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Pieces

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  226 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Orphaned Carmen is sixteen, newly homeless and will do almost anything to survive and keep her and her kid brother safe, together, and out of foster care. Ollie, also sixteen, has a life that’s all about parents, school pressure, friends and dreams of summer. The two fall into each other’s orbit, and one kiss changes everything. Ollie is captivated… but then Carmen vanishe ...more
ebook, 314 pages
Published May 15th 2017 by Ylva Publishing (first published May 2017)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  226 ratings  ·  71 reviews


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Lex Kent
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 Stars. This is a book YA fans will enjoy. I first read Benson's book, All the Little Moments, and loved it. It was an easy 5 stars for me. I was hoping I would have the same feeling with this book. That didn't end up being the case. I can be a little picky with YA, I have a real hit or miss relationship with it. There are certain things I look for in YA, one of them is making me feel something. I like an emotional YA feel, and this book certainly had that. I think the problem for me, it wa ...more
Jem
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: p-o-c, coming-of-age
Pieces is YA lesfic for people who hate YA lesfic. While most of the characters are sixteeners going on seventeen, the issues they face are nothing teenagers should ever have to deal with in their journey to adulthood.

Pieces is about Carmen. Like all teens, she longs for parties, dates, sleepovers. Regular teen stuff. And she notices the girl who sneaks long looks at her. But it all feels like another world to her, so far from her reality at home—a reality where she has to worry about where the
...more
Ted
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is not a light read. Not even close. Not enough good feels to get 5 stars. This is dark, gritty, violent and.... real. That's the thing that struck me the most. I was a foster kid growing up too, so the main story arc hits pretty close to home. I gotta say though, it is a book I won't forget for a while. Recommend? IDK. ...more
Agirlcandream
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow. Impressive YA read and I say that as a reader who avoids the majority of YA novels. I assume I will not relate to the all consuming high-drama of love affairs and bullies who haunt the school hallways. Teen angst is (generally) not my thing. Pieces has many angst filled moments but it is far from a simple teen drama.

Benson gives us unforgettable characters in Carmen and her brother Mattie. Carmen’s efforts to care for and support her younger brother are as heartfelt as they are herculean.
...more
Tiff
MOVING. POWERFUL. CAPTIVATING. All caps, bolded, if I could I would put in flashing neon lights. This book is all of these adjectives and so much more. This story pulls you in and holds you till the very end. I cannot do this book justice in a review. All I can say is read it, you will not be disappointed. G. Benson brings you another amazing story. She is truly a remarkable writer.

Carmen Garcia is sixteen, but you wouldn’t know it. The child of a drug addicted mother, Carmen has had to walk a
...more
BadassCmd
The two of them: seventeen and drowning in life.

I have been debating whether to read this book for a while, because I tend to feel too much with the stories I read and feared this book about a girl living on the street with her kid brother would be too tragic for me.
But I'm really happy I finally read it in the end.

I mean, it's still heartbreaking at times, but it's also utterly beautiful and soft and captivating.
The first time I had the thought ' Urgh I have FEELINGS about this ', I was j
...more
Gaby LezReviewBooks
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is in my list of recommended books of the month:

https://lezreviewbooks.wordpress.com/...

First of all, I have to say that angsty books about young adults aren't my cup of tea. However, I've read G Benson's previous books which I liked a lot and decided to read this one. I'm glad I did because it's a very good read.

Written in third person from the point of view of both characters, Ms. Benson deals with very difficult issues such as the fallouts of the foster care system, transsexualism,
...more
Dee
3.5 stars

This story is told in third person, past tense and from both main characters point-of-view - my favorite style of narration.

G. Benson is a new to me author and there’s no denying she has the gift of the gab! The characters jump off the page, their plight and emotions are palpable. I was drawn in from the get-go.

While Ollie/Olivia certainly is a central character, this story is really about Carmen and her kid brother, Mattie. It’s a look into the lives of children with uncaring parents,
...more
Catherine
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm sitting here trying to find the best words to express how much I loved this book! It was a lot more intense than I was expecting it to be. What you will find is the topics and what these two characters are going through is dark and hard to read about at times. But the romance and the interaction between the two is so sweet and beautiful that it balances the book perfectly.

