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Pieces of Us

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,138 Ratings  ·  205 Reviews

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 turbulent lives.

But when he’s 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),

Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Flux
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Cindy i've read both, and they are very, very different. (also pieces of us did come out first)
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Kat Kennedy
This is one of those books where the author carefully paints and dresses each of her dolls with delicacy and precision. Then she painstakingly applies her marionette strings, lowers them to the stage, and starts the music. The audience watches in polite interest. The puppets move this way and that, dancing out their little, unremarkable performance. As a trick of the light, one by one the strings disappear and the little puppets move more and more like real people.

Before you know it, Gelbwasser
Aly (Fantasy4eva)

they said it was too dark, graphic, disturbing and edgy.

i just say it's real.

this book broke my heart. and i do not care because i know for a fact that pieces of us is going to stay with me for a while.

gone is that funk that was hanging over my head for weeks. because when i went out in the middle of reading this book, all i could think about was coming home and finishing it. it has been too long since i have felt like that about a book. too long since i have been this engrossed.

what do i s
Mar 13, 2012 Isamlq rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was holding my breath for something to make me smile. Yet by the time I was done with it, there was this gigantic weight pressing down on me. The blurb hints at it, but this is a bleak, bleak book. Moments of it hinted at happy possibilities but never really went there.

So, if good books are suppose to make you feel, PIECES OF US just might be stellar. I’m feeling hell lot of things right now. Granted, none of the things I’m feeling right now are all that positive. It’s bleak, dark; the situat
Mar 15, 2012 Jana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The most messed-up book I've read in a long time.

Also posted on:

This book was so crude and contains VERY graphic content. Be warned: if you've read Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, well, let me tell you ain't seen nothing yet. There was a lot of 'eww' moments and 'did that just happen' faces thrown in there too. I think my mouth was hanging open for like 3/4 of this book. This is like 10 times as descriptive of
This book is not for teens under 17. I'm not sure If I've ever seen so much bad language/abusive terms in a book -- even an adult one. I understand that these 4 teens are damaged and need help, but I didn't see that happen for some of them..? Maybe it's because I was too focused on the graphic nature of it all. I'm sure a lot of people will love this but it just wasn't for me.

It was emotional and disturbing and one event hit very close to home. But because of that, I was furious at how the char
Linda Dao
Jan 20, 2012 Linda Dao rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book. This book is haunting. It ate my heart and spit it out again. I'm still trying to pick up the pieces. Netgalley (oh you beautiful thing) gave me a wonderful chance to read this. I read the synopsis. Clicked request, never knowing how much downloading the galley would rock my world.
So I read...and read. Then went to sleep feeling awful but unable to put down my iPhone. I won't bother summarizing. It wouldn't do this book justice.

Everything! Everything was painful! But it was real. It w
Dec 26, 2011 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
This was not a nice story. It did not make me feel good. I finished it with a slight sense of hopefulness, but the raw, gritty, honest story of how terrible and nasty people can be, and how so many people are broken, has overwhelmed me.
The story is told from four P.O.V. Katie, Julie, Alex and Kyle. Four teenagers who all have been broken and damaged in some way but who spend the summer months together with their respective grandparents at the lake house. During summer, they try to be themselves
Mar 08, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's talk about a disturbing book. Let's talk about a book that made me uncomfortable. Let's talk about a book without likable characters.

Gelbwasser somehow makes you care about four teens who are all so broken and abused/abusive (I'd argue they all abuse and are abused equally). Little by little they continue to fall apart and it looks like there's no redemption to be had at all. I walked away pretty unsettled, and I mean that in a good way. That is successful storytelling.

This is a book tha
If I had to review this book in one sentence.... A Disturbing novel about four teens each abused in their own way.

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
♥ Sarah
Feb 26, 2013 ♥ Sarah rated it it was amazing
Recommended to ♥ Sarah by: Rachmi Febrianty

Pieces of Us is not your typical walk in the park, happy go lucky kind of story. There is no redemption, no salvation and no fairy-tale ending; there is only darkness, bleak reality, and the perpetual feeling of loss... Yes, it was bleak, depressing, dreary, dark, very uncomfortable and discomforting to read.

So I don't recommend this for the fainthearted.

