Kelly's Reviews > Pieces of Us

Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser
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's review
Feb 26, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-fiction, read-in-2012
Read from February 26 to 27, 2012

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 that's very frank with sex and how it is a tool of power. And there is a lot of power wielding here.

There are some pretty big writing issues for me, including weak pacing, passage of time problems, distracting tense changes (especially with Kyle, though arguably he talks to himself in second person for a reason), and it took a long time to hear four distinct voices in the characters. But the story and the goal of the story were so successful and so painful and so powerful that the mechanics are worth overlooking.

Full review here:
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Reading Progress

02/26/2012 page 55
16.0% "woah"
02/26/2012 page 105
31.0% "This is making me uncomfortable (I can't stop reading it either)" 2 comments
02/26/2012 page 215
64.0% "sex as a power game. there are problems with keeping characters straight (their voices all kinda sound the same) and there are problems with passage of time, but the story? the nature of these characters? this is a mean book in a good way."
02/27/2012 page 255
76.0% "Most UNCOMFORTABLE I've felt reading a book in a long time. I want to hate these characters but I cannot."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Trish (new)

Trish Doller Definitely can't wait to talk about this one with you.

Kelly The promise of unlikeable characters is exciting to me.

message 3: by Trish (new)

Trish Doller I can't say that I ever cared about the characters, but I still found them compelling and fascinating enough to want to keep reading.

message 4: by Kelly (last edited Feb 27, 2012 06:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kelly Trish wrote: "I can't say that I ever cared about the characters, but I still found them compelling and fascinating enough to want to keep reading."

hah. I cared! I kept hoping they'd catch some kind of break, and I think my heart really snapped when (view spoiler).

I think because it was so horrific I cared. Maybe it makes me a softie ;)

But what a hell of a character study of all of them. And I wondered for a long time about (view spoiler). The more I think about this book, the smarter I think it is. Also, the more my stomach turns a bit!

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