REVIEW: Undone by Cat Clarke

Summary from 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.

Jem Halliday has been in love with her best friend, Kai, since she can remember. There’s just one problem: Kai is gay. When a tape of Kai gets spread around the school, he can’t take it any more and takes his own life, despite always having been a happy and cheerful person.

One month on and Jem decides that she can’t live without Kai. But then an envelope turns up. Containing twelve envelopes, one to open each month, Jem decides to hang on for a little while and find out who caused Kai to commit suicide.

Having not read any of Clarke’s novels before, I was looking forward to delving into the author’s novels after hearing amazing things about them; I was not disappointed.

The protagonist, Jem, was clearly in a bad state. Who wouldn’t be if they were in her situation? I’ve seen a few reviews where people have said that they didn’t like her very much but I must disagree. Some people might say that some of the things she did were stupid but I think they were totally right. Her reactions to certain situations were completely right and I really think you need to insert your brain into the head of a grieving and sad person before picking this book up.

Having recently suffered a loss, I was blown away by how Clarke managed to write about the feelings that I had bottled up for so long. It was as if she had somehow gotten inside my head and I was a little overwhelmed at times. The pure emotion underlying the words is both magical and sometimes a little scary- how is it that one person can make you feel so many things at once? I was only a few pages in when I started to feel emotional.

I loved the way in which Undone was written. The thing that I love the most about UKYA is that I can understand it a lot better than US fiction. This book doesn’t proclaim to be written in a fancy way nor does it try and write things simply. Clarke has played with those feelings of darkness and despair in us all and shown us that it isn’t wrong to grieve.

I loved Undone so much and will definitely be reading more by the author. Words cannot describe just how I felt about this book and I have already gone about recommending it to people.

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  • Reply
    So Many Books, So Little Time
    11 March, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I’m so glad you loved this! All of Cat’s books are awesome.

  • Reply
    Ruby :)
    11 March, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    This book sounds great! 😀 My friend recommended both Torn and Entangled to me, but I reckon I’ll read this one first!

    Ruby @

  • Reply
    Zoe Crook
    11 March, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Fantastic review, Lucy! I am a massive fan of Cat Clarke so I will definitely be getting a copy of this. I have only read Entangled which I DEFINITELY recommend 😀
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Pink Lady 631
    11 March, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Great Review, I haven’t read a Cat Clarke book before but I think I will start with this one. It seems really good, glad you enjoyed it. Happy Blogging 😀

  • Reply
    11 March, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t read enough books written by British authors, but I definitely like the sound of this one. The premise didn’t immediately grab my attention at first, I have to admit, but I’m curious about this book now. I’ll be sure to keep your points about Jem’s state in mind, too. Great review, Lucy!

  • Reply
    Verity Woolley
    14 March, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Hello lucy!

  • Reply
    Verity Woolley
    14 March, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Amazing blog!

  • Reply
    Georgia Walters
    17 March, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    This book looks amazing! Glad you enjoyed it! By your summary, it sounds a bit like 13 reasons why By Jay Asher. If you haven’t read that- it’s a really good book by the way 🙂

    P.S: I’ve just discovered your blog. It’s amazing and I love your reviws! 😀
    -Georgia (a year-younger-than-you-book-blogger)

  • Reply
    Nina @ Death Books and Tea
    31 March, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Great review! I just found what Jem did to Stu, the subject of the lies, unexcusable. I do understand that she was in a bad place though. You should definitely read Cat’s other books-they are all amazing!

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