I have a confession to make. I’ve had an ARC of Entangled by Cat Clarke for quite a while now and for the longest time, I couldn’t read it. Can you imagine? A beautiful PINK book screaming at me to read it but I couldn’t do it. What was my problem? The story starts on “Day 3” and I had some issues with this. I wanted to know what happened on days 1 and 2, what happened to them? For the longest time I couldn’t get past this and then one day I just got over it. And I’m glad I did otherwise I would never have become “entangled” up in the story. Excuse the pun.
Imagine being abducted and put in a room with only a chair, a table, a pen and a seemingly never ending ream of paper. What would you write about? This is the dilemma facing Grace, our teenage protagonist. With a history of self harm, depression and underage drinking Grace has led a chequered life so far. Then she meets Ethan and everything changes. This is where the story truly begins.
What I liked about the book was the sudden barrage of questions forming in my mind from reading the very first page. Why has Grace been abducted? What does her abductor want? Why is she being treated so well? Why is she being coerced into writing? What will she write about? Why is this happening? I just want to give MAJOR KUDOS to Cat for building a story out of this idea whilst managing to retain the reader’s interest. I’m not sure I could do the same.
What I also liked about the book is that the answers were not all presented simultaneously. You had to carry on reading right until the end to earn access to the keys that unlock “the big reveal”. Speaking of which, me being me, I tried to guess what this would be. I think I came up with some interesting and fairly plausible ideas but I’m happy to say that I didn’t guess it, well not at first. I think I got it when Cat intended me to get it. When she’d dropped enough hints and revealed a few clues. I cannot say any more than this (although I really want to analyse and discuss it) but I also don’t want to ruin the story for you.
In terms of characters, Grace is an interesting protagonist in that whilst I liked her voice, which had its own unique sense of snark, at first I wasn’t sure I liked her very much and I’m still not entirely sure I like her now to be honest. But, as I grew to know her, I grew to understand her. In discovering her past, I uncovered secrets about Grace and a sort of explanation for why she is the way she is. For me, liking her wasn’t as important as accepting her.
As you may have noticed, Entangled has a striking cover but what lurks beneath is anything but beautiful. It’s gritty, edgy and REAL. Entangled is a thought provoking book which deals with some pretty sensitive themes and you may love it or not, you may not even know how you feel about it but one thing’s for sure; it WILL stay with you for a long time after reading. Thank you to Quercus for sending me a review copy.
Entangled is the debut novel from Cat Clarke and is published 5th January, 2011. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to meet Cat and I can tell you that she is an extremely lovely lady and definitely an author to watch. To find out more about Cat, visit her enviously beautiful new website here. She is also active on facebook and Twitter.