Book Review: Undone by Cat Clarke

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. (from

I’m a big Cat Clarke fan. I remember when her first book, Entangled, first made it’s way out in the world and being lucky enough to have an early read. I, like many others, was blown away. Third novel, Undone proves this was no one off. Cat Clarke officially is a established favourite.

Undone tackles homophobia, suicide, grief, self esteem, bullying and revenge. While Jem isn’t always likable, she’s scarily relatable. With twists and turns Clarke constantly keeps you questioning stereotypes. It’s impossible to decide who the bad guys are here, as in real life there’s so many layers and grey areas. Undone isn’t an easy book to read, it’s heart wrenchingly sad. Brutally so. And then the ending! Wow.  It left me  completely stunned and staring at the last page in shock. I’m warning you now, you will NEED tissues. Lots of them. I really don’t want to give anything away so I’m being purposefully vague, but believe me, you’ll thank me for that.

Cat Clarke has an extraordinary gift. Not only is she a talented writer, who takes difficult and currant subjects and tackles them with grit and integrity, but she manages to capture her characters so perfectly it’s at times unnerving. We may not have experienced the same situations, but reading Cat’s novels I constantly feel this woman has somehow managed to creep into my mind, I recognise a tiny bit of myself in there at times  and I recognise other people I know too. Every painful, hopeful, tragic or uplifting emotion is crafted so that the reader, whatever age, identifies with and feels it with a shockingly real intensity   I can’t recommend this book enough. In fact, if you’ve yet to read any of Cat Clarke’s I urge you to go and do so now. You won’t regret it.

*Because of the themes and some pretty harrowing scenes, I’d probably suggest this is best suited for teens age 13 up*

Published by Quercus, January 2013
Thank you Quercus for sending me the book for review purposes.

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