About the Book

Title: Entangled (Entangled #1) 
Published: 2013
Series: Entangled
Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Cover Story: Mostly Harmless
BFF Charm: Heck Yes
Talky Talk:  Life, the Universe, and Everything
Bonus Factors: Lovable Misfits
Anti-Bonus Factor: Bistromatics (i.e., Seriously Sci-Fi)
Relationship Status: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Cover Story: Mostly Harmless

Alright, I’m not the biggest fan of the Big Face – but I guess if you’re going to do it, you might as well make it all trippy and science fiction-y like this. It’s not the best cover I’ve ever seen, but it is most definitely not the worst.

Also? Strap in for the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy references, because they’re coming!

The Deal:

Cade is a take-no-crap 17-year-old just trying to survive – and play her guitar – on a miserable desert planet. She has no problem with being completely alone – so when a mysterious scientist shows up and informs her that not only was she created in a lab as an experiment, but that she is entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan, she’s not too thrilled to hear it.

But once she taps into her connection with Xan, she is overwhelmed by two absolute truths: one, that she is no longer alone in the universe.

And two: she has to get to him, now – before he’s murdered.

BFF Charm: Heck Yes

BFF Charm Heck Yes - sparklier and shinier than the original BFF Charm

I have a tendency to get really exasperated with heroines who are self-described (or inside-cover-flap described) as “tough” and “a loner.” They are almost always flat and lame and eye-rollingly phony with their toughness. Take off your leather jacket, Tough Gal.

Cade is tough, and she is a loner – she’s an orphan stranded on a crummy planet where humans get no respect, and she has to make her own way in a gritty underworld of bars and black markets. But Cade is hilarious, and that is where she’s different from every other Tough Gal I’ve met/read. Cade is the girlfriend who takes you on a four hour road trip to rescue your beloved set of Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs from your spiteful ex who somehow ended up with them in the breakup (don’t ask). She’s the girl who doesn’t let anyone push her around, but who also will just sort of roll with it when a guy dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit shows up at the party and starts to play the guitar. Like, she’s not the craziest cat in the place – but she’s got this affinity for craziness that I really dig. It makes her a LOT of fun, and I can’t think of any fictional heroine I’d rather traverse the universe with than her.

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

This is one of those YA books that happens to have two love interests but which never devolves into an endless, exhausting love triangle. Which is great!

On the one hand, you’ve got Cade’s really cute, sort of shy romance with Rennick – the nonhuman (and outlaw!) captain of the starship that’s taking her to rescue Xan. It’s sweet and develops slowly, just like in real life, and I loved it. Cade is loud and brash and upfront, and Rennick is reserved and almost unreadable – and they have some great clash-turned-attraction encounters on their adventure.

On the other hand, you have Xan – the as-yet-unmet person that Cade is subatomically (which is not a word) entangled with…and he’s a boy. Cade has Xan in her head – he can hear and see what she thinks, and feel what she feels. Their connection is much deeper and more spiritual – which is impressive since she hasn’t seen him since she was two years old. It’s not exactly a romance, but it is intense. 

Talky Talk: Life, the Universe, and Everything

First of all, Cade is a musician and she’s our Point Of View person, so the text is wonderfully musical and flowy. It’s got the adventure-pace of an action movie but the voice of a hippie music major at a liberal arts college. It’s lyrical and lovely but still moves so quickly that I couldn’t put it down. Right on!

This story stands strong on its own, but it did sort of remind me of a couple of things: it’s got the action and urgency of a (good) Star Wars movie, but it’s also got some of the delightful zaniness of a Douglas Adams book. And I LOVE me some Douglas Adams! When one character points out a planet where sound waves are considered a class of being and where they never got much done because they were always sobbing over dead melodies…well, I knew this one was a keeper.

Bonus Factor: Lovable Misfits

The cast of Mystery Men all dressed in different quirky outfits in the subway

What’s better than a road trip, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you: it’s a road trip across the galaxy that picks up a straggly band of misfits! Who grow to be best pals! And some of them are OUTLAWS!  Ah! What am I doing with my life?!

Anti-Bonus Factor: Bistromatics (i.e., Seriously Sci-Fi)

A Star Wars robot sits among dirty machine parts

Ok, this is not a problem for me – I heart sci-fi, the weirder and more complicated the better. But I can definitely see how some of the more complicated and conceptual science in this book (like the titular entanglement theory) could be off-putting to some readers who are new to – or hesitant about – sci-fi. Let’s just say this is not for the faint of heart. Previous science-y reading/viewing experience is recommended for optimal enjoyment.

Relationship Status: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!

Well book, I may not have expected to end up here (or pick up that weird hitchhiker), but boy did I enjoy the ride. I’d cross the galaxy with you again any time – just give me a quick call, and I’ll be outside with my towel in 2.5 milliseconds!

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I received neither a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster nor money for this review, unfortunately. Entangled is available now.

About the Contributor:

Savannah Kitchens is a children’s librarian living near Birmingham, Alabama. She loves discussing Harry Potter fan theories, making lists, and baking pies. When she’s not reading YA books and graphic novels, she’s beating her husband at Scrabble.

This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.