Undone by Cat ClarkeAuthor: Cat Clarke Website|Twitter
Published: 31 January 2013 (Quercus)
Book Depository: Paperback
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it.
Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself.
Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down.
I really enjoyed Entangled by Cat Clarke which I read a few months ago, so I was super excited when I won a copy of this book! Undone follows Jem Halliday whose best friend Kai has just commited suicide after being outed as gay in a video posted online.
Firstly I have to praise Clarke for writing such instantly recognisable characters. Everyone in this book was so true to life and I think she has British secondary school experiences absolutely spot on. We live in a world where teens sneak out, drink and have sex and Undone doesn't attempt to sugar coat that fact, for which I am so relieved to see.
This book also covers some pretty hardhitting issues and does it with the perfect balance of honesty and sensitivity. What happens to Kai is shocking, but suicide is definitely an issue that needs to be talked about openly. Undone also highlights the battle people like Kai face when faced with being open about their sexuality. It was just heartbreaking read Jem talk about her hopes for a world where sexuality isn't something that people are judged for and bullied because of.
On to the plot itself! I loved the way Undone was written with the story alternating between the present were Kai has died and the past where we see the build up to his death. My favourite part was the letters from Kai which were interspersed throughout the book. It meant that we got to know (and fall in love with!) Kai as a character by hearing his voice and living his story in his own words despite the fact he isn't present in Jem's life anymore. He was such a brilliant character and someone I think everyone would want to have as a friend, which is what makes this book all the more heartbreaking.
The majority of the story revolves around Jem's plot to get revenge for Kai's death and target the people behind it. I was torn at times over what I thought of Jem's actions. I never really managed to connect with her as a character. Whilst I was completely sympathetic to her situation, I sometimes struggled to get inside her head and understand why she thinks the things she does. For example, she talks a lot about hating life (even before Kai's death) and in particular hating her parents and I never quite understood why she felt that way. It made her come across as more stroppy than troubled at times.
Aside from that, I was completely gripped to Jem's story and the twists and turns that accompany it. It was really fascinating seeing her become this completely different person as she works at getting close to the popular kids by choosing to act like them.She develops and changes so much throughout the story and although I didn't always agree with her actions (and there were several uncomfortable moments) it made for an addictive and intense plot.
Where this book really blew me away was the ending. I couldn't stop reading the last few hundred pages and after I'd finished I felt like I needed my shattered heart piecing back together! I went on such a rollercoaster ride emotionally reading Undone. I'll definitely be checking out Cat Clarke's future books because this was another phenomenally written story full of powerful messages and fascinating characters that shook me up and broke me down!
What to read next: Entangled by Cat Clarke, Torn by Cat Clarke
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