C.G. Drews's Reviews > Girl in Pieces

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
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Oct 18, 2016

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bookshelves: 3-star, contemporary, mental-illness, read-2016, young-adult

Wow this was a seriously heavy, but beautifully written book. Like I knew it'd be about dark things when I picked it up from the library, but it still made my HEART ACHE with just how much trauma and damage Charlie went through. Like, life really sucks sometimes, okay? I think this book did a good job of balancing the dark realism of mental illness/addiction + a smidgeon of hope. Although I kind of feel like I've been smushed like a watermelon sundae. This was HARD TO READ.

So the themes are pretty heavy. It includes depression, suicide, self-harm, alcoholism, sexual abuse, and addiction. Charlie was living on the streets, nearly sold into a sex house, before she attempted suicide by cutting. It's her journey. It's equal parts about recovery and decline. It's not a pretty story.

I actually cautiously say...it didn't feel YA. DON'T GET ME WRONG: I am entirely confident that teens can handle this kind of book. Because teens cut themselves. Teens struggle with mental illness. Teens have lost everything. So yes these kind of books should be available to teens! But I just say I think it felt adult because (A) there's a lot of swearing, like a lot; (B) all the characters in this book, baring Charlie who's 17, are adults; (C) there's no innocence or recent-loss-of-innocence in this book at all, which I think is a theme a lot of YA books do stick to. SO I DON'T KNOW. IT DIDN'T "FEEL" YA READING IT IS ALL I'M SAYING.

The writing was just downright beautiful. When it wasn't being as slow as caterpillar in a pile of mustard. Because, dude, this book was seriously slow. BUT ANYWAY. There was just so many perfectly poignant phrases and word imagery that just woooow, I loved the writing.

But did I mention IT'S SLOW?!? Like this is the reason it's losing the stars for me: it was near-boring at times. It's basically Charlie + her life is a mess + detailed account of her working at a diner. And I just???? I wish there'd been more art, more experiences, just more something because the 38493 diner scenes got downright tedious. Sure it's a character driven novel. And I LOVED the characters and thought they leapt off the page so incredibly. But I just need a bit more in books. Or at least talk to me about how to make a coffee because, dude, that'd be helpful for my life skills.

Erm, and the romance? Yeeeeah. #nope Charlie ends up falling for Riley, who is 27. Yes. 10 years older than her. I WAS NEVER OKAY WITH THIS. I don't think the book condones the relationship and I think it highlighted that it was unhealthy a lot of the time. But I just felt uncomfortable the whole time. But, I mean, AT THE SAME TIME...I understood why Charlie made a lot of these bad decisions. So. *sigh* It's complicated.

ALL IN ALL: it's a beautifully written, emotional book...I just wish it hadn't been so tediously slow. It really delves into the thought-process of someone who's been abused. And, like, IT'S DEPRESSING but also has uplifting moments. I think it's an important story to be told, I just...eh. It's not a favourite. I understood Charlie was stuck in bad places with bad decisions and I cared about her. But it was sooooo sloooooow and tedious at times.
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Reading Progress

October 17, 2016 – Started Reading
October 17, 2016 – Shelved
October 17, 2016 –
page 101
24.28% "This book is precious and HEART BREAKING."
October 17, 2016 –
page 260
62.5% "Predictions:\n(A) everything is going to end BADLY AND TERRIBLY;\n(B) someone will buy Charlie a puppy and she will get the love she finally deserves because fluffy puppies don't let you down;\nor (C) girl in tears (aka me)"
October 18, 2016 – Shelved as: 3-star
October 18, 2016 – Shelved as: contemporary
October 18, 2016 – Shelved as: mental-illness
October 18, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
October 18, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
October 18, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Arkon (new)

Arkon Annie We've been wondering if we should bother checking this book out and after seeing your thoughts on the pacing of this book we think we'll give it a miss.


message 2: by Charley (new)

Charley Robson So.... a mentally ill, lower-class, homeless teenager who has suffered horrendous abuse ends up in a relationship with someone ten years her senior (who, presumably, is also more financially and mentally stable). That power imabalance alone makes me genuinely sick to my stomach, and I haven't even read the book for context. Nope. Nope. Nope. NO ADULT should EVER consent to a relationship with a minor. And that's without taking into account the girl's circumstances.

My stomach is doing things it shouldn't at the very thought. Ugh.


C.G. Drews @Arkon: Like I still say it's a good book, but yeah, just not a lot was going on plot wise except for washing dishes at a diner. It's very character-strong. Which is okay for people who like that kind of story!

@Charley: All correct. xD Except for the part about the boyfriend being mentally stable. He's a drug/alcohol addict. So I think she's purely attracted to the part he's as messed up as she is. But like they're just using each other (only I think he was using her just for sex and she was using him to try and feel protected?) But yeah, it was just...messed up. And I do think the book acknowledged that to some degree, (and i'm guessing this situation is realistic??) but I don't enjoy reading it. >_<


message 4: by Charley (new)

Charley Robson Yeah, Cait, I feel you. It's realistic... but still super sketchy and grim TBH


C.G. Drews @Charley: Oh oh I agreed. The sketchiness is very high. :O


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

some ugh aspects, (27 and 17!! messed up!!) but this has to be ooonnee of my favorite of your reviews. why? NO IDEA! [gallavants into the blue]


C.G. Drews @Adrian: Why thank you.


message 8: by Nadhira (new)

Nadhira Satria Hi, I like your review
Would you recommend this book for someone who self harms and has depression? I've been going through a lot and I'm looking for a book that I can relate to.
Thanks :)


C.G. Drews @Giuseppina: Aw, I'm so glad you liked the review! And I think it's worth trying. Just be aware it might be triggering? And I've also heard the author is lovely and has written some of this book from personal experience, so maybe if you reach out to her that might be helpful for you too? All the best!!


message 10: by Nadhira (new)

Nadhira Satria You're welcome. I tried reading an excerpt but it's wayyyyy too triggering for me but thanks for the warning. If it wasn't for you I would've bought it already and waste my money on a book that might make me relapse. Thanks :)


Danie my thoughts exactly waa


message 12: by Riva (new) - added it

Riva  Slow+unsolicited romance.
Do I read or do I not read?
The struggle is real.


message 13: by CHLOE (new)

CHLOE BROWN what actually happened to Charlie's father? again, this book is a little bit difficult to absorb.


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