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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking
Oh I really didn't realise how much this book would hook me. It literally sucked me up and I read it in just over a day and this was a rather long proof at just over 500 pages. Undone is a very mesmerising novel about some dark subjects. There's sex, suicide, alcohol, bullying and discrimination towards gay people. There was a lot going on in this book but it was dealt...
Published 24 months ago by ReadWriteReviews

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars heart-breaking
I read this book as my friend read it and was raving about it for weeks so I thought I would give it a go. I did really enjoy the book although I realy didn't like the ending as I feel ot could of finished so much better then it did. That being said it is a good read but very depressing so don't read it if your in the mood for a comedy!!! I would recommend this book but I...
Published 14 months ago by lucy


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, 31 Dec 2012
By 
This review is from: Undone (Kindle Edition)
Oh I really didn't realise how much this book would hook me. It literally sucked me up and I read it in just over a day and this was a rather long proof at just over 500 pages. Undone is a very mesmerising novel about some dark subjects. There's sex, suicide, alcohol, bullying and discrimination towards gay people. There was a lot going on in this book but it was dealt with very well as Cat seems to be a master at writing realistic YA fiction.

Undone follows Jem Halliday whose gay best friend commits suicide due to him being bullied because of his sexuality. The first few chapters we get to know Jem and Kai's background and how they know each other. Then the inevitable happens Kai commits suicide due to a tape of him circulating online that immediately outs him. Kai was not ready to come out of the closet and can't cope with the large amount of hate mail he is getting so he finds a solution to the problem. Suicide. Kai's death sends Jem's own life spiralling downward, they were inseparable and now he's gone. Jem doesn't want to live without him, she loved him after all. She knows she must commit suicide too or the grief will never go away. Jem is counting out some pills when some letters from Jem appear, each one dated each month of the upcoming year. Jem is so startled she momentarily forgets about the pills and focuses on the letters. Kai wrote the letters in the last hours of his life and Jem will live another year so she can do that one last thing for him. In the mean time she seeks revenge on those who did this to Kai and she won't stop until she finds the culprit.

Jem was the complete opposite of what I was expecting. I expected this sweet quiet girl, what there was, was an grumpy, Gothic, angry girl, who would just as soon punch you instead of apologise. She was so different to what I was expecting, it sent me off the rails a bit. Alas in her revenge she knows she has to change to fit in with certain people and I liked the new Jem. She smiled and enjoyed herself, she let her hair down and didn't dwell on the death of her best friend. In a way she was moving on but it was all an act. It's what she should have done but she was so hell bent on revenge that this was just an act, a facade. I felt so sorry for some of the secondary characters at the end because she was a huge bitch to them. Yes I knew she suspected a few of them but she argued with them all, I wanted to hug the others instead of her. I know this was all the pent up anger from Kai's death but I think she should have realised that things weren't so bad in this new group of friends. There was a future there waiting for her but she blew it all away with false accusations. I don't think I've felt so strongly about one character in a long while, my views and emotions were changing so rapidly even I was getting slightly confused. For a detailed character you couldn't ask for better.

The popular group in the novel were very interesting, they weren't stuck up bitches and jocks that we're used to seeing on the TV. We have Lucas who is the popular boy who oozes self confidence but he was also so sweet, he wasn't cocky like I expected, there was a gentlemen under there somewhere. Sasha was a lovely kind girl who took Jem under her wing and what happened to her broke my heart. That was the last thing I was expecting. There are more characters who played important roles but I shall let you discover them.

