Courtney's Reviews > Entangled

Entangled by Cat Clarke
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's review
Jan 05, 11

bookshelves: 2010, ya-fiction

It's been more than a few months since I read Entangled, but it's a book I've not forgotten. Cat Clarke's debut is a really intense novel--so very, very emotional--and I loved it when I first read it and I love it now. It's the story of Grace, a very lost, very broken girl, who, through a series of unfortunate choices and betrayals finds herself waking up in a white room with a pencil and paper. She's being held there by a boy named Ethan, who seems convinced she can write her way out of this one and I WISH I could say more than that, but the story in these pages is one you have to read and discover for yourself (do it!). So I'll not say anymore on plot, lest I spoil you, but I WILL talk about the stellar voice and characterization you're going to discover when you pick Entangled up.

Grace is such a raw and real narrator. Clarke knows how to balance her most unlikeable moments (because Grace will challenge you to like her and I love that kind of daring from a debut author) with this vulnerability that I really adored. Grace IS an angry and confused seventeen-year-old. She's real, she's flawed. The way she's a catalyst to the events in her life in some ways but in other ways a passive witness to them is beautiful and honest. It's very human. The things Grace goes through are hard; the way she relates the things she goes through gives them that much more of an impact--that's truly how much voice you'll find here.

Grace aside, what I most loved about Entangled was the way it portrayed a downward spiral. You can just SEE things getting away from Grace--and there's nothing you can do about it. You can understand why she was/is powerless to stop them. Sometimes the things that get away from her are small and sometimes they're huge, and as she reflects on how it all went wrong the novel hurtles towards what I felt was an unexpected but PERFECT conclusion. It's a page-turner, basically! It was just so damn intriguing watching a character map out the pieces of their shattered life. I also think it's a talented writer who can make the reflective segments of this book as suspenseful as the moments that take place in the present, with Grace locked in the room trying to figure Ethan out.

The whole novel is presented without apology and that's fantastic--here is Grace's story and Cat Clarke trusts you to make what you want of it. I might not make the same choices that Grace did in her life, but I could see why she made them and I believed in her emotional growth. My heart broke for her, a lot. And like any good book (in my opinion) Clarke offers no easy answers, no cut and paste happy ending, but she does give you a lot to think about. This is a great read. I can't wait to see what Cat will come out with next.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Cory (new)

Cory It sounds like an interesting twist on the traditional YA story. Maybe I'll check it out.

Kelly Your reviews always make me want to run out and read the book (and this one I had to order from overseas, darnit!).

message 3: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney Cory, it's fantastic! Hope you dig it if you do!

Kelly, hee! Srsly, I love the voice--it just feels so seventeen to me! It's great.

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