Girