste her breath on idiots.”
I like this passage because through the whole book kept saying that she hated how everyone one thought she was shy when she wasn’t. But Dean knew that about her.

Page 115: “I’ll never be in love.”
I think in this passage Sara is lying, I believe that she has been in love before, she just doesn’t want to believe it herself. I think she loved Dean, the Dean that would do anything for her and loved her so much. I also think she had very strong feelings for Nicholas but it was not Love.


Two possible themes in the book could be bad parenting and the consequences of making bad decisions. I feel as though Sara ended up doing many of the things she did because she didn’t have a parenting figure to put her in the right path. Her father left her mother when she way young and her father left her as soon a things got tough for him. Sara makes some really bad choices throughout the book, when she make the decision to rob Dirk, and go to the blue house. It comes back and bites her later on in the story.
If she would of made better decisions she would of never gotten herself into the mess she’s in.

Book Review & Recommendations

I had a love hate relationship with this book. Some of it, I could not put it down and kept on reading, and other parts it I had to force myself to read through it. I really liked reading about Sara in the blue house, it was very vivid and it felt like I was there with her. I also like the part where Justine attacked Dirk. Even though Justine had almost killed him, Sara still cared for Justine and wanted you to feel bad for her. I did not like the part where China and Sara rob Dirk, it was kind of sick and made me not like China or Sara. I also did not like the end of the book I feel like it just stopped with no explanation of what was going to happen and it left me unsatisfied.
Rebecca Godfrey does a wonderful job of getting into the head of a teenager who is going through a tough time. I recommend this book to people who like teenage drama, teenage angst, and a little bit of crime. I think a lot of people would like this book. I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars.


This is what I think the Blue house would be like.


This is what I think the garden behind Sara's house looks like.