Review: Entangled by Cat Clarke

So I was super lucky to win a copy of this book via twitter from the lovely Cat Clarke herself.  She ran a contest to get tweets with the book title hash tagged in it and trying to be unusual or just catch her interest.  I happened to be making fudge for work and was literally entangled in golden syrup (it’s very sticky stuff) and so tweeted away.  It seems Cat likes her fudge and I won and she was kind enough to sign it for me too!  Cat is so very awesome (plus she loves some of my favourite bands and we’ve had a few tweets back and forth about said musical tastes).

On to the book: This is Cat’s debut novel and so I knew very little about it except the cover looked so pretty and the blurb on the back was so very cool.

‘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?

Grabbed my attention straight off the bat!  Reading Entangled was like leaving the real world and diving into the teenage life of someone that is suffering so much that she sometimes can’t see the woods through the trees.  Grace is so bold and strong a character but also so broken and battered by life that she acts out and almost can’t control the things she says and does.  It’s a breathe taking look at the life of Grace and how she finds a friend, Sal, and has romance, Nat, along with a great deal of drinking and “fun” but with the ever ongoing mystery of being kidnapped by a boy called Ethan.  She’s trapped in a white room and forced (only out of boredom because there is nothing else to do) to note down her life til that point and how she came to meet Ethan in the hopes of working out why she is there and how to escape her kidnapper.
It had me gasping and tearing up hearing her struggle with herself and the life she’s created for herself of acting out with drinking, boys and self harm.  It’s not a book for the faint heart and deals with some big issues that just don’t get covered by many YA books but I have no doubt affect teen lives daily both directly and indirectly.  I felt Grace’s pain and joy and it shocked me how much I related to her.
Cat Clarke doesn’t hold back when describing the world Grace lives in and it’s all from Grace’s point of view so all the little questions and mysteries that lead up to the turning point in the book had me guessing too.  I almost didn’t want to figure out what was going on because I feared I’d ruin it even for myself.  It’s a hard hitting look at one girl’s life after tragedy and her coping and trying to find happiness the best way she can but doesn’t often succeed.  
Entangled is a gripping read that made me re think my own teenage years with a new perspective and realise that like Grace, Nat and Sal’s stories; not everything is what it seems and sometimes an end isn’t an ending.
Rating: 7.5/10 
Published by Quercus Publishing and available here and all bookshops now
 

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