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Undone
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Undone
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Jem Halliday is in Love with Her Best Friend.It doesn't matter that Kai is gay, or that he'll never look at her the same way she looks at him. Their friendship is all she needs. But when Kai is outed...
Jem Halliday is in Love with Her Best Friend.It doesn't matter that Kai is gay, or that he'll never look at her the same way she looks at him. Their friendship is all she needs. But when Kai is outed...
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Description-

  • Jem Halliday is in Love with Her Best Friend.
    It doesn't matter that Kai is gay, or that he'll never look at her the same way she looks at him. Their friendship is all she needs. But when Kai is outed online by one of their classmates, he does the unthinkable: he commits suicide.

    Jem's world is shattered. All she has left of her best friend are twelve letters—one for each month of the year—he wrote her before he died. Kai's letters beg her not to investigate what happened, but Jem can't let it go. She needs to know who did this, and she'll stop at nothing to find the person responsible for Kai's death. One way or another, someone is going down. Someone is going to pay...

    "I haven't felt so much for a book since If I Stay by Gayle Forman."—Confessions of a Book Addict

    "Undone is a story that will stick with me for a long time."—Book Passion for Life

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Prologue

    The boy next door.

    It's a terrible cliché, isn't it? The one you eventually realize is The One after having your heart pulverized by an assortment of bad boys. We've all been there. Things were a little different for her though. She realized he was The One before she'd even met any bad boys, let alone had her heart pulverized by one. And in her case The One happened to be very much gay. That pretty much blows the cliché out of the water, don't you think?

    From the day his family moved into the house that was slightly nicer and slightly bigger than hers, he was the center of all that she did. They were seven years old.

    She was the one to make the first move-surprisingly forward for such a shy little creature. She'd been watching him for half an hour through a hole in the bottom of the fence, studying him to make sure he wasn't the type of boy who pulled the wings off flies or anything like that. He wasn't. He was the type of boy who would lie flat on his back in the middle of the lawn to make sure the sky above was still the same sky he'd left behind in Manchester. She didn't know what he was doing at first, of course. In fact, she thought he might be dead. Just my luck, she thought. Emily's moved to the other side of the world and a stupid boy moves into her house and goes and dies.

    She briefly considered throwing a stone at his head to check his aliveness, but decided it was probably more sensible just to ask.

    "Excuse me?" She was a very polite little girl because she'd been brought up by two very polite parents.

    There was no response from the possibly dead boy, so she raised her voice. "EXCUSE ME! Are you dead?"

    The boy slowly turned his head so he was looking straight at her face peering through the hole in the fence. His eyes were the same color as the sky and his hair was golden like...gold.

    The boy narrowed his eyes. "No, I'm Kai. Are you dead?"

    The girl laughed. "Of course not!"

    "Good. We can be friends then." The girl liked the sound of that.

    ***

    It was a good start. And the middle was good too. But the ending? Well, the ending left a lot to be desired. She would have written it differently if she'd had a say in the matter.

    Every good story deserves a happy ending-it's a basic rule of storytelling.

    The boy next door certainly shouldn't die.

About the Author-

  • Cat Clarke is an award-winning author from the UK. She lives in Edinburgh. Visit her at catclarke.com.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-Jem and Kai have been best friends since childhood. Even though Kai is gay, Jem is in love with him. They are perfectly happy with their codependent relationship until they attend a party with the popular crowd their junior year. Both teens drink and find themselves in precarious situations. Kai's indiscretion is filmed and sent via email to all the students at school; now everyone knows he is gay. Unable to handle the humiliation, Kai commits suicide. Jem is devastated, but she realizes he has written her 12 notes to be opened each month. She craves her best friend's words. In the meantime, the protagonist has a plan. She infiltrates the cool group to find out who filmed Kai in order to exact revenge. Jem struggles with actually liking her new friends, wanting to commit suicide herself, and seeking out the perpetrator. These conflicts take a toll on her, and the fluctuating mood of the story reflects her own ups and downs. The narrator's tale is punctuated with Kai's letters and flashbacks to Jem's past. Clarke depicts authentic teen characters who speak with crude realistic language; some American readers may have trouble understanding the British slang and idioms. Issues such as rape, family, and betrayal are also explored. The author's inconsistent use of animal imagery, as Jem compares the popular people to animals they emulate, may deter some readers, but most will want to experience Jem's journey to its morbid, twisty end.-Jeni Tahaney, Duncanville High School Library, TX

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    June 1, 2014
    Grades 9-12 After being outed online, Jem's best friend Kai commits suicide, and Jem doesn't see any reason not to join him. Then she receives a package of 12 letters from Kai with instructions to read one a month. Move forward with your life and kick the world in its balls, he instructs, and Jem knows he wants her to hang on. But that comfort doesn't lastwhat Jem wants is to ruin the popular kids who are responsible, and she has 12 months to make them pay before she can finally let go. Clarke perfectly conveys Jem's raw, furious grief, and the ironic disconnect between Kai's cheerleading letters and Jem's destructive actions is effective. The story loses potency with Jem's tame revenge scheme, which is based upon an anonymous note naming the culprits, which she accepts without question. The frustration readers experience as Jem ignores clues to the real culprit while irrevocably damaging her relationships with friends is probably intentional, but the shocker of an ending offers no relief. Complicated discussions will ensue.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal "Clarke depicts authentic teen characters who speak with crude realistic language... most will want to experience Jem's journey."
  • Once Upon a Bookcase "Undone is an awesome novel; it's tragic, it's powerful, and it really tugs at your heartstrings... So heart-wrenching!"
  • Confessions of a Book Addict "Undone examines dark topics, makes you really think, and pulls on your heartstrings. I haven't felt so much for a book since If I Stay by Gayle Forman."
  • Book Referees "Undone by Cat Clarke is a beautiful yet emotional read... the writing style was so good that it engaged me from the very first page."
  • Book Passion for Life "Undone is a story that will stick with me for a long time because of how emotional and intense it was and I can't wait to try some more of Cat Clarke's stories."
  • Books 4 Teens "Undone is a must read – at once thought provoking and fast paced wrapped in a story that demands to be read – so if you haven't already do as the story demands!"

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