Entangled by Cat Clarke Paperback, UK, 372 pages Published January 6th 2011 by Quercus Publishing Plc Rating: 5/5 Stars Description: 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?
Then, in a story full of dangerous revelations, Grace must face the most important question of all: why is she here?Review: When Grace wakes up locked in a plain white room she has no idea how she got there. Held captive by the mysterious Ethan the only distraction she has is some pens and paper so she starts writing her story. As she writes about her friendship with Sal and falling in love with her boyfriend Nat we begin to unravel the mystery of how she ended up in the white room.
Entangled is a captivating and powerful debut and one that will take the reader on a roller coaster of emotions from laughter to tears and everything in between. When I sat down to read I was only intending to read a couple of chapters but I became so caught up in Grace’s tale that I finished the entire book in one sitting. This is a dark and uncomfortable read at times but that just makes it even more compelling and it does manage to leave you feeling hopeful by the end. I really admire the fact that Cat Clarke made me laugh out loud despite the difficult topics covered.
I’ve seen several reviewers say that they didn’t find Grace very likable in the beginning but I have to say I didn’t have the same problem with her. I didn’t like some of the things she was doing or her attitude at times but her character really spoke to me on a personal level and in some ways she reminded me a lot of myself as a teenager. Grace is in self destruct mode, she has so many emotions that she just doesn’t know how to deal with and this shows in the way she acts. In many ways she comes across as a normal teen – she seems friendly and outgoing and is doing well at school but this is just a front that she puts on. Underneath it all she is messed up – she uses alcohol to escape from reality, sleeps with boys she has just met and resorts to cutting as a way to feel in control of her life.
Her reasons might be different to mine and her behaviours differ to some degree but at her age I was in a very similar destructive pattern. Grace’s voice was so real to me and made for painful reading as I watched her make similar mistakes to me & I just wanted to reach into the book and be the voice of experience to tell her that things can and will get better. This particular quote has stayed with me for days since reading the story and for me it captures the essence of Grace perfectly:
“It’s when I’m alone that the doubt sets in. It’s been that way for years. As long as there are people around, I can pretend everything’s OK. But I need that audience to pretend for, otherwise it doesn’t work. Alone, I’m not that easy to fool.” Page 214
It is hard to go into too much detail about the rest of the story without giving spoilers, I really do think that this is one of those books that the less you know about before going in the better the reading experience will be. I will say that although I thought I’d figured out the twist at the end (well I had several theories anyway and was sure one of them would be correct) Cat Clarke still managed to surprise me. Entangled is a gripping and powerful read and one that I would thoroughly recommend, I know this is a story that will stay with me and one that I’m looking forward to reading again now I know how it ends.