Monday, July 25, 2011

[Review] Entangled by Cat Clarke

Title: Entangled {goodreads}
Authors: Cat Clarke
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 01/03/11 (AU)
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
RRP: $16.99
Source: Publisher for review
Age: 16+
Pages: 370
My Rating:

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

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

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 dangerous secrets, intense friendships and electrifying attraction.
My thoughts: 

ENTANGLED is quite an unusual book, and I admit that by the end of the book I became quite taken with Grace the main character. I was by no means accepting of her behaviour, but seeing all of the pieces fit together really gave me some perspective and the ability to understand how someone could come to the decision to end their life.


On the night Grace Carlyle attempts to take her life she is kidnapped by Ethan. He's gorgeous, and there's something familiar about him. She finds herself in a white room, with a pen and paper, willed to writing about what's been going on in her life.

Grace Carlyle's life changes the moment she meets the two people who would come to be the most important people in her life - Nat and Sal. She's never cared about a guy before Nat, and she's never had a best friend before Sal. Entangled in a messed up web, things get complicated when secrets start bubbling to the surface. And her home life? Trash.

So why is she here? And who is this mysterious, but alluring, Ethan?


I was expecting a pageturner, but it took a while to get into it. I think even a little part of that is due to the confronting nature of such a book as this. I am no stranger to the "deeper" topics discussed in YA, but it has been a while since I've read a book that addressed such things as suicide and sex and cutting and heavy drinking. At many times I just questioned and felt saddened that there are real teens out there who do parttake in these activities, usually as a way of compensating for something.

Grace for the most part was an annoying character, but she still managed to gain sympathy from me because of what she'd gone through. Despite her bitchy attitude. In some way, I was not able to connect with her character - nor did I want to - and it was better off that way. By the way that she was forced to look at her life objectively, she falls at the seams and the person behind all the facades and drinking was someone broken and empty.

Nat and Sal are fleshed out quite well. Through Grace's writing about her life, we see one side to the story and the other side is never really revealed to us. I was frustrated by how open the book ended. I really wanted to see whether things get patched up if Grace did wake up.

Ethan remained a mystery to me for the whole book, right up to the end. I really had no idea who - or what - he was, and so I had to do a Google search and felt like a fool afterwards. There were just so many clues all throughout, (view spoiler)[like when she felt as though his voice were emanating in her head. I actually thought that he was some supernatural being or something! (hide spoiler)]

The writing is really nothing too special. Some of it is VERY British (and being from Australia I was able to understand most of those little words and phrases) - some words that stood out in my mind are "knackered", "taking the piss out" and "knickers". Grace is an undisputed lover of books and reading and writing, so in her introspection she appears a tad more mature (than when she were to speak to others) as she uses large words. Despite that however, much of the writing in general is casual and "un-quoteable" for a contemporary book.

I did like how the book was structured though. The book moves along in chronological order to how many days she is held captive in that white room. Every "chapter" followed one day.

In retrospect, the book is really well thought out. Every single detail from her time in that white room, to her personality and behaviours in her past life in between the pages. The most insignificant of words said. Most of it related to or mattered towards unveiling something new.

Even now, the book is just buzzing in my brain so strongly that it's going to be difficult to get to sleep tonight. It's already 1:30 am as I fervently write this. It probably won't be re-read by me anytime soon, but it's a good debut and was just fleshed out really well. Say all you want about hating Grace to bits, it still remains that Clarke's ability to mesh everything together so effortlessly is admirable. I wish that the ending were more definitive, which is mostly why I can't let go of Grace's story just yet.

I'm glad I did get around to reading this book, and I will eagerly await her second book, TORN. To my knowledge (and this is a really crude accustation), much Brit YA Lit isn't as deep, or at least quite deep as this one. Clarke's debut is so startlingly realistic that I have a feeling that she's going to be like a British Courtney Summers. ;)

Trailer and Music:

So music played a very minor part in this book, but while I was reading I felt inspired to look through my music and here are just some songs that I think fit kind of well to the book.

- Big White Room by Jessie J (absolutely perfect for this book - even the voice!)
- Cut by Plumb (also really suited to this book)
- All Around You by Flyleaf
- Here I Am by Marion Raven (and most others by her!)


* cheapest Australian e-store price



Amazon | The Book Depository

All links from Booko, because I'm too lazy to search each individual store anymore.

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2011, Contemps Challenge 2011

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