Entangled - Cat Clarke



Title: Entangled

Author: Cat Clarke

Publisher: Quercus

Release Date: January 2011

Category: Young Adult
Source: Received for review from Quercus
ARC: 372 pages



Summary from Goodreads:

Grace meets enigmatic Ethan the night she's planning to kill herself. The next morning she wakes up in a strange room with a table, chair, pens and paper. There's nothing to do but write, and as she writes, Grace remembers the things she's tried so hard to forget. 

The hazy memories lead Grace into a dark place where friendship, heartbreak and betrayal tangle together...

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I shared with you my excitement for this book a little over a month ago when I saw the beautifully gorgeous cover. And now I am going to share my excitement for the story!

We begin the story with Grace, she is locked in a room and she doesn't know where she is and/or if she'll ever get out. That is the only information we are given about her. The first sentence propels us directly into the action wondering why Grace wanted to commit suicide in the first place and why has she now been kidnapped. 
In her room, there is only a bed and a table with paper and pens. The only thing she can do is write, thus giving the reader an insight into her head. We go back in time as she scribbles the words on the page about her past and as she tells us what happens with her mysterious kidnapper Ethan.


As she writes, we realise that Grace is not the easiest person to love or to care for. Even though she is bright and has good results at school, she is stuck into a very self-destructive spiral (alcohol, one-night stands, cutting...) and doesn't let others help nor see she is suffering. Grace has very bad relations with her (mostly absent) mother and her best friend Sal is there for her only up to a certain point. She meets Nat and he seems perfect (gentle, caring, interesting) but Grace is constantly thinking that she doesn't deserve someone that good. 

I won't dwell on the kidnapping part, but the story is mainly about Grace and about all the events building up throughout the years leading her to want to put an end to her life. It is about how she has been consistently let down by everyone, including herself. She functions as a human being but she is very far from being happy, she has been cutting herself for years and getting drunk and going out with many boys/men regularly.

This is what I liked the most about the book, it is about someone you wouldn't want as the hero of a book. Someone you probably wouldn't care for, had you seen her in the street. But you realise that there is so much more to her than meets the eye. Grace is worth reading about and her voice is so unique and yet so universal that you will not want to forget her.

The book is written in Grace's point of view in the present tense, it is very haunting because we don't know how it might end. The dialogues and situations in the book are very real. If I go out on Saturday night I will probably see girls doing the same things Grace does in the book, the same if I listen to some high school girls talking on the bus. Cat Clarke creates characters very realistic in their personalities and actions. I could picture them talking in my mind the whole time, I didn't for one second read it as a moralistic tale written by an adult pretending to be a teenager. The story is very down-to-earth and realistic and yet it keeps the reader captivated the whole time. I couldn't put the book down before finishing it and I have been thinking about Grace ever since, wanting to hold her in my arms and simply listen to her.

To tell you the truth, this story resonated in me more profoundly because I had a friend in high school who was in the exact same position as Grace (self-destructive spiral for the same reasons) and nothing could stop her from dealing with the pain this way. Like Grace, she didn't really know why but it wasn't hurting so much when she was cutting, and she always said she was in control. It is not an issue easy to raise or to try to fix. But it is worth trying. If you care enough to look, then you will see the scars, and not only the visible ones. It is a very profound story and as Grace is a very complex character we come to discover at the same time as she discovers herself, the different layers of the book unfold progressively. 

I should probably add that the book is also hilarious! Grace's voice is very clear and distinctive and she has the funniest retorts. You will be surprised to laugh out loud regularly while reading this book. And even though the subject is quite dark, the book is not depressing, on the contrary, there is a positive note. 


I really loved this book. Cat Clarke writes on such a sensitive subject with a very original approach and an endearing voice. You will not forget Grace. At times I was laughing out loud and at others I was moved to tears. Cat is a very promising new addition to the young adult genre.


Due to some explicit content, I wouldn't advise it to younger teenage readers without informing them.




Thanks to Quercus for sending me this book!

11 comments:

  1. Wonderful review, Caroline. This is normally a book that's outside of my comfort zone but I do think it sounds like a good read and I would like to read it one day.

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  2. Aw thanks Ladybug!
    It is a very rich book, and a very entertaining read. You should definitely give it a try!

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  3. amazing review - I am looking forward to this one.

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  4. Fab review Caroline, I can't wait to read this one :o)

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  5. Lovely review -- the cover really caught my attention and I'm thrilled the book is as lovely!

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  6. I really need to hurry up and read this. So glad to hear that you loved it. I am very intrigued by the connection between the two main characters. I need to find out more. Lovely review Caroline!

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  7. Thanks so much for the lovely comments!!
    You girls should definitely read it :)

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  8. Now I'm even MORE excited to read this! I'm trying to hold out until nearer the release date, but I don't know how long I'll last!

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  9. I didn't know it involved cutting, I'm super excited to read this book now..

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  10. I can't wait to read this, I've been excited about it now for nearly a month - can't wait for its release!

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