Thursday, January 7, 2010

Review: Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

Tags: YA, short stories, love, suicide, acting, death

Rating: 4 out of 5


A one-week spring break vacation at the Caribbean resort Paradise affects the lives of four very different teenagers. Self-conscious Jena learns which guys are and are not worth it; playboy Dakota begins to realize how much of a misogynistic jerk he’s been; teen actress Skye must come to terms with her past and the fact that it may all be an act for her; and reclusive Owen may at least be ready to come out from behind his computer and meet the girl who’s changed his life.


Veteran talent reigns supreme in this intriguing blend of four short stories. Carolyn Mackler shows that she can make any story idea win over her old and new fans with TANGLED.

The four teens’ stories interlap only slightly, but remarkably each one is well defined and strong reads in and of themselves. Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all flawed, yet their flaws are endearing and human instead of the consequences of shoddy writing. As a result, we are easily able to delve into the minds of these four.

I was surprised at, but not put off by, how little the four stories were actually interconnected. The first three stories end rather abruptly and incompletely, and it’s not until reading the final story (Owen’s) that we realize how these four characters are supposed to have been affected by one another. The “tangles” are tentative at best, but overall TANGLED is still appealing due to its masterful writing.

Longtime Carolyn Mackler fans like me should not hesitate to pick this one up, while those new to Mackler’s works will be able to appreciate her talent. TANGLED is good for a sweet and lighthearted read.

Similar Authors
Sarah Dessen
E. Lockhart
Jaclyn Moriarty
Sarah Ockler

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 3/5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Cover discussion: 4.5 out of 5 - I love it! (And really, is this the first time Ms. Mackler has gotten a really, really good cover?) It's so different from other covers out there, and I just love the strength of the colors and the way they bleed into one another.

HarperTeen / Dec. 29, 2009 / Hardcover / $16.99

Received from review from the HarperCollins booth at NCTE.


  1. I love the idea of four points of view telling a story that is only fleetingly connected. I want to read this for sure.

  2. It's weird that the four stories were sort of the same story and yet were very little interconnected. I'm very intrigued by this book.

  3. This one sounds so intresting, I hope to pick it up soon! :)

  4. Great review, I just bought this book so I hope I like it!

  5. This sounds really interesting, I saw this today on someone else's blog and they said they really enjoyed it too....may have to buy this one for my collection.

  6. i've never read any carolyn mackler, but any author who is similar to both sarah dessen AND e. lockhart is like an automatic superstar in my book.

  7. This looks like a great book. Nice review!

  8. Carolyn Mackler has been on my To-Read list for a long time. This book, and all of her other books, just sound so great. Beautiful cover.

  9. Definitely going to get this one. Sounds just right for me :)
    And I love the cover too! It looks so simple yet beautiful.

  10. oh I really like interconnected stories too, especially ones with extremely intricate connections
    this doesn't sound that amazing to me, though I am most interested in Owen's story (I kind of identify with the hiding behind the monitor thing lol)

    also, I have an award for you at my blog =)

  11. I'm looking forward to this one, I like the idea of stories connecting, even if it's only slightly. Love the cover too!

  12. Great review!

    The cover for this book is so cute and I love the idea of having multiple main characters. I really want to read this now :)

  13. I saw the cover for this one a while back and it drew me in. Great review! I will definitely be reading this one!


  14. I own three of Mackler's books, including an ARC of this one. None of which, I'm afraid, I've read yet. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book though and I'll be sure to read it soon. :D


  15. When I first saw this book, I thought of it as cute. The reviews I read, including yours, started to change my mind. I think it's something even cooler.

  16. Sounds like something I would love -- and the cover is awesome!

  17. This sounds really cute, and I love the cover!

  18. I had just finished this book when your review popped up in my feed reader. Loved reading your opinions and absolute agree -- it's a fabulous cover!

  19. I haven't read any of Carolyn Mackler's books.But, I will read it now if I get my hands on it.

    Thanks for your review !

  20. I'll have to check this one out. Might be good for fans of short stories too. Great review.


Hello! I'm so excited to read what you have to say. Due to high amounts of spam, I'm forced to disabled anonymous comments for the time being. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes, and I hope you can understand and still appreciate the content here!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...