Entangled by Cat Clarke
Author: Cat Clarke. Website|Twitter
Published: 6 January 2011 (Quercus)
Book Depository: Paperback
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
This was another "bought on a whim not knowing much about the author" book and I'm really glad I did. When Grace finds herself in a white room with only pen and paper and the mysterious Ethan for company, she ends up writing down the events of the past few months and trying to figure out just what has happened to her.
The plot summary totally drew me and within a few pages I knew the whole book was going to have me hooked. As Grace doesn't know what has happened to her, I as a reader was just as determined to find out just as much as she was! The structure of the story was something I really liked. Grace is stuck with only a pen and paper to keep her busy so she's writing about her life - both what's happening in the present and what's happened to her in the past. I liked that you got that look into her current situation which is pretty terrifying, and the months leading up to it which were just as interesting and dramatic.
Grace is pretty troubled as characters go. Her mum treats her like rubbish - swanning off and leaving her on her own for days. She doesn't have her dad around and clearly misses him. To cope with all this she's turned to self-harm and contemplated suicide but I felt Grace was a completely realistic main character and somebody I could definitely have gone to school with in my teens.
I really did feel for her throughout the story, especially when she dives into the back story of her relationships with both her best friend Sal and boyfriend Nat. When she was explaining the good times I shared her happiness, and then something terrible would happen and my heart would really go out to her. Neither her best friend or boyfriend was perfect and there were times where Grace would blame herself and apologise for things that totally weren't her fault. That just made me warm to her even more because it's a trait I recognise in myself.
Whilst most of this book hinges around the mystery of just what has happened to Grace, some parts of the plot that were supposed to be a big reveal late on in the story were very obvious to me from the start. I was disappointed with those twists because I'd just spend most of the book frustrated at certain characters and knowing certain things were going on whilst Grace herself remained oblivious. It seemed unrealistic that she didn't put two and two together.
Saying that, the climax of the book was definitely not something I was expecting! I thought I had everything figured out and then it was like a carpet was swept out from underneath me. The ending was so fast paced that I couldn't stop turning those final pages and my heart was in my mouth. I was completely engrossed with what was happening, and then the ending left me hanging on the edge of my seat wanting more! Some of it was a bit baffling and because it all happened so fast I had to go back and re-read bits, and I still think a lot of it is open to interpretation which is either good or frustrating - I still haven't decided which!
I absolutely loved Clarke's tense and dramatic writing style and I really would recommend this book. I'll definitely be checking out her other novels in the future!
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