The Torturer's Daughter

Rated 4.55/5 based on 12 reviews
Becca has never questioned what she's learned in Citizenship class: dissidents want to tear the country apart, and people like her mother are the only thing keeping them at bay. Until her mother executes Becca's best friend's parents as dissidents, and Becca learns a secret that changes everything... More

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About Zoe Cannon

Zoe Cannon writes about the things that fascinate her: outsiders, societies no sane person would want to live in, questions with no easy answers, and the inner workings of the mind. If she couldn't be a writer, she would probably be a psychologist, a penniless philosopher, or a hermit in a cave somewhere. While she'll read anything that isn't nailed down, she considers herself a YA reader and writer at heart. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and a giant teddy bear of a dog, and spends entirely too much time on the internet.

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Reviews

Review by: Alysa H on June 22, 2013 :
I won a copy of this book in Elle Casey's Springtime Indie Book Giveaway.

Rating as a jaded adult reader, this tale of teenage uncertainty under a vaguely described oppressive government regime isn't quite enough. But rating for Young Adult readers? It's a winner.

The fact that the regime is so vaguely described allows it to function as a stand-in for ANY such oppressive one, and therefore teach good lessons about how those systems work by instilling paranoia and fear.

I remember reading Todd Strasser's "The Wave" in high school, long ago. Zoe Cannon's book would be a great candidate to replace that on today's high school reading lists. It raises similar questions but with a language, style, and characters far more appealing to the Millennial set.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kiara Bernadette on May 07, 2013 :
*May contain SPOILER!!! *

I like this book, partly because of the dystopian theme, but also because the struggling of the character, Becca. Whose mom is a torturer and literally killed her best friend's parents.
We could see the struggling right from the beginning as Becca reveals more secret from her mom. And the government she live and obey all her life.
She tried hard to assure herself that she's not a dissident. Not a rebel. The way she keeps telling herself that annoys me a little, but I think that's how the author made us know the struggling in Becca's mind.
When finally she accepted what she is, she still struggling in taking action. But I could see that she develop in this story.
I like her relationship with Jake, how she saved him, but beneath it all turned out Jake also has reason behind it, revenge.
But what I love the most actually is her relation with her mom, they used to be close, then she confused whether to trust her mom or not. But in the end, she still stands up for her mom. I admire Becca for that.
The book ends with cliffhanger and it would make us wonder what gonna happen in book two.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Kiara Bernadette on May 07, 2013 :
*May contain SPOILER!!! *

I like this book, partly because of the dystopian theme, but also because the struggling of the character, Becca. Whose mom is a torturer and literally killed her best friend's parents.
We could see the struggling right from the beginning as Becca reveals more secret from her mom. And the government she live and obey all her life.
She tried hard to assure herself that she's not a dissident. Not a rebel. The way she keeps telling herself that annoys me a little, but I think that's how the author made us know the struggling in Becca's mind.
When finally she accepted what she is, she still struggling in taking action. But I could see that she develop in this story.
I like her relationship with Jake, how she saved him, but beneath it all turned out Jake also has reason behind it, revenge.
But what I love the most actually is her relation with her mom, they used to be close, then she confused whether to trust her mom or not. But in the end, she still stands up for her mom. I admire Becca for that.
The book ends with cliffhanger and it would make us wonder what gonna happen in book two.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Mandie Mims on Jan. 05, 2013 :
The Torturer's Daughter is the gripping, fast paced tale of Becca, a teenager trying to navigate the dangerous water's of a totalitarian society. When her best friend's parents are arrested by the same organization Becca's mother works for, Becca uncovers some startling secrets and must make a choice between what she knows is right and the life she has always known.

