Author: Cat Clarke
Published: January 6, 2011 by Quercus
Source: Star Book Tours
Description: 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 a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here. 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 dark secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.
I Give This ...
Oddly enough, I had no real idea what this book was about. The cover is what caught me. The description is sort of vague. But, it's that vagueness that draws you in from the very first pages. It's one of those stories that unfolds slowly. The details are so entangled (sorry for the pun), that you need them all to work at the entire puzzle.
Grace is an interesting character. I never really identified with her, but I definitely felt sorry for her. At first she seems like a carefree teenager. But, then her problems start to pour out on to the pages. It's hard to explain, because I don't want to give it away. It's one of those things that the element of surprise works better. The description gives absolutely no indication of what's really going on with Grace. She's lost her father, her mother seems to care very little for her, and she doesn't seem to have any friends except for Sal. She drinks way to much and has way to many sexual relations with guys she barely even knows. She's in a downward spiral that seems way out of control. What amazed me is that no one seemed to notice the real trouble she was in. She was constantly apologizing for her actions but I never felt like anybody was really clued in to what she was doing and why.
I liked Sal. She really seemed to care for Grace. But, once her own troubles started, it was almost like Grace wasn't there. I don't think she behaved in a manner that a true friend would. There were a number of times I really wanted to shake her to make her see what Grace was doing. I think the end could have been avoided if somebody was paying attention. I also liked Nat, but I admit I was wary of him from the start. It was like I was waiting for some truth to come out that would put him in a bad light. In the end, I still don't think he was a bad guy. I don't think he control how he felt and he definitely cared for Grace.
Ultimately, I was really touched by this book. What Grace was doing, I can't even begin to wrap my mind around. I can gauge how much a book makes me think by how much I talk about it with my husband after I've finished. I've sounded off on him for quite a number of days regarding this one. I think it will stick with me for a long time.
I do want to mention that there's a lot of strong language, drinking, sex, violence. in this one. I'm not sure I would recommend it for younger teens unless you are comfortable talking about what is going on.
*I wonder about the drinking in this book. It's being in published in the UK, so the setting is there. I'm not naive that teens drink, but I was surprised at how much goes on this book. The teens buy from liquor stores without being ID'd, drink until all hours of the morning in clubs, etc. I know the drinking age is lower in the UK, but I wondered if this was a common thing for teens there? It wasn't just Grace, but even characters that you wouldn't expect it from.