Undone by Cat Clarke

Oh, hell no!

Undone by Cat Clarke

Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published: 20th December, 2012
Series: N/A
Rating: 2

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 way she looks at him. Jem is okay with that. But when Kai is outed online by one of their classmates, he does the unthinkable and commits suicide.
Jem is left to pick up the pieces of her broken life. Before he died, Kai left her twelve letters—one for each month of the year—and those letters are all Jem has left. That, and revenge.
Although Kai’s letters beg her not to investigate what happened, 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 love books that explore serious, and often sad or difficult topics. Suicide is one of those topics I feel need to be talked about, and not treated as taboo. I think most of us would agree that the act of taking one’s own life is always the most drastic solution and is just a senseless waste of life. Kai’s death in Undone was more mind boggling than most fictional suicides I’ve ever came across. You see, this 16-year-old boy supposedly killed himself over being outed as gay. Sadly, it does happen. Kai’s case was shocking, but mostly because from the beginning of the story he just came across so comfortable with his identity, never really tried to actively hide it, and apart from his sister, his other family members came across as supporting, and so did his close friends.

This poor guy seemed nothing more than a plot device to set Jem on a stupid revenge mission that made even less sense than Kai ending his own life. I’m all in for cool vendettas and all, but bloody hell, they should at least make some kind of sense. Even if I take into account that Jem is a teenager with perhaps not so great judgement, I can’t overlook the actual facts.

Jem is described as an intelligent girl, and she prides herself in her critical thinking, and often thinks of herself as some Machiavellian mastermind. Yet, she goes on the warpath with no evidence whatsoever. She’s also slut shaming other girls, and rolls her eyes for their attempts of wanting to look pretty. Not sure what’s that to her, but she seems to care a lot about these kind of things, while she considers herself a good person in general.bitch_please

She observes certain behaviours in others that puzzle her, because they prove those people are actually way nicer than she thought, but she disregards them because if she’d accepted the truth, she wouldn’t be able to punish anyone and her whole purpose of in life would need to be reevaluated. An actual smart girl probably wouldn’t be offended if someone is nice to her, instead she would take that into account, look at the evidence, and act based on that. Maybe even admit that she was wrong and you know, change her mind before it’s too late.

Those letters from Kai? To me those made the least amount of sense. When someone is so desperate that they are ready to take their lives, they are likely not in a chipper mood. So this boy spending a crapload of time writing cheery letters to Jem, sending her on a year filled with self improvement, and a sort of makeover from beyond the grave is just one step too far and my mind can’t process it. Like yeah, sure, I’m about to kill myself, but please don’t miss me too much, and how about you stop being an emo-goth and maybe try blond hair and some colourful clothes, hmm…?

I think none of you will be surprised when I say, I was extremely disappointed with this book. To take such an important topic and turn it into a stupid vendetta plot just doesn’t sit right with me.

When I’m told a character has certain qualities but they never do anything to support that, I can’t help but feel that the story is just not authentic enough.

That said, I’ve not given up on Cat Clarke’s books just yet. I read Girlhood last year, and enjoyed it quite a lot, so this could just very well be some kind of one off flop. We shall see.




  1. I’m so sorry Norrie and I get you. I haven’t read the book but just based on your review, I am already frustrated by how such sensitive themes are portrayed and yes, the 12 letters don’t make much sense. I hope you will enjoy your next read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yikes, sounds like the author had a great idea but little understanding or skill in which to actually write even a half decent novel. What a waste, and what a shame they chose suicide as a plot device. That’s just a tad sick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know… i got all kind of agitated when i was listening to the audio but kept going cuz i thought it can’t be this stupid, surely there will be some twist at the end and it will all make sense. But nope :/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh no, I have zero tolerance for flimsy reasons in stories. I mean using something that makes no sense as a plot sounds like something that would frustrate me a lot. Mixed with the main character who slut shames and does other stupid things whilst believing she’s a genius = no thanks.
    Some books are just not meant to be, I’m actually impressed you finished it! 😊
    PS. Love that gif choice – I miss Mad Men as well as Joan’s character!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, yea, i listened to it on audio and kept thinking there sure is a twist or something coming and it will all make sense… but nope… :/

      Only saw first 2 seasons of Mad Man, but Joan is one the cool ones for sure 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh. And here I was, all excited because the synopsis sounded really great. There was one thing that raised a question, though: Why investigate a suicide, you know? And yes, I agree. This is a topic that needs to be made aware of, even in books. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would have been ok with her trying to investigate. I mean, she’s 16, and quite emotional, but at the same time the way she made it all about herself was just too much :/


  5. Ugh! That’s just shitty. Having had quite a number of suicidal friends over the years, I’m very sensitive to the topic. I HATE when it is just used as a plot device. I can feel the indignation burning under my skin right now. I’m so sorry that you didn’t like the book! (I’ll def not be reading it)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aw that’s a bummer about this one. This does seem like it could have handled a topic like suicide a LOT better, not to mention the issues with Jem. Ergh. I have heard good things about Cat Clarke though, glad you’re not giving up on her. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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