The important things that are dealt with in the novel then. We have the subject of sexuality touched upon with Kai. He was gay but he wasn't ready to reveal that to the rest of the world just yet so when it was thrust upon him, he crumbled. Then all the hate mail arrived. It really shows how other peoples actions can ruin a persons life. You must think before you act because every single person has feelings and one simply slip of yours can change their life. Oh and there's nothing wrong with being gay, you should never judge someone who is. If you suspect someone is don't shout it to the world, it's their decision if they reveal it and after all you could be wrong. You don't know what's going on in that persons mind so don't make these life changing decisions for them. There's sex too, more than I actually expected but it worked well in the story and I had no problems with it being there. There's alcohol but hey it's teenagers and parties what more can you really expect? Suicide is another key part and again you should know that if you feel that down there will always be someone to talk to and help you. You are never alone, you should always remember that. There are many important subjects in the novel and all are dealt with well. There's a lot of wisdom in this book and you can learn a lot from it.

Undone is a heartbreaking novel. When you think that's the end and your heart has split in two, wait until the very end and then your heart will crumble. It will be so numb and shocking that there's nothing to sum up all the feelings that come to you. It is just so heartbreaking, if you're an emotional reader, do bring tissues, you're going to need a packet or two. Undone is a spectacular novel about some harsh subjects and a plot that will keep you on the edge until the end. Then you will then and truly fall over that edge and be left on the floor in a ball crying your eyes out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, 6 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Undone (Kindle Edition)
I read this book last night and its still all I'm thinking about. I'm usually onto my next book straight away but this is just staying with me. I don't want to go into the plot and spoilers so I'll just say READ IT! There is just no option not to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning. Heartbreakingly beautiful and not to be missed!, 21 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Undone (Kindle Edition)
I actually, for the life of me, don't know how to start this review. There's so much I want to say. But as with all of Cat's previous work, you even so much as utter a couple of words and already something it a little spoilt. So tightly woven are her books, Undone, and of course her first two books, Entangled and Torn, that every page has fought a bloody battle and has earned it's place fair and square, it's there because it needs to be. Fair enough, there aren't revelations on every single page, but you can feel it building the whole time, always bubbling away gently until it gets a little too hot in the kitchen and it bubbles over and explosions begin to take place.

It's weird to say, but I think Kai is my favourite character in the book. Yes, he dies at the start, but the more you learn about him, the letters he leaves Jem, he just seems like the person you'd love to be friends with. Always happy, always smiling and trying to make sure that you're okay, that you're happy, often unintentionally neglecting himself.

I have been looking forward to Undone for so freaking long. From the moment I finished Torn, I just knew that I had to read whatever Cat wrote next. She is, quite frankly, a genius. She gets the reader. She gets the voice just right. She sucks you in with such skill and with such power that you're almost in a vice - you just can't tear your eyes away from the page no matter what is going on. So imagine the moment this dropped through my letterbox? Massive excitement. I did a little bit of a dance - I'm not proud of it, I most likely looked like a fool, but who cares? Not me! That's who! And after said dance, I ran upstairs to finish the book I was reading at the time so I could get started. And boy was it worth it.

I will be honest, Undone isn't what I expected. I didn't expect there to be massive twists, but there are! I should of known! You're a sneaky one Cat! Very sneaky! I should of guessed from her previous books that there'd be some kind of twists, but oh no! I expected a pretty straight forward story of revenge. And boy was I wrong! As per the Cat Clarke usual, you are kept guessing and guessing and guessing again. What's going to happen next? How is so and so going to react to this? Massive gasp... I didn't see that coming at all!

And the ending! WHAT?!!?!?!?! NO!!!!!! IT CAN'T END LIKE THIS! NO! NO! NOOOO! Argh! I cried. Not even going to cry. Tears. Felt like such a wreck at the end of this book but it is so worth it!

As per usual the writing is of the highest calibre. It's so beautiful. So fluid. So easy. So natural. You just want to read it all day long! I'll be honest, Undone could of been double the length (it's already 502 pages, yippeee!!!) and I'd of loved every second and still not of wanted it to end. There's just something about Cat's writing that is so intoxicating, so compelling it just makes me want to weep that I will never be that good! She's pure awesome!

