Saturday, March 3, 2012

eARC Review: Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser

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, Kyle, is angry too—at his abusive brother, and at their mother who doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while trying to forget the nightmare that changed her life. But Julie, her younger sister, sees Katie only as everything she’s not. And their mother will never let Julie forget it.

Up at the lake, they can be anything, anyone. Free. But then Katie’s secret gets out, forcing each of them to face reality—before it tears them to pieces

Publication Date: March 8, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Source: Thanks to Flux for making this book available through Netgalley!

The title of this book is so fitting for what is contained within its pages.  It's all about the pieces.  The pieces coming together.  The pieces falling apart, getting broken.  The pieces of ourselves that we show the world and the ones we keep hidden. This is one that has lingered in my mind and will continue to for some time.  I thought it was all brilliant.  Especially the way the pieces all fall into place (please forgive me. I'll stop saying it :-).  And there is this shift, this moment, on the very last page that is just amazing.

And speaking of 'shifting', the characters seem to be in constant emotional movement. The growth, positive or negative, of Julie, Katie, Kyle and Alex throughout the book is phenomenally well-done.  And this may be one of the best novels for giving each one of those characters their own distinctive tone.

As I'm looking back at the synopsis of the book it tells you exactly what the book is about, but it feels like it doesn't say enough once you've finished it.  Do you know what I mean?  These characters are all deep and flawed and beautiful and horrible.  I'm still psycho-analyzing them all :)

I do have to mention that there is a ton of mature content as far as younger readers are concerned.  This doesn't bother me personally, but I know it's not for everybody.  If that is not a deterrent for you, then I highly recommend reading Pieces of Us!


Stephanie Perryman said...

It sounds really good! I might have to read this one after I'm done with the Mortal Instruments and Dilirium books. :)

Anonymous said...

I've heard such good things about this book. I suppose one fabulous thing would be that you're still thinking about the characters even after you've finished the book. That, to me, is the mark of a well written novel.

Jenny at Books to the Sky

Jackie's Little World said...

@Steph It's so has enough little glimmers of hope throughout that I can't say it's a 'downer'. Good regardless. Some of my favorite Classic books are total downers :P

@Jenny Yes, very well-written and still stuck in my head. I'm having a hard time getting into my next book now.

Jessi E. (The Elliott Review) said...

Oooh.. you made me really want to read this!! :)