Melanie McCullough's Reviews > Pieces of Us

Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser
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's review
Feb 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: my-favorites
Read from December 23, 2011 to January 03, 2012

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 have this habit of reading the first few sentences of every book I receive. Kind of to get a feel for if I'm going to like it or not. With this book, all it took was a few words and I was hooked. I was incapable of putting it down.

It's hard to say that I loved any of the characters because they're all so broken and warped that they're not really loveable--make no mistake, these are some majorly flawed and damaged people we're dealing with--but they're definitely sympathetic. I felt for each of them in a different way. Katie I adored because she was so perfect and happy and it is all ripped apart by a single moment of indiscretion. She was naive but still hopeful. Alex is damaged and abusive. Julia is bitter and selfish. And Kyle may have it worst of all but is the most redemptive character of the four. He's inherently good in a way that the others are not.

To say it was an intense read would be a gross understatement. It was arduous, incredible, emotional. Reading it, I felt as if I was being thrown against a wall and shattered into a million little pieces. The tension will push the reader to a breaking point. I spent the whole time with my stomach in knots, feeling the pain of the four main characters in this book, worrying and praying that everything would work out. That they would survive. By the end, I was so emotionally invested that I felt hollow when I was no longer a part of their story.

Honestly, I loved every second of it, yet it is so completely distressing that I won't recommend it for those who can't handle being torn apart by a book. Or for those who are opposed to swearing or sex in YA because there is plenty of it.

I have no idea why I'm drawn to dark stories with bleak themes, but I am and Pieces of Us gave me exactly what I wanted. So if you're like me, I suggest you get your hands on a copy as soon as it's released.
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