Release Date: 31st January 2012
Edition: UK proof, review copy
How far would you fall for the truth?
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.
Cat Clarke always delivers something unexpected and Undone was no exception. I loved it.
Though I’d been looking forward to Undone for months, all I really knew about it was from what Cat read at mini-blogger party in the summer, so it was a complete surprise. I loved that Kai left Jem a letter for each month in the first year after his death – it gave me tear-filled PS I Love You flashbacks. On a related geeky note, I loved the font that Kai’s letters were written in; it’s gorgeous. So was the chapter title font actually! I loved getting such a clear glimpse of Kai through the letters. I know exactly why Jem fell for him. He’s sweet, funny and wordy; pretty awesome to be honest.
Jem was the real star of Undone though. I know it sounds silly to say so, but Jem just felt so realistic. Every part of her narration was authentically teenage; from her internal monologue to the way that she changed how she spoke according to who she was with. The snark and swearing wasn’t toned down and I believed her every word. Spot on. I was also really pleased to see how insecure Jem was in social situations and not because of shyness or being angsty, it seemed like a genuine social anxiety and I related to that. My reaction to Jem didn't even waver when she began to slide in to being a little like the people who she was trying to bring down.
I think that one of the most powerful elements of Jem’s character was that her sexual desire was portrayed. It’s one of those things that can sometimes still be a little taboo and is rarely approached in YA, but Cat didn’t shy away from it which I thought was brilliant. The power of her grief was also vividly portrayed. Her intense desire for revenge and the wide variety of emotions she felt for Kai and for Lucas, Sasha, Bugs, Stu and Nina really demonstrated the idea that a person really isn’t always who they seem to be.
After a shocking turn of events and an even more surprising ending that only resulted in my broken heart and floods of tears, Cat Clarke was cemented in my mind as an author to be reckoned with. Undone had a long way to go to top the awesome of Entangled and Torn, but it was effortlessly done and it’s easily my favourite of the three.
Undone is what contemporary YA should be: gritty, thought-provoking and emotionally involving. Brilliant.
For my 2013 British Books Challenge, 2013 YA Contemporary Challenge and 2013 Genre Variety Reading Challenge
Thank you to Quercus for sending me a copy for review.