Author: Cat Clarke
Published: 6 January 2011 by Quercus
Length: 372 pages
Warnings: Teenage pregnancy, alcohol, sex, self harm 14+
Source: Book swap
Other info: Cat’s other novel is called Torn. She has an upcoming one, but I’ve forgotten what it’s called. Entangled won The Redbridge Teenage Book Award today.
Summary : 17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with 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? Then, in a story full of dangerous revelations, Grace must face the most important question of all: why is she here?
Review: Grace wakes up in a blank white room with pens, paper and nothing to do except write. And so she writes. As she does, she remembers more and one about her old life. Sal, the friend who grows distant and comes back. Nat, the boy she was in love with. Her cutting, what led her to it and where it led her.
I was really intrigued by the idea of this. The first sentence of the blurb meant it could go any direction. And everyone else seemed to love it. A good start.
I love the fact that the first chapter is called Day Three. From two words, you're hooked, thinking about what happened to the two other days, and so on.
There's two separate storyline that later converge. Both Grace's being in the white room and Grace's life beforehand were equally intriguing, with new developments happening regularly.
You feel as though you're going through everything with Grace. I felt really bad for Sal and Grace, even if they're not good role models with perfect morals. All characters are flawed to some extent that makes you sympathise a bit for them, as well as making you want to tell them to get themselves sorted.
Grace goes through a lot. It seems like most of the issues in contemporary YA are addressed to some extent. Sometimes it gets a bit tiring though, and I would have liked to see more of characters like Sophie as a reminder that not everybody has really terrible lives!
I liked Ethan, even though he was a little annoying in that he provided for everything Grace wanted. He was very sweet, and Grace deserved him.
The ending is really sudden and unexpected. It was a bit disappointing for somebody to suddenly get written out, but overall it works.
Grace's voice isn't ultra sarky or smart, but her character really comes through in the way that she tells the story.
There's some little details that really make this book great. The irregular chapter numbers. Grace's notes to self. The constant variation. These kinds of things kept me stuck in this book from start to finish.
Overall: Strength 5 tea to a beautifully crafted story covering so much in a little(ish)book.