The subject matter & content definitely calls for mature readers. However, the deep layers of the depicted abuse, serves as a cautiona
Jan 01, 2012 Sya rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've yet to write up a full review for this title but I found it to be relentlessly bleak and gratuitously nasty. Each teen is deeply damaged, with Alex verging on sociopathic misogyny and there is little light at the end of the tunnel, despite the rather throwaway last line (which was merely trite after such misery). The adults in the story are ineffectual in the extreme with Katie's mother is narcissistic in the extreme and her father kind yet useless. It's all just so upsetting and with seemi ...more
Wow. Pieces Of Us was an emotional hurricane of a book that despite all the anger and frustration I felt, I just couldn't put down.

I have to hand it to Gelbwasser, she had me from the first chapter. Even when I knew it was not gonna end well, I had to know, find out for myself. Like a car crush, I just couldn't look away. As I was reading I found myself feeling agitated, frustrated, angry and unbelievably sad that I couldn't do anything about Alex, I couldn't save Katie. I put the book down, tri
4.5 stars

"Pieces of Us" is a dark, beautiful, brilliant book.

It's so...REAL. Even though I haven't experienced anything that the characters went through, Gelbwasser's writing is bleak and sparse and perfect. It builds a world that felt so much like the real one, filled with no black and white but gray and characters that were so much like characters I felt I knew. This is a book that will make you angry and make you sad and occasionally (very occasionally) make you happy.

It's painted in utterly
Angela Fristoe
Mar 26, 2012 Angela Fristoe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-books
First off, this book is not for the faint of heart. Pieces of Us is a very raw and honest look into the minds of four very different teens that all have some type of emotional problems. While I loved this book, I would not recommend it to any teen under sixteen simply because I think there is a need for a certain level of maturity to handle the subject matter. There is cussing, there is drinking, there is sex (consensual and not), and it's not pretty.

Written in alternating points of view we get
Mar 26, 2016 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
5 stars

I felt the need to take some time after completing Pieces of Us before writing my review. I needed to digest what I had just read. For me, this book hit home in a very powerful and emotional way. Maybe that is what drew me to read it immediately after discovering it on Goodreads.

I tend to gravitate towards what others describe as dark/disturbing/haunting/etc. These tend to be a lot of the "buzz words" in the other reviews of Pieces of Us below. To me, I don't know if I would describe t
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
There are things that are a part of life and cannot be avoided. For most kids, that is experiencing the trials and tribulations that come with growing up. Most of us have suffered a breakup, suffered from a bad choice that took us down a wrong path, suffered fights with friends and/or siblings and suffered through issues with our parents. Pieces of Us touches on all those topics is in honest and realistic fashion. It is the other side of the story, the side that is not always happy, the side tha ...more
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Margie Gelbwasser is a courageous author who has breeched the norm to write a gripping story about issues that are plagueing our youth of today. She has lit the torch and ran miles with this story about love, loss, cyber bullying, date rape, abuse (mental&physical), self destruction, and depression. This review was hard for me to write because I could relate to the story. It brought back so many old memories and hurts I buried that I cried and then I laughed but most of all I was grateful th ...more
I feel that I'm rarely at a loss for how things to talk about with a book, but it seems that Pieces of Us has left me unsure of what to say. I won't say that I vehemently disliked this by any means, but it certainly didn't capture my heart and mind the way that I expected it to.

Pieces of Us starts out with a lot of promise. The four characters--Katie, Julie, Alex, and Kyle--are all introduced and you immediately get a feeling for each of their characters. Katie hides behind the facade of beauty
Jenni Arndt
Apr 01, 2012 Jenni Arndt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: purchased-ebook
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

Pieces of Us was a painful book to read. It was unrelenting and vivid and it felt like a punch in the gut. At times it made me feel dirty for continuing on, but I had to. This book does not shy away from the taboo, I had to check a few times to make sure that I was in fact reading a YA book. It is heavy on the language and painfully descriptive of the sex. This wasn't like any book I have ever read before, but I loved it. I spend most of my time r
Jan 16, 2012 Ashlie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kirkus reviewed this book as "Suspenseful, disturbing and emotionally fraught, a strong novel for a strong stomach." I think that is all an understatement. The teens in this story are beyond damaged, and you need more than a strong stomach to be able to sit through the very mature content. It's rated as a "14 & up" book, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under AT LEAST 17. Some of the content, while not detailed, made me sick to my stomach. Many times I put the book down and walked away, ...more
Aly (My Heart Hearts Books)
Featured on &

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, Kyl
hmmm... I going to have to digest this for a few days.

gritty, raw, unnerving, uncomfortable, anger... I have to make sure I'm not just emotional because of the unsatisfying ending.

