Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: Entangled by Cat Clarke

Entangled by Cat Clarke
Published: January 6th, 2011
Publisher: Quercus
Pages: 374
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Other: NA
Video review: Youtube
Buy the book: Bookdepository

The same questions whirl round and round in my head: 
What does he want from me? 
How could I have let this happen? 

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here. 

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see? 

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here? 

A story of dark secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.

In Entangled, we meet up with Grace. Grace is in a white room with all white furniture and other stuff, with only paper and pens available to her. So what does she do? She writes. The whole book is based on her telling what happened that put her in the place she is in now.

It's really difficult to talk about this book without spoiling anything that happens in the story, because everything is tied together to form the plot. I didn't find the storyline to be particularly original, but I really liked the way Clarke has written the book and her way of showing Grace's story. She combines what the main character is experiencing now with the memories that she has that brought her to where she is now.

I found Grace to be really superficial on the outside. That's the way she was supposed to appear - only caring about herself and then mainly about booze, going to pubs and sex (yes, that's quite high up on her priority list). But on the inside, she is dealing with feelings that she doesn't know what to do with. Grace doesn't know how to talk about her feelings, or how to express them, so she cuts herself. Self mutilation is a taboo subject and I think Clarke did a good job on writing the feelings of our main character, as well as expressing her motives to do so.

The characters (Grace, Sal, Nat) were all on the shallow side. They are teenagers, so I suppose that's their way of thinking, but it bothered me that they only seemed to think about themselves. Having said that, I really liked the fact that a minor character got a bigger role towards the end. He was always looked over before that, but he ended up being really valuable for the ending of the story and I loved the way Clarke wrote the ending. It was emotional and heartbreaking, even though you might have expected this to happen. I found the ending especially well written.

This book talked about the issue of self mutilation which is a taboo subject and I'm glad that such an important matter was touched upon in this book. Another thing that I liked about the book is that Cat Clarke is a British author - which made a nice change in reading, in between all the books from the US I've been reading :)

My overall rating:

Because this is a good YA debut for 2011 and I recommend that you pick up a copy for your Debut Author Challenge list! Also, it's British!

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