I love a young adult book with strong mature characters and you most definitely get that here. The group of friends that
...more
Kitty McIntosh
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesfic, romance, ya
‘Pieces’ is an emotionally deep story, dealing with very difficult subject matter. At one point I found the issues upsetting and hard to read but the characters really got to me and I had to find out how their story ended.

Carmen has been looking after her brother Mattie since he was a baby, as their mother was a neglectful junkie/alcoholic. The teenager showed such strength and determination and her desire to keep them together was astounding. After meeting Ollie at school she has something of
...more
Megan EM
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cried. I loved it.
Katherine Jensen
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another amazing book from G Benson. So well-written! She tackled tough topics like homelessness, death, and the dark sides of the foster care system. The relationship between Carmen and Ollie was great, and the one between Carmen and her brother, Mattie, was even better. She also does a good job with representation in terms of race, sexuality, and gender. Highly recommend!

ARC received from Ylva in exchange for an honest review
Starsandsun18
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I can see that a lot of people don't really like YA genre. As for me, I'm one of those who loves to read them. Maybe I like the sweet young love and a bit of angst. But this one is full of angst like heavy! Carmen is one of the best YA mc. She's been through a lot but you can see a positive aura in her. She's not the typical I hate the world teen considering all the things the happened to her. She's strong and reliable.
And you can really feel the love between her brother and her and with that k
...more
Liz
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: lesbian, ya
I will confess the last time I read an YA novel I was a YA and that was some time ago. I thought I would give it a go. I now realise it is just not the genre for me, however well written it is.

To be fair the story is well written, a little depressing in parts, but overall handled well. I just could not engage with 16/17 year olds. That is down to my personal taste and not a reflection on the story.

I would be interested to read more from the author, but in my age range.

Received Arc for honest re
...more
Jane Clements
I would give this book 3 and a half stars if I could.

This is a gritty and sometimes bleak novel for young adults. It chronicles two years in the lives of its main protagonists: Olivia – “Ollie” – and Carmen. Benson doesn’t pull any punches in her story, referencing issues such as drug addiction, underage drinking, child neglect, the perils of the foster system and death. Our heroines have a lot to deal with.

It has some beautifully written moments and it’s good to find a YA novel willing to write
...more
Jade
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
*ARC provided by the publisher for an honest review*

I have read other books by this author and I really enjoyed them but this book just wasn't for me.

I enjoy a book that has depth but this book was a bit to deep and the characters spent most of the book in their own heads and I couldn't concentrate on each ones existential crisis for very long before I lost interest.

The book is well written and neither character lacks a compelling storyline and the storyline itself is quite interesting but I fou
...more
Andrea
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow this book left me speechless...it was powerful, captivating and very moving. The book talked about a lot of issues like grief, guardianship, street kids, foster care, loss, LGBT and more but it didn't feel overloaded on issues or that they were just put in to get another one in. Each one of them was handled perfectly and natural. I liked how the transgender issue was handled - I don't think it was ever said straight out that Sarah is transgender, just through the plot and narrative, which I ...more
Alealea
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: f-f, romance
Reminded me of the movie Gracie's Choice.
It's sad, sweet, and not surprising.
The best part is that most of the cast is part of a minority. And that even minor characters are complex.
...more
Alex
Dec 07, 2020 rated it liked it
It's an interesting book. Obviously people know about the problems with people living on the streets and a vague idea of what hardships they suffer, we know about the government programs that help homeless children and although you have knowledge of the faults and omissions, it hardly enters your mind unless someone points it out or it happens to someone close. And although the system in the United States has flaws and is insufficient, in my country it's practically non-existent, so what you hav ...more
Pam Holzner
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: scribd
Meh. Well written drama. Romance just adds some hopefulness to a dark (but ultimately hopeful) family drama. Other elements are almost scifi: instant attraction/connection, zero fights between honies, hacker genius friends, a home for runaways run by the best people ever, a parent with a convenient apartment for rent ...

Benson writes better than many lesfic writers but of the 3 I've read, I liked this the least.

Your mileage may vary. I wanted to read a romance and this is a drama.
...more
Jamie
I've read most of G Benson's books at this point, and she has never failed to disappoint. And while this might not be my favorite of hers, it holds up really well. It's also definitely darker than her other books too.

