Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teen Tuesday

Undone by Cat Clarke (Sourcebooks Fire hardcover, 6 May 2014).

Jemima (Jem) Halliday and  Kai McBride have been best friends since they were seven, and his family moved in next door to hers.  She was ten when she realized she wanted to marry him (though she didn't know exactly what that meant at the time), and thirteen when he told her he was gay.

That revelation didn't change a thing.  They went on being best friends, not needing anyone else, and being blissfully happy.  Or so Jem thought.

At the beginning of eleventh grade, things began to change, just a little.  Jem's phone calls to Kai sometimes went unanswered, and some of her texts were not responded to for an hour more.  When she finally got up the courage to ask him about it, he assured her that everything was all right and changed the subject by telling her they'd actually been invited to a party at the home of his sister's boyfriend Max, and informed her that they were going.

Jem wasn't happy about this, but agreed in order to make Kai happy.  Once at the party, they hung around together for a while before Kai pushed her to go and talk to someone else.  When she turned around, he was gone.  Having had a few more drinks than she should have, she looks for a quiet place to wait for him, and ends up in Max's parents' greenhouse.  But she's followed by a guy who makes a pass at her, and she runs off.  Still unable to find Kai, she walks all the way home alone.

A few days later, she receives an anonymous email with an x-rated video attached of Kai (she knows it's him even though he's only shown from the back) and another boy whose face is pixellated.  The video goes public in their school, and by the end of the week, Kai has taken his own life.

Jem is, of course, devastated, and vows to take revenge on the people who recorded and shared the video.  As she crafts this revenge, she learns that revenge is neither as easy or sweet as it may seem.

Cat Clarke, author of compelling young adult novels Torn and Entangled, has again created a protagonist we can love while still seeing her flaws.  This is a gripping but emotionally taxing tale, so be prepared.

FTC Full Disclosure:  Many thanks to the publisher for the Advance Reading Copy.

No comments:

Post a Comment