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- Publisher: Quercus Publishing
- Format: Paperback | 256 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 28mm | 240g
- Publication date: 6 January 2011
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1849163944
- ISBN 13: 9781849163941
- Sales rank: 24,002
Winner of the Redbridge Teenage Book Award 2012. The same questions whirl round and round in my head: What does he want from me? How could I have let this happen? AM I GOING TO DIE? 17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got there. As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see? Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here? A story of dangerous secrets, intense friendships and electrifying attraction.
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Cat was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people. She's written non-fiction books about exciting things like cowboys, sharks and pirates, and now writes YA novels. She lives in South London with a couple of cats, Jem and Scout, who spend their days plotting to spit up furballs at the most inconvenient times.
By Daphne for Loving Books 08 Apr 2012
In Entangled, we meet up with Grace. Grace is in a white room with all white furniture and other stuff, with only paper and pens available to her. So what does she do? She writes. The whole book is based on her telling what happened that put her in the place she is in now.
It's really difficult to talk about this book without spoiling anything that happens in the story, because everything is tied together to form the plot. I didn't find the storyline to be particularly original, but I really liked the way Clarke has written the book and her way of showing Grace's story. She combines what the main character is experiencing now with the memories that she has that brought her to where she is now.
I found Grace to be really superficial on the outside. That's the way she was supposed to appear - only caring about herself and then mainly about booze, going to pubs and sex (yes, that's quite high up on her priority list). But on the inside, she is dealing with feelings that she doesn't know what to do with. Grace doesn't know how to talk about her feelings, or how to express them, so she cuts herself. Self mutilation is a taboo subject and I think Clarke did a good job on writing the feelings of our main character, as well as expressing her motives to do so.
The characters (Grace, Sal, Nat) were all on the shallow side. They are teenagers, so I suppose that's their way of thinking, but it bothered me that they only seemed to think about themselves. Having said that, I really liked the fact that a minor character got a bigger role towards the end. He was always looked over before that, but he ended up being really valuable for the ending of the story and I loved the way Clarke wrote the ending. It was emotional and heartbreaking, even though you might have expected this to happen. I found the ending especially well written.
This book talked about the issue of self mutilation which is a taboo subject and I'm glad that such an important matter was touched upon in this book. Another thing that I liked about the book is that Cat Clarke is a British author - which made a nice change in reading, in between all the books from the US I've been reading :)
By Maryam H 06 Feb 2012
I've been waiting to read this one for quite a while now so it had been sitting on my TBR shelf for a bit collecting dust!
I have to say straight off that this book probably isn't for everyone. It was a pretty heavy read in that the protagonist has a lot of things going on that are hard to deal with. Sometimes she did seem to be a bit harsh and not very loveable so I could tell straight off that some readers will just plain not like her. For me, she was the kind of character where I have to decide in every difficult situation whether to scold her or give her a big hug. She made mistakes and dealt with them in a bad way but in some ways that's what made her more relatable and realistic. I would by lying if I said I've never done something stupid in relation to a bad event and so has everyone else. It happens.
In that respect, Grace was a pretty strong character. In others she wasn't - it sort of makes this read like marmite - you either love it or hate it.
As for the actual plot I really liked it. It was a different take to books dealing with suicide and self-harm - a really different take. I found myself reading it all in no time and enjoying it immensely.
I think what made it so easy to read was the way it was written. The main story is told through Grace's point of view whilst she was writing about the hardships she's been through. So it was sort of similar to diary entries but not at the same time.
What let the book down for me though was the ending. I was so disappointed. I really got excited towards the end because there was so much guess work involved in this book that I was looking forward to finding out the answers. The problem was, there wasn't enough answers. I felt like the story was unresolved because I didn't fully find out what happens to Grace or any of the other characters. Even though some books do have endings like that where you sort of leave it to your imagination - this one felt like it was just too important not to know because it was so character orientated. The whole plot was based on the story of the main characters and their relationships and to not find out what happened about those relationships was disappointing.
Overall though I recommend this read. It deals with difficult issues in a unique way and it's a thoroughly engrossing read.
By Claudette 28 Jul 2011
Rating Clarification: 4.5
The beginning of this book annoyed me so much I just wanted to throw it against the wall over and over. I just couldn't believe that I was reading a book so similar to "Stolen: A letter to my captor", which I've recently read and totally loved. There were a lot of similarities, first of all the heroine being kidnapped by a mysterious, hot guy. Grace and Gemma's behaviour before their kidnapping was almost the same, as well as their parents' presence.
I was so disappointed because I had such high expectations and it looked like I was going to read just a bad copy of another book. I kept reading, though, and was I glad I did.
