Thursday, 17 January 2013

Undone By Cat Clarke

Release Date: 31st January 2013
Publisher: Quercus
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Source: Received from Publisher for Review.
Synopsis: 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.

A searing story of love, revenge and betrayal from a bestselling author.
Review: Oh I really didn't realise how much this book would hook me. It literally sucked me up and I read it in just over a day and this was a rather long proof at just over 500 pages. Undone is a very mesmerising novel about some dark subjects. There's sex, suicide, alcohol, bullying and discrimination towards gay people. There was a lot going on in this book but it was dealt with very well as Cat seems to be a master at writing realistic YA fiction.
Undone follows Jem Halliday whose gay best friend commits suicide due to him being bullied because of his sexuality. The first few chapters we get to know Jem and Kai's background and how they know each other. Then the inevitable happens Kai commits suicide due to a tape of him circulating online that immediately outs him. Kai was not ready to come out of the closet and can't cope with the large amount of hate mail he is getting so he finds a solution to the problem. Suicide. Kai's death sends Jem's own life spiralling downward, they were inseparable and now he's gone. Jem doesn't want to live without him, she loved him after all. She knows she must commit suicide too or the grief will never go away. Jem is counting out some pills when some letters from Jem appear, each one dated each month of the upcoming year. Jem is so startled she momentarily forgets about the pills and focuses on the letters. Kai wrote the letters in the last hours of his life and Jem will live another year so she can do that one last thing for him. In the mean time she seeks revenge on those who did this to Kai and she won't stop until she finds the culprit.
Jem was the complete opposite of what I was expecting. I expected this sweet quiet girl, what there was, was an grumpy, Gothic, angry girl, who would just as soon punch you instead of apologise. She was so different to what I was expecting, it sent me off the rails a bit. Alas in her revenge she knows she has to change to fit in with certain people and I liked the new Jem. She smiled and enjoyed herself, she let her hair down and didn't dwell on the death of her best friend. In a way she was moving on but it was all an act. It's what she should have done but she was so hell bent on revenge that this was just an act, a facade. I felt so sorry for some of the secondary characters at the end because she was a huge bitch to them. Yes I knew she suspected a few of them but she argued with them all, I wanted to hug the others instead of her. I know this was all the pent up anger from Kai's death but I think she should have realised that things weren't so bad in this new group of friends. There was a future there waiting for her but she blew it all away with false accusations. I don't think I've felt so strongly about one character in a long while, my views and emotions were changing so rapidly even I was getting slightly confused. For a detailed character you couldn't ask for better.
The popular group in the novel were very interesting, they weren't stuck up bitches and jocks that we're used to seeing on the TV. We have Lucas who is the popular boy who oozes self confidence but he was also so sweet, he wasn't cocky like I expected, there was a gentlemen under there somewhere. Sasha was a lovely kind girl who took Jem under her wing and what happened to her broke my heart. That was the last thing I was expecting. There are more characters who played important roles but I shall let you discover them.
The important things that are dealt with in the novel then. We have the subject of sexuality touched upon with Kai. He was gay but he wasn't ready to reveal that to the rest of the world just yet so when it was thrust upon him, he crumbled. Then all the hate mail arrived. It really shows how other peoples actions can ruin a persons life. You must think before you act because every single person has feelings and one simply slip of yours can change their life.  Oh and there's nothing wrong with being gay, you should never judge someone who is. If you suspect someone is don't shout it to the world, it's their decision if they reveal it and after all you could be wrong. You don't know what's going on in that persons mind so don't make these life changing decisions for them. There's sex too, more than I actually expected but it worked well in the story and I had no problems with it being there. There's alcohol but hey it's teenagers and parties what more can you really expect? Suicide is another key part and again you should know that if you feel that down there will always be someone to talk to and help you. You are never alone, you should always remember that. There are many important subjects in the novel and all are dealt with well. There's a lot of wisdom in this book and you can learn a lot from it.
Undone is a heartbreaking novel. When you think that's the end and your heart has split in two, wait until the very end and then your heart will crumble. It will be so numb and shocking that there's nothing to sum up all the feelings that come to you. It is just so heartbreaking, if you're an emotional reader, do bring tissues, you're going to need a packet or two. Undone is a spectacular novel about some harsh subjects and a plot that will keep you on the edge until the end. Then you will then and truly fall over that edge and be left on the floor in a ball crying your eyes out.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh! I'm desperate to get my hands on a copy of this book! I love Cat Clarke's stories and already I can tell that this book will be brilliant.
    Great review!


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