Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Entangled - Cat Clarke

Book #7 of 50 on the Goodreads Book Challenge
GENRE: Young Adult
PAGES: 256
FORMAT: Paperback
BUY IT: Waterstones


The same questions whirl round and round in my head: What does he want from me? How could I have let this happen? AM I GOING TO DIE? 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? Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here? A story of dangerous secrets, intense friendships and electrifying attraction.

Summing this book up without giving too much away is actually pretty difficult. As the blurb says, the book starts with Grace waking up in a completely white room with nothing to do but write with the pens and paper that have been provided for her.  She is looked after and watched over by Ethan, who's only real part in the narrative is to spur Grace on to continue her story, which switches between her time in the room and the events leading up to it. There are two other main characters, Sal - her best friend, and Nat, who becomes her boyfriend. It's also a story of how easy it is to become 'entangled' in other people's lives, sometimes without even realising.

I really didn't want to like this book. When I started reading it I hated Grace, she was the kind of girl that I would have avoided like the plague at school - she's an underage drinker who sleeps with anything that moves. But thinking back, that isn't fair to her. I found myself finding things that I liked about her, she's fiercely loyal to her best friend Sal, and she uses falling in love as a reason to start her life over. And I think this is what makes me like the book so much - I took her to heart, and actually wanted to protect her from herself. I can hear you all saying 'she's just a character!' but you can see her downfall coming before she does, and it's heartbreaking. To the point where I was going to cry whilst reading the end on the train.

What this book does essentially is examine the fragility of the teenage mind, how complicated we are as people, and even vaguely touches on the nature/nurture debate through Grace's polar opposite best friend, Sal. For the whole novel you can feel that there's something wrong, that there's things missing, and the fact that you can see things that Grace misses, even though it's from her point of view (which actually is one of the features that really makes the story what it is) makes it all the more sad.

Grace: Grace really is quite a complex character. She can be brash and forthright, but she's also really sensitive. She deals with a problem that a lot of teens go through (namely self harm) and actually the first person narrative really gives you the best insight as to how she develops from when she is 14 to 17 where the novel starts, where she tries to kill herself.

Sal: I really think Sal is in this novel to highlight everything Grace isn't. She's quiet and has little self confidence. I did like that she forgives Grace, on numerous occasions, and it rather reminded me of my relationship with my best friend.

Nat: I have really mixed feelings about Nat. In parts he says everything that an amazing boyfriend should, he knows how to make girls feel like they're the only one in the world, and let's face it, it's those ones you have to watch out for.

Finally, I think that there is something in here that everyone will associate with. It's the first book in a long time that I've read that hasn't been paranormal, and it really does make me want to read more simple contemporary fiction. I really hope that there won't be a sequel to this, because it's a perfect form the way it is.

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