After the first thirty pages, Grace's life started taking some interesting twists and my mind was captivated by the heroine's strong feelings. The writing was unbelievably good, the words flowing under my tired eyes and I could almost hear Grace's voice in my head. Her character, so strong and fragile at the same time, was able to touch my heart (and my literary taste, too) and her story, from his father's suicide, to her mother's apparent indifference, to her best friend's pregnancy, was so filled with emotion that I found myself dreading the end of the book for the fear the words I'd read wouldn't be enough to satisfy my hunger.
Whereas at first I was surprise and a little disappointed by the lack of Ethan's presence, I soon understood that the captivity part was not important: it was just a different way to tell Grace's story.
The heroine's relationship with Nat was nice and sweet at first, he was such a caring and thoughtful boyfriend. After a while, though, it started to feel wrong of them to be together, especially after Nat and Sal meet for the first (well, not really the first) time. Grace didn't notice a thing, no matter how hard Devon tried to make her understand.
The conclusion left me speechless.
I had never, ever read pure pain described in such a wonderful, realistic, distressing way. I had trouble breathing, I felt like it was my heart that was being left for dead on the carpet. And then her numbness, the numbness that along with the sorrow lead her to commit the one final act.
And everything suddenly makes sense, from Grace's white room, to Ethan's gentleness, to the pages and pages of words she keeps writing.
At the very last page, Grace finally understands that her life is worth living and makes herself a promise, that she'll keep fighting for her mother, for Devon, for herself.
The cover is mesmerizing.
Seriously, every time I see it I can't help but staring at the book for at least five minutes. :D
Full review at: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/121178890
By Laura Williams 26 Jun 2011
I don't know what to say about this one. I read it in a night and couldn't put it down. I was desperately fixated by Grace's "tangled life" and wanted her to be able to wipe her slate clean. I empathised painfully with her. To an extent.
There was a lot about Grace that I didn't like. It seemed like in every scene she had a drink in her hand and she wasn't a pleasant drunk. Her recounted story about how she lost her virginity in a grotty park play-structure made me feel kind of sick with disgust. Her coldness towards her mother made me cringe. There were reasons for all of these things but I couldn't help but feel like Grace was exacerbating her "victim" status in a self-flagellating way. But then I suppose that was part of Grace's character. She lives wild and she lives painfully in order to be able to feel something, anything at all.
To say Grace was "rough-around-the-edges" would be an understatement. And yet, Cat Clarke weaves Grace's story in such a way that we can see how she has become such a fallen figure. We might not exactly like Grace to begin, but we learn to at least sympathise with her. The uncomfortable moments are there deliberately, and Grace's depression is dealt with as a serious, psychological condition. She makes herself hurt because without that pain, she feels she has nothing.
As the story progresses, I started to see Grace as the tragic figure she was. I figured out what I think was meant to be the plot twist quickly, but this added to the tension of the novel. It made me want to scream at certain characters and to punch others in the face. These characters will have you hyperventilating with rage, trust me. The allow Grace to get a taste of what it means to be at peace with herself and almost happy! Then...they take it away. Her fall is so much harder after she allows herself to be lifted up briefly by love and hope.
I am desperately hoping that there will be a follow-up to Entangled, but haven't seen any news of one. I want this follow up because the ending of this book made me feel sad and scared and hollow. Grace has her weaknesses, but she doesn't deserve the pain she and others put her through. Seriously, Ms. Clarke. Even a short story would do!
*Makes puppy dog eyes*
There has been a lot of discussion recently about what content belongs in YA fiction. I'm sure that many might view Entangled as one of those bad influences. I disagree. The idea of self-harm and suicide is not glamorised or made to sound like any kind of escape: Grace's actions disgust ever herself, let alone the reader. The sexual content is discussed with warnings of pregnancy on the one hand, and the idea that you can think you know someone without having a clue on the other. The audience will wish that Grace could have held onto her morals a little more tightly. Her promiscuity only exacerbates her self-esteem issues and makes her feel worse.
Overall, Entangled is a powerful read that I would recommend to older YA readers due to its content. There's a part of me that really wants to give this 5 stars, but I'm withholding one of them until I hear of a coming sequel! A hostage star...think it'll work?
By Natalie Ward 18 Mar 2011
Wow, what a great first novel! The opening had me wondering what was going on and even when I came up with a few ideas, the book certainly didn't play out like I thought it would. Imagine if you woke up in a white room with nothing but a stack of paper and 47 pens....what would you think? Come and check out my full review at www.ourbookclub.net.au
'I was glued to the page. Smiling one minute and getting all choky the next. Grace's voice was so clear, tough and tender - I didn't know if I wanted to shake her or hug her (in the end I settled on hugs).' Simmone Howell, author of Everything Beautiful.