I really don't know what else I can say. There's not much I can say... So I'll plead... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! JUST GO! GET THIS BOOK! NOW ON YOUR KINDLE, ON 31ST JANUARY IF YOU PREFER THINGS A BIT MORE PHYSICAL! JUST DO IT! PLEASE!

Okay, that's enough caps... I just cannot express my love for this book, for all of Cat's work! It's just so bloody awesome! So emotional, so raw, so real! That's the thing that I think makes this book all the better. It could of happened. It does happen. It's a sad fact of life that while there are gay men (and of course women) out there that are perfectly comfortable in their skin and don't hide it, there are others that may appear confident, or not, that hate it, hide it, try to shy away from it, and ultimately there are those that go to the extremes. That's what I think gives this book so much power, so much punch. Kai could be real. He is real.

I'm going to cut this review here, I think, before I ramble on anymore. Just please get it in your life! It's heartbreakingly beautiful and made of awesome!! Thank you so much to Quercus for my review copy and for publishing such awesomeness! And of course thanks to Cat for writing such an awesome story... And for making me cry! Cheers mate! Cheers! Haha!

Originally posted on Empire Of Books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Undone, 16 Aug 2014
By 
Jenny, Wondrous Reads (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Undone (Paperback)
Undone is only the second of Cat Clarke's books I've read (I know, I know - please don't throw things at me!) but it's the best so far. I was utterly hooked right off the bat and I truly do think Cat is one of the UK's best YA writers. She doesn't hold anything back and goes straight for the tough stuff, even if it's a bit grim and sad. Real life is tough, so it's great to read a book that doesn't gloss over that small fact.

The whole premise of Undone is a sad one; Jem's best friend Kai has committed suicide and written monthly notes to her to be read posthumously. Jem is of course struggling to come to terms with the loss of Kai, and she eventually turns to revenge and sets off down a path that can't possibly have a positive outcome.

Jem and Kai are both excellent characters, particularly Kai who we only really get to see through his letters and Jem's memories. He's kind and thoughtful, doing the best he can go ensure Jem will be okay after he's gone. Jem is grieving and angry, and the only thing she knows how to do is punish those who made Kai's life so bad that the only way out was for him to end it. They're at very different ends of the spectrum in terms of how they are as people, but personality wise they're just the best fit.

Undone isn't a particularly easy read due to its dark subject matter, but it is an honest one. Cat Clarke doesn't hold back on reality, and what transpires after the first few chapters is actually pretty shocking. Revenge is a dangerous path to go down, and it always, always has consequences. Jem learns this the hard way, and the novel has a fantastically ambiguous ending that can be taken one of two ways. It's a clever way to finish the story, and it stayed with me for quite a few weeks after I put the book down.

Undone is a book I should have read sooner, but in any case I'm glad it was worth the wait. It's a fairly long novel clocking in it just under five-hundred pages, but it never feels like that. I could have carried on reading Kai's letters and Jem's attempts to honour his wishes for another five-hundred pages, and my only complaint is that it had to end at all. This is hard, topical writing at its best and I enjoyed every page.

4.5/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing., 4 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Undone (Kindle Edition)
After reading Cat Clarke's Entangled and Torn I was unsure as to whether Undone could live up to expectations. It did, and more. I have nothing other to say than you NEED to read this book. I just wanted it to go on and on and on. Purely life changing and fully filled with emotion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable!, 28 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Undone (Kindle Edition)
Found myself not being able to put book down! Had great expectations for this book from previous books by cat Clarke and it lived up to these. I didn't want this book to end and the ending.. WOW just read it !!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 26 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Undone (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this found it hard to put down, wish it could of gone on forever honestly gonna find it hard to enjoy another book after this one
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!, 29 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Undone (Kindle Edition)
This book is amazing it was so unpredictable and the suspense was killing me!! I couldn't stop reading and it was impossible to put the book down! When I finished it I couldn't stop thinking about it. I would DEFINITELY recommend this book!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Disaster, 10 Jun 2014
This review is from: Undone (Paperback)
THIS. BOOK. DEVASTATED ME.
In a good way.