It's the next day, and I'm still having a hard time digesting this book.

I don't want to just give this one star because the behavior of MOST of the characters was repugnant, offensive and pathetic.

All the characters begin the story with no hope at all for a happy ending. And if you know me, I love hap

Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah

- - -

2.5 stars

This book is from the POV of four different teens. Two sisters and two brothers.

The brothers: They live in Philly with their stripper mother. Their father committed suicide years before. The older brother, Alex, is a complete mess. He blames his mother for his father's death and takes it out on everyone around him. He treats his mother with no respect, and beats on his little brother. He disrespects females in general and bring
Dec 22, 2011 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-s, male-pov
Thank to you NetGalley and Flux for this copy of Pieces of Us. It's not often that I'm at a loss for words but this book that's full of hurt and pain left me speechless and emotionally drained. It's gritty and real, dealing with issues that run the gamut from parental neglect to a taped date rape that goes viral.

Four teens, two brothers and two sisters. For years they've spent their summers at their grandparents lake house, the one place they feel they can be themselves, unlike at home where th
Dec 09, 2011 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly truly beautiful...

Two sisters...Katie and Julie...two brothers...Alex and Kyle...both from sad dysfunctional families.

However, when they retreat to their grandparents cabins on a lake in the summers...they become different people.
They become younger and more free and innocent. They play Spit and swing and throw rocks and pick berries. When school starts Katie is "popular cheerleader girl" adored by her mother.
Julie is studious and not as pretty or popular and put down by their mother.
Melanie McCullough
Feb 22, 2012 Melanie McCullough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
So, um, wow, this one still has me reeling. I haven't read Margie Gelbwasser's debut novel, Inconvenient--I'll have to do that as soon as I can get my hands on a copy--but let me just tell you that she is a phenomenal writer. Amazing. A gift to the Young Adult literary world.

First, I have to tell you that I love books that take place in my geographic area and this one has scenes in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, NJ. Second, I will admit that I wasn't supposed to read this book so early, but I ha
Hannah Moe
Jan 19, 2013 Hannah Moe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pieces of us is told from the alternating points of view of four teenagers: Katie, Julie, Kyle, and Alex. Katie and Julie are sisters who live in New Jersey, Kyle and Alex are brothers who live in Philadelphia, but each summer they go to the same lake to visit their grandparents. Alex and Katie had always had sort of a summer romance going on, but they agreed to just keep it in the summer, until one summer when they decide to finally start a real relationship. Kyle and Julie had always been just ...more
May 19, 2012 Rabiah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally Posted at:

Usually when you think of "summer" books you think of romance, fun, boys and bonfire nights. Well, this summer book totally changed that whole image. Pieces of Us is a story about four teens, who all have something that they want to forget, to break free of. We have four stories from four perspectives which show responses and emotions to the events that occur in this novel.
I liked the idea of Pieces of Us, and the general story line w
Feb 26, 2013 cactussecret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a fifteen year old to read this kind of book, I felt utterly traumatized and heart broken. I did not have the balls to read through every page especially near the end when the video was released to the public. It had a very unexpected turn of events and I really really hated the ending. Somehow I felt it did not do justice to the whole story and a happy ending could have been achieved but was not. However, not all stories have happy endings and this is the first book I read that I felt was e ...more
Sep 09, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pieces of Us is a novel about family secrets and the complexity of human nature.

What compelled me to pick up this book was the simple yet beautiful cover, a picture of a swing frozen in midair with lovely hues of green and blue in the background. Little did I know, this book would have me battling an emotional tug-o-war until the very end of it.

Katie is a popular cheerleader at her school with a perfect, charmed life anyone could ask her. However, after one seemingly innocent and fun night at a
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Margie Gelbwasser is the author of INCONVENIENT, published by Flux in November 2010. INCONVENIENT, named a 2011 Notable Book for Teens by the Sydney Taylor Awards Committee, tells the story of Alyssa Bondar. Alyssa must cope with an alcoholic mother, tuned-out dad, first boyfriend, and end of a long friendship. Margie's next novel, PIECES OF US, is told in 4 POV (one of them second) and deals with ...more
More about Margie Gelbwasser...

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