Sunday, May 4, 2014

Review: Undone by Cat Clarke

UndoneTitle: Undone
Author: Cat Clarke
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publishing Date: May 6th 2014  
Pages: 384
Genre:  YA Realistic Fiction/Mystery
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: ARC 


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.

I have heard wonderful things about Cat Clarke and I was so excited to see one of her books coming to the US. I jumped on the chance to read it. It was a very well written book. The story lacked a bit for me. Not in mystery, suspense, or story telling. I just didn't like the way the story went and was not happy with the ending. But.... this did not make it a bad book or a bad read. It was very very well written and until the very end, I really enjoyed my read. 

Jem and Kai are best friends. Kai is gay, Jem is in love with Kai. They do everything together, never apart, and love each other madly... even if its just as friends. One night Kai talks Jem into going to a party. She does not like these scenes, she likes being a loner but reluctantly agrees to go. Gets drunk, gets seperated from Kai and walks home. The next day a video of Kai with a boy, is viral. Outing him and his long kept secret. This is too much for Kai, he ends his own life. Jem is determined to find who did this and make them pay. With the help of letters from Kai.... Jem makes it possible to fit into the in crowd. Makeover, new friends, and a well desired boyfriend. Things go way wrong and while things go as plan they do not go according to plan. 

I have mixed feelings about this book. I want to get that out there. I was amazed by this book but at the same time angry with this book. The entire story was so well written and I was immersed from the very beginning. The character building was amazing, the pacing perfect, and the tone done extremely well. The book had everything but the ending I would have wanted. I am not one who generally rants about endings but I can't get past it with this book. It was too much and that was what pretty much what did it in for me. 

The character building was extreme in this book. Each character, main and supportive, were well established and each had a very distinct voice. I loved every character. Even the ones that made me angry, I loved. Even the main character and all her angst. Jem wasn't perfect, either was any of the popular kids. They all had some pretty heavy issues to deal with. Much like every teen they each found ways to deal with it, healthy or unhealthy. I cared for each one and that was the part I loved the most about this book. 

The pacing was perfect and the tone was just right. I couldn't put the book down. I was hooked pretty early one... maybe by page 5. Unusual for me. I love it when it happens. The tone set the entire book up for what it was meant to be.... angry, hurtful, depressing, yup all that doom and gloom. 

The story was really good.  A little bit of mystery, scandal, romance, friendship, angst, and revenge. I love revenge stories, but on the simple condition, a lesson is learned in the end. This book didn't fail in this. The lesson was learned, not quite how I wanted it to go, but well enough. The main character, Jem learned a pretty hard lesson. The revenge was pretty good, tactics, creativity, evilness... it was there. Probably a little too much as I felt Jem went a bit far... but not too far to keep me from enjoying the evilness. The romance was good but not sweet. It was also written very well. I felt all of Jem's mixed feelings... real and fake. The friendships were good, I really loved some of the bonds that were created or shown. The mystery was pretty good. I had it figured out way before Jem, but it didn't take away from the story. Everything was awesome except the end. 

I can't get into the ending because well that would take away from others reading it and either hating it or loving it on their own. Its an ending that some will hate and some will love. The ending was unexpected, it fit into the story, it was just not what I wanted and it really did take away from the story for me. 

Almost a perfect score but not quite. High enough to recommend and for me to read more by this author. 

Cat was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people.

Cat has written non-fiction books about exciting things like cowboys, sharks and pirates, and now writes YA novels. She lives in Edinburgh with a couple of cats, Jem and Scout, who spend their days plotting to spit up furballs at the most inconvenient times. She likes cheese A LOT, especially baked camembert.

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