Pieces explores the lives of Carmen and Ollie, and how they respectively cope with loss and radical change in their lives. That loss brings trials to their lives of different kinds and magnitudes, and how their romantic relationship with each other grows out of their other losses.
...more
Jasmine
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I teared up when this book arrived on my kindle, like my subconscious already knew this book was going to be a doozy. From the very first sentence I had goosebumps and I was lost in the magic of this story. Every richly crafted sentence was like your favourite decadent desert. I loved this book so very much. If I could give it six stars, I would.

Ollie and Carmen connect one night at a party like typical teenagers, a little alcohol and a lot of kissing. They're sixteen, it's sweet and it's anyth
...more
Tiffany Shamaly
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbro-Katrin
Feb 20, 2020 marked it as sadly-dnf
I have loved G. Bensons other books but even when just reading the blurb for this I knew I wouldn’t love this as much but decided to give this a go since I’ve loved her other books. But sadly I was right, I had a hard time connecting to it, I found the story boring and some times confusing. I never knew that Ollie was black, I spent a long time wondering when she broke up with her bf and wondering when I had missed that. Add to that that I knew this was a Clexa ff, I spent a lot of time figuring ...more
Sandra
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: various
Whow! Powerful read

This was my second book from G Benson and it’s a fantastic one, it captivated me from the beginning. It isn’t just another young adult novel, it’s one for everybody.

The main story is about the two sixteen year old girls, Carmen and Olli and Carmen’s brother Mattie. They face very different life circumstances, but when they meet at school, there was a connection from the beginning. Also the third characters, like their friends or Olli’s parents are well developed and integrated
...more
Julie
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A powerful read. I would agree with another reviewer who questions whether this is YA but in the end it really doesn't matter. It's extremely well written, a gritty look at life on the edges of society where good kids are let down by those who are supposed to care for them. It's a book that is not for the faint hearted; it's for those who want an unflinching look at what is around us, the poverty, the violence, the hunger, the grief, the loss, the longing, the trust and the sense of camaraderie ...more
Betty
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ff-general-lit, ff-ya
I enjoyed this. YA/NA is something I try and avoid, especially in lesfic, when angsty immaturity rules. But this is nothing like that. It's gritty and grim, dark, and with very little gloss anywhere. I really enjoyed it. It's a reminder that sometimes the good things are small, and the pleasures all come from within.
It's an engaging story, although sometimes the story dragged a little especially in the second quarter. I think because there was so little relief for Carmen. However, come the half
...more
Jane Shambler
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ylva-pub, ya
What to say about this book eludes me if I am honest. It is so powerful, raw and emotional.


We all have some kind of foster system and we all hope it is good and does good. But does it?? Do we let these kids down? You can not read this book and not feel anything. My heart broke for the kids in the so called system and not just Carmen and Mattie. It is so well written that you can not just see it but you can feel it. It is not an easy book to read. On one hand I did not want to put it down, Yet on
...more
KateW
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbian
With „Pieces“ G Benson weaves a captivating story about the meaning of family and home through the eyes of two teenagers becoming women and fighting for a place in the world.

Ollie grows up in a normal-type of family. They want for nothing, she has two caring parents, and life is almost easy for her. It all collapses when her mother suddenly dies. Ollie loses herself in her friends and alcohol, until she slowly finds a way back to herself.
Carmen grows up with always one foot inside the system. He
...more
Ann Fernandez
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Honestly, where has G. Benson been all my life?

She is very easily becoming a must-read author for me, from Flinging It, which I enjoyed, to now Pieces, which I...experienced. Because this book is truly a trip and a half.

I don't know what it is about G. Benson and her writing, but every time I pick up a book of hers I feel really immersed and invested in her characters and the struggles they face. When they were shocked, I was shocked. When they were heartbroken, I was heartbroken. I could unders
...more
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Benson spent her childhood wrapped up in any book she could get her hands on and—as her mother likes to tell people at parties—even found a way to read in the shower. Moving on from writing bad poetry (thankfully) she started to write stories. About anything and everything. Tearing her from her laptop is a fairly difficult feat, though if you come bearing coffee you have a good chance.
When not wri
...more

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