Published: 6th January 2011
Number of Pages: 256
Genre: Realistic-Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Magical-Realism, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Alcohol, Sex References
Author's Blog: Cat Clarke Writes YA
“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?”
Seventeen-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a 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.
Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?
A story of dangerous secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.
Grace Carlyle is damaged, scarred – and not just on the outside, where there are the criss-crossing scars from her cutting. She’s not perfect and she knows it. But when she wakes up in a room, help captive by a boy she doesn’t even know, she needs to find out WHY. With a pen and paper, she tells her story, her life. Her mistakes, her successes. Her friends, boyfriend, family. She needs to figure it out, unravel the mess that is her life. She needs to figure out WHY. Fast.
Wow. Just… wow. This story of kidnappers and flashbacks could have so easily gone wrong. Yet, everything was perfect; it was put together in a way that made me want to just sit and read and never put it down. I was instantly drawn in, hooked from the very first sentence: “I met Ethan on the night I was planning to kill myself. Pretty inconvenient, when you think about it”. It was amazingly written, the characters all felt real and so did Grace’s pain. She was amazing. This book was amazing. I adored it.
Grace was a wonderfully strong character, her voice so real. She was the driving force, the life, the power. She could easily have been ‘that girl’. The one who is pathetic and suicidal and clingy, but she wasn’t. She was real. She was human. I loved her for her faults, loved that she wasn’t perfect. And more than anything, I loved her strength. Grace was brilliant. Yes, she was damaged, broken, but I didn’t pity her or look down on her: I hurt for her. I just loved that she could be sarcastic and almost light-hearted, considering the position she was in. She was just incredible! Warm, ironic, stubborn. She was refreshing and one of my favourite heroines, plus she reminded me what I loved most about fiction and writing.
Grace had issues with her mother, which I found particularly interesting. Ever since her dad died, Grace’s mother couldn’t be bothered. She didn’t notice that Grace was cutting or drinking, nothing. I had a theory behind this sudden disinterest – one which proved to be accurate – but all Grace could see was a mother that didn’t care. Which is why her friendship with BF Sal was so important to her. The two completely relied on one another. Their relationship was sweet, and meant everything to Grace. Which was one of the problems…
I can honestly say I couldn’t guess where the plot was going. I couldn’t guest the twists, the turns, nothing, nada. I just could not figure out – no matter how hard I tried – who Ethan was! It took me forever to get even an idea, and by then I couldn’t be bothered to think, I was so absorbed in the story. I loved that Grace’s life, her kidnapping aside, was so realistic, so relatable. Somehow, Cat Clarke took every day – for some of us, anyway – occurrences and changed them, made them surreal. I just could not stop reading. There was humour, happiness and love, fear, confusion and sadness – such bone crushing sadness that it made my eyes fill with tears. I felt absolutely everything Grace did, like they were my own feelings. It hurt. I cried.
One of the most amazing, unpredictable, incredible, beautiful books I’ve read in a long time. Cat Clarke is an author to look out for! I know I’ll be on the lookout for all of her future books.
5 Out of 5
5 Out of 5
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