This book is a quick read, mainly because once you start you won't be able to stop! The only disappointment was in how quickly this amazing book was over!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: brandy mcdonald on Dec. 27, 2012 : (no rating)
The Torturer's Daughter by Zoe Cannon
I loved this book. This has not been a style that I loved and then along came The Hunger Games....Zoe Canon is satisfying my need for an answer to that trilogy being complete. The conflict between Becca and her mom resonates to all moms and daughters and the struggle for Becca between right and wrong, the known and unknown, and friends and family are common struggles for us all. A great read. Looking forward to the next one. (
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: brandy mcdonald on Dec. 27, 2012 :
The Torturer's Daughter by Zoe Cannon
I loved this book. This has not been a style that I loved and then along came The Hunger Games....Zoe Canon is satisfying my need for an answer to that trilogy being complete. The conflict between Becca and her mom resonates to all moms and daughters and the struggle for Becca between right and wrong, the known and unknown, and friends and family are common struggles for us all. A great read. Looking forward to the next one. ( B McDonald)
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: L Schwarzman on Dec. 21, 2012 :
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I couldn't put it down. When Becca is called to get her friend out of Processing 117 she is thrown into a whirlwind of confusion. As she tries to help her friend, she realizes that she is against everything the new government, and her mother, stand for. This story takes on a life of its own and quickly becomes the book you just can't put down. I will definitely be looking for more books by This author and can't wait to share this book with my own kids. ( )
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: L Schwarzman on Dec. 21, 2012 :
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I couldn't put it down. When Becca is called to get her friend out of Processing 117 she is thrown into a whirlwind of confusion. As she tries to help her friend, she realizes that she is against everything the new government, and her mother, stand for. This story takes on a life of its own and quickly becomes the book you just can't put down. I will definitely be looking for more books by This author and can't wait to share this book with my own kids. ( )
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: L Schwarzman on Dec. 21, 2012 :
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I couldn't put it down. When Becca is called to get her friend out of Processing 117 she is thrown into a whirlwind of confusion. As she tries to help her friend, she realizes that she is against everything the new government, and her mother, stand for. This story takes on a life of its own and quickly becomes the book you just can't put down. I will definitely be looking for more books by This author and can't wait to share this book with my own kids. ( )
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: stephanie perez on Dec. 12, 2012 :
This book was different from ones I usually read but nevertheless met my expectations and was really interesting. It was a hard book to put down and the story line is very believable
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ashley Eisen on Dec. 12, 2012 :
I found this book disturbing, but really good and well written. The characters were well developed and the emotional decisions they faced were believable because of this development.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Francis W. Porretto on Oct. 22, 2012 :
Oh my God.

I read quite a lot of Smashwords material. Most of it is execrable. Most of the "writers" should be stripped of their word processors for daring to post it. It's a confirmation of the old Flannery O'Connor quip: when asked if she thought the universities are discouraging young writers, she replied, "In my opinion, they don't discourage enough of them."

Nevertheless, knowing how critical I can be, and knowing how much higher my standards are than those of most other readers and critics, I try to be kind. I never give less than a three-star review. If a particular work doesn't deserve at least that much, I simply pass on in silence. When I do post a review, I try to substantiate any criticisms I feel I must make, so that the writer gets something of value for having endured my opinion.

Miss Cannon, you don't need to fear any of that.

* * * * *

Why not presume guilt instead of innocence?
Why not convict on the unsupported word of an accuser?
Why not allow government functionaries to "coax" a confession out of a suspect?
Why not encourage people to suspect one another of disloyalty? Of sedition? Of treason?
Why not pay them to denounce one another: neighbor denouncing neighbor, friend denouncing friend, brother denouncing sister, child denouncing parent?
It would keep the rest properly terrified -- properly submissive to the Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omnibenevolent State, wouldn't it?
We do have a problem with unrest, after all.
So why not spread a little fear? A little reluctance to trust?
Actual charges of specific acts of wrongdoing? Bah! That's so five minutes ago!
Either you are with us right down to your bones, body, mind, and soul, never even one stray disloyal impulse, or we'll liquidate you.
Oh, you'll confess before the bullet enters your brain. We can't allow anyone to doubt us.
And isn't it funny: There are always people willing to "help" you confess...
Even if it kills you.

* * * * *

The Torturer's Daughter, by Zoe Cannon. A tale of maturation under mortal terror, and of principles gone horribly wrong. Intended for a young-adult audience? Perhaps. But impressive to this sixty-year-old all the same.

BRAVO!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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