‘Undone’ – Cat Clarke

Undone

 

Jem has been in love with her gay best friend, Kai, for years. Though she knows they will only ever be friends, this relationship means everything to her. When he is outed in the cruellest way imaginable, Kai cannot cope with the pressure of his peers knowing and commits suicide. Jem is distraught, and is determined to find out who was responsible for what happened so she can get revenge.

From the outset, I liked Jem. Though she thinks of herself as an outsider, she is portrayed as a strong and witty character. Once Kai, her lifeline, is no longer around though she withdraws from everyone. It is only when she is given a parcel of letters by Kai’s sister that Jem starts to think seriously about how she can make people pay for what they have done.

I wasn’t sure where this novel would take us, but we follow Jem as she puts her plan into action.¬†Watching her transformation revealed vulnerabilities that she didn’t even seem aware of. I liked the way she came to experience some happiness, and Clarke helps us to see that nobody is quite what we see on the surface. Everyone has secrets, and some are better at hiding them than others!

To be honest there were moments in the novel where I wasn’t as engaged as others, but the finale was explosive. It stunned me, and really was not what I expected. It also made me angry. We’d been given a few clues that this ending might be on the cards, but I had really hoped it wouldn’t go that way.¬†For reasons I won’t share here, some of the other characters come out of things very badly. I also couldn’t shake the feeling that for someone who we’re told cared so much about Jem, Kai kept a lot of himself hidden and acted really selfishly.