A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
As you will know by now, I am a very busy multi-functional device. Certainly I am not a person prone to lolling around for hours reading. Mostly I do my reading in snatches. A little here, a little there… very, very rarely I might lock myself in the bathroom, put on headphones, run the taps and refuse to come out until I’ve finished. And Entangled made me do just that.
I’m a little bit reticent about making up my own synopsis, since there are so many questions at the start of the book that I don’t want to write inadvertent spoilers. So I’ll quote from the blurb:
‘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.
Okay, that’s pretty much all you’re getting. I can probably add without much risk that: her father is dead, her mother is hopeless and absent, Grace self-harms and despite being a party animal with a great sense of humour she is an extremely troubled girl.
“I met Ethan the night I was planning to kill myself. Pretty inconvenient, when you think about it.” The first paragraph, and instantly I was captured by Grace. She has such a jaunty, likeable voice and throughout the novel you’re alternating between wry smiles at her witty observations and total despair at her intent to self-destruct. As a character she is so vividly depicted and utterly flawed in all the right ways that you immediately take her into your heart. She talks a lot about her armour and the face she puts on for the world. Which is very different to the totally messed up person she is inside. I found myself often reminiscing about the whacked out teenager I once was. Maybe this is one reason why I was so completely captivated.
This is a very dark story although it is lifted throughout by Grace’s warmth and humour and the distance in the way the story is told. In this white room where she has been trapped she has to write down her past. The fact that she is already distanced from it herself and that the flow is broken with her wondering what she is doing in the room helps to stop the utter tragedy of her situation and horrors she inflicts upon herself from becoming too intense. The writing is beautifully spare and hits exactly the right tone to neither understate nor overemphasise the very real traumas that Grace faces.
I utterly loved Entangled. It absorbed me instantly and I was completely captivated by the fabulous characters, the intriguing mystery of the plot and by the heart-breaking dilemmas faced by Grace. Believe me, pick this book up and it won’t let you go for a long time after you’ve finished reading.