I want to start off by saying I have the highest of recommendations for this book, it is beautifully written, a powerful tale, a stunningly real scenario and it is filled with absolute tragedy.

Jemima is in love with her best friend Kai, but he's gay. She pictured herself one day marrying him but at the age of 16, Kai kills himself over being exposed online as gay.

This story is shocking and utterly heartbreaking in every sense of the word. I wanted to cry at almost every page and I'm harder than rocks, nothing makes me cry. It was so deep, emotional and the type of book you can make a SERIOUS lasting connection with. I actually finished reading yesterday but I cannot stop thinking about it, it has wound its way into my mind and I won't forget it. It is a devastatingly real tale of what can happen when spiteful bullying goes horribly wrong.

I won't say much more as it will spoil it, I will tell you to buy this book, read it and let it destroy every fibre of your sole (booksie people will understand)
I will put a SEVERE warning on it though, it is extremely emotional, upsetting and devastating so PLEASE be careful reading it and it may not be the best read for a child.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-Blowing - YA at its Finest!, 8 Jun 2014
This review is from: Undone (Kindle Edition)
Having devoured Entangled and Torn the moment I got my grubby little mitts on them I was counting down the days to December 27th, when I could snap up a copy of Undone on my iPad. However, the lovely folks at Quercus surprised me and on one gloomy afternoon at the beginning of the month a proof copy clattered through my letter box. I was very excited, to say the least. I started Undone there and then and finished it a couple of days later, completely blown away by the mash up of an incredible plot and Clarke's signature style of prose.

Simply put, Undone is astounding.

What's interesting is that we're aware of one of the biggest events in the book, Kai's suicide, before we even crack the spine. The events in Undone take place before and after Kai's death and there's also a nifty change in tense, with one section of the book taking place before a key scene, in the past tense and the events of 'after' unravelling in the present tense. This is something that could have gone horribly wrong but the way Clarke handles it just makes the story even stronger, especially as we approach the ending, where the sense of immediacy is particularly compelling.

Kai and Jem's relationship is the driving force behind the entire story and, although he's alive for only a tiny portion of the book, I really felt as though I got to know Kai as a person. Getting to know Kai so well, knowing that he'd committed suicide, really made me get on board with Jem's actions and made it a lot easier to understand why she did the things she did. I realise those last couple of sentences are terrible vague and I am sorry for that but I don't want to give away a single one of Undone's many, many twists and turns. I knew relatively little about Undone before I started reading and raced my way through, heart in mouth, so do avoid spoilers at all costs; it makes for a much more exciting experience that way.

About two thirds of the way through the book I thought I had the story all figured out. I was sure I could guess what the denouement would be and I was convinced I'd guessed everything down to the final scene. If I'm honest, I was a little disappointed with the ending I'd prematurely decided Clarke had gone for - which is why it was particularly awesome when she THREW THE RULE BOOK OUT OF THE METAPHORICAL WINDOW and delivered one of the most amazing, shocking endings I've read in YA for a long old time. As far as I'm concerned, the ending is what makes Undone trip across from awesome to perfection. It's just brilliant.

As always, the narrative and dialogue in Undone is sharp, snappy and painfully funny. Clarke creates realistic teenage voices like no other writer and her books are so subtly visual I can always picture every single scene in my head as I'm reading. She's an extremely clever writer, too, holding back information until it absolutely needs to be revealed and creating cliffhangers in such a way that they urge you to read on, rather than being frustrating.

Building on the strengths she already displayed in Entangled and Torn, Clarke takes everything one step further in Undone. It's tighter, funnier and more extreme in every sense and is, without question, the most exciting book I've read in 2012. It's impossible to finish one of Cat's books and not have an urgent need to talk about it to everybody who crosses your path for the next month and Undone is absolutely no exception to that rule, which I shall now dub the Cat Clarke Effect.
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Undone
Undone by Cat Clarke
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