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.
Another quick review because honestly, what else can I say beyond: Cat Clarke has once again broken me.
Ever since they first met when they were tiny, Jem has been in love with Kai. He means the world to her and she would do anything to protect him. So when a video of him doing unspeakably private things to a guy he likes and he kills himself, Jem is beyond devastated. She vows to get revenge on the people who hurt him.
With letters spurring her on from Kai, to be opened once a month, Jem is pushed out of her comfort zone and infiltrates the popular group to get to the truth. I think there were two main layers to this book: Jem's love for Kai and her need for revenge, and also Jem losing herself to her new life. Jem's grief was so tangible, I think that's what made her voice feel so authentic; she was literally lost without Kai and she couldn't bring herself to live without him. But as she found herself in this new group, her feelings for them, especially Lucas as her boyfriend and Sasha as her friend, confused things and her mission blurred. All this showed was that people aren't who they appear to be.
Finally, what I especially loved was that it wasn't just an exploration of grief and loss, but also anxiety, sexuality and insecurity. Jem got her first boyfriend and also had sex but what I adored was that she had a sex drive! Yes, girls want sex too! She also got a good girlfriend in Sasha and talked style, make-up, body issues and all that jazz.
And then of course that ending had to mess everything up and I was a mix of near-tears and confusion!
Published 20th December 2012 by Quercus.