Saturday, February 4, 2012

Neurotic Thoughts - Pieces of Us

Pieces of Us
Author: Margie Gelbwasser
Release Date: March 8, 2012 (my birthday)
Genre: YA Contempory
Published by: Flux
Source: Flux through NetGalley
Summary from Goodreads:
Two families. Four teens. 
A summer full of secrets. 

Every summer, hidden away in a lakeside community in upstate New York, four teens leave behind their old identities…and escape from their everyday lives. 

Yet back in Philadelphia during the school year, Alex cannot suppress his anger at his father (who killed himself), his mother (whom he blames for it), and the girls who give it up too easily. His younger brother, Kyle, is angry too—at his abusive brother, and at their mother who doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while trying to forget the nightmare that changed her life. But Julie, her younger sister, sees Katie only as everything she’s not. And their mother will never let Julie forget it. 

Up at the lake, they can be anything, anyone. Free. But then Katie’s secret gets out, forcing each of them to face reality—before it tears them to pieces.

When I first finished this book my initial reaction was UGH, this was so not the book for me. However, I am finding that I can't stop thinking about the characters in this book. Their actions have left me thinking about what I would have done differently in the same situation, and why the characters maybe didn't react the way I would have. At first I found the characters to be weak and sometimes stupid, but the more I think about them the more I realize that not everyone can stand up for themselves at any given time. Some people have to grow into their courage. 

This book is not for the faint of heart. All four of these teens have been abused in one way or another, and there are a few scenes that are not graphic but still extremely disturbing. The biggest problem I had with Pieces of Us is that I just couldn't connect with any of the characters. They are all very flawed and troubled, but that's not what bothered me. I like it when characters are believable as real people with relate-able problems. Usually I can find at least one thing I like about these troubled people, but in this book I just wasn't feeling it. It's not that I have a problem reading books that don't have a happy ending or books that deal with real life, hard issues. I've read many and loved them. This one just didn't do it for me.

The writing wasn't bad but I found it hard to switch between the characters when they were each written in a different point of view. One character was written in the first person another the second, that made it hard for me to really enjoy, like the flow was constantly interrupted. I would start reading and then have to check back to see which character I was reading about, it became tiresome. As much as I am complaining here I do have to admit that I read this book pretty quickly so there was something about it at least that kept me reading. The ending was a bit disappointing because I didn't feel like there was one.

Since writing this review I've gone out seeking other reviews of this book because hey this is just one girl's opinion. I wanted to know why others liked the same book that I didn't.  So I am including a few links to a few positive reviews as well. 

Word of warning: if you decide to read Pieces of Us there is a lot of sex (not always consensual), drinking, cursing, and abuse of all types. This is by no means a light read. As a parent I mentioned to my almost 13 year old that she may not be ready for this one, and my almost 16 year old knows that if she picks this one up that I am always available to talk about any of the issues that get brought up. 

Mrs. Mommy Booknerd's review here
Books to Infinity and Beyond's review here
A New Kind of Ordinary review here


  1. Bummer to hear this one didn't work. The blurb sounded really good, but yeah, with a plot like this one, you really need to like the characters to be able to sympathize with everything they've been though.



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