Monday, 25 July 2011

Review: Entangled by Cat Clarke

This is the first book I've read since starting this blog that has left me wanting to say more than my usual 140 character review!

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
summary taken from GoodReads

Entangled is Cat Clarke's first novel but her story telling skills are fantastic.

Grace might not seem like a particularly likable character, she does a lot that is less than wonderful, but you are completely on her side and dreading what  event is being built up to leading up to her being locked in this room.  It is all from her point of view as she is writing her memories down, so you can only imagine what is going on with the other characters when their life isn't revolving around Grace's.  She is a very self centred and demanding character but as you read more you can forgive her for that and wish her a lucky break.  The relationship with her Mum is very difficult and I would like to know what was going on in her Mother's mind.

A key feature in the story is Grace's cutting.  I know a lot of people are very against writing about 'issues' like this...and drug taking/drinking/s*x...for teenagers but I think, if done carefully, it can only be helpful for young people to read about these issues and their effects on individuals as well as families and friends.  Reading about characters that self harm will not cause teens to go out and try it but it might strike a chord with some of them that already think about it, and demonstrate that they are not the only one that ever feels that way.  This book definitely does not glamorise it.  In fact, I thought the descriptions of her feelings of guilt and self loathing were very moving and realistic (though obv. everyone that thinks about self harm will have their own motivation and reaction).

Although I thought some of the growing relationships were a bit of a cheat to give more hope than someone in this situation in real life might feel, I did think the ending was quite appropriate - not too Disney happy ending but not too depressing, I won't say any more because I don't want to spoil it!

All in all well worth a read, in fact School Librarians definitely read it before stocking it in your Library so that you can brace yourself for potential (but I honestly think unnecessary) parental concerns.

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