Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler
Publication Date/Version: December 29, 2009/Hardcover
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publicist (Thanks!)

Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all at Paradise - a resort in the Caribbean, that is - for different reasons, but in Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. The week might take Jena one kiss closer to having a life; set Dakota on a new path; push Skye to stop playing a role, or face the consequences; or inspire Owen to take a leap from his online life to a real one, all because of a girl he met in Paradise. Whatever happens here, it will change them all.

Tangled is a story of the secrets we keep, the risks we take, and the things we do for love.

Tangled was not at all what I expected it to be, but it turned out to be a delightful surprise.

Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen all take a vacation to Paradise. Jena with Skye and Dakota with Owen. Jena has self-image issues, and isn't happy with herself. Skye's the perfect girl and has it all together, or so it seems. Dakota's your average male player, but he's not sure if that's what he wants. And Owen's stuck in a virtual world, blogging about his life instead of living it. Essentially each of the characters has something they want to change. I thought the entire story would take place in Paradise, but only Jena's story did so. I didn't know what to think when I first learned this, as I thought this might be a more light read. With the change of scenery, though, we were able to delve deeper into the characters real emotions. It was like a combination of realistic fiction and an anthology. Each character told their story from their point of view, allowing us a glimpse into their life.

The best comparison I can make is that Tangled is an indie-book, like an indie-movie. Known for being unique, and really getting at the true core. I thought this same thought several times, and it really is the best way to describe the novel. It offered a different take on point of view, as well as a new version of character development. Some would complain that we didn't learn enough, but all four of the characters were connected. We learned little snatches about the other characters from another's story. We learned about Skye in Jena's story, Owen in Dakota's, etc. It was a cool way of seeing what happened to each of the characters.

I truly enjoyed this new experience. I especially enjoyed Dakota's and Owen's stories. Jena's and Skye's seemed a bit too typical to me. All really made a change though, and it was great to see them through it all. It's hard to express what I feel for this novel. It's engaging and exciting, keeping you wrapped up in the story. I know I haven't offered a concrete review, but if you take anything from this just know that Carolyn Mackler has created an intense, unforgettable experience. She really has succeeded in creating another great novel.

Overall: Emotional. Inventive. Indie. Engaging. A must read for anyone looking for a new take on story telling.

My Advice: Pick up a copy from your local bookstore when it comes out. Or, better yet, preorder it. It will stick with you long after you've finished reading.

Cover: Love it! It expresses the complexities of the novel, with the wonderful ribbon hearts. It's great how there's pink and blue, fading together, like the girls and boys.


  1. This sounds really interesting and different. Great review. I really want to read it now.

  2. Indie? Nice descriptive term that really helps me understand the feel. Thank you. :)


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