Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Undone by Cat Clarke

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 with No comments

Amazon | Goodreads

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 went into this book knowing that it would be sad, but despite the heavy subject, I had assumed that it would be a really light, unmemorable read. I was wrong, of course - this book had way more substance to it than I had originally thought that it would.

The major plot points, in a nutshell:
  • Jem and Kai meet, become best friends, and grow up together. Jem is a social outcast, and Kai is bubbly and outgoing.
  • Kai drags Jem to a party. At some point he is secretly videotaped while giving another boy head, and said video is emailed to everyone in school.
  • Kai commits suicide, and Jem falls into a depression.
  • Jem discovers that Kai had written her 12 letters, with instructions to open one letter each month after his death (totaling up to a year's worth of letters).
  • Jem receives an anonymous letter informing her that the people responsible for the video, and thus Kai's death, are also the most popular students in school.
  • Jem decides that she will transform herself from a social outcast to a member of the popular group, and destroy them all from the inside as an act of revenge. 
While I don't exactly agree with a lot of Jem's choices, I can see where she is coming from - she believes that the members of 'team popular' have killed her best friend. Jem constantly has to remind herself that she is nothing like the popular kids, and that they deserve what's coming to them, but at the same time, she finds herself wondering if she has a lot more in common with them than she'd originally thought. She even finds herself falling in love, though she tries to deny it:

"I like you too, Lucas Mahoney."

He smiled. "Why do you always do that? Call me by my whole name?"

I nuzzle closer to him. "I just like the way it sounds." A lie, of course. In my head Lucas Mahoney is not a real person. He is a fictional character. A puppet. Someone who exists for me to mess with. I know exactly how I feel about Lucas Mahoney. I despise him. But Lucas? Lucas is very real. Frighteningly real. I'm not sure how I feel about Lucas. And I'm starting to wonder if...


But while the inner struggles of Jem were quite fascinating, they were not the reason I ended up enjoying this book as much as I did. No, it was actually the ending that struck me the most - it was completely unexpected, and had stuck with me long after I'd finished the last sentence. In fact, I'd even go so far as to recommend this book purely for its outcome. But I don't want to spoil it too much, so I'll just stop there and give it 4 Stars!



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