by Cat Clarke
This isn't the kind of book I would've picked up based on the summary--not that it sounds bad, just not my kind of thing--but because it's by Cat Clarke, I wanted to read it and I am so glad I did. She ended up on my insta-read list after her first book, Entangled, but I think this one has earned her a spot on my favourite authors list too.Summary: Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it.
Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself.
Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down.
The characters were my favourite part of the book. Cat has the weird talent of making me love characters I initially don't like, and of making her protagonists really flawed and make some really big mistakes and yet I just can't bring myself to hate them for any of it. I really liked Lucas and Sasha and Kai, even Bugs. Her characters are really complex, she doesn't make them like cardboard cut out people that have only one side - some of them do really awful things, but she shows it doesn't mean they're entirely awful with no redeeming qualities.
I did not like Jem, the main character of the book, she was whiny, bratty, ridiculously judgemental, hypocritical, lies a lot and stubborn to a fault. She said and did some really stupid and really awful things...but I enjoyed being inside her head and reading her story and even when I though I didn't like her through about 90% of the book, I still cared about her and what happened to her. Whenever she would do or say things that I was really not okay with, I'd be sitting there thinking, "No, no, no, no! Do not cross that line!" and it's like seeing an accident happen and you can't look away even though you know the outcome is going to be bad.
I want to talk about another character and the things that happen with him in the book, but I don't want to give spoilers - if you read it, you'll know the parts I'm talking about. I liked and hated those parts...liked because it shows how a lot of people view sexual assault (how the victim can be made to feel like the one in the wrong, to the point where they even start to believe it themselves)...and hated it for that very same reason, it makes me angry to read about that sort of attitude, but it's realistic so it was written well.
The way this book ended was one of those, "WHAT?! It cannot end there!" kind of endings. I've found that with Cats books, that while the story doesn't feel unfinished and we get just enough answers to make it work, there's still always something more that I want--an epilogue, or just something to show the after, because she makes me care about these characters and I desperately want to know what happens next for them--but the book doesn't feel lacking even though it leaves me feeling like I need more closure.
I'd rate it 5 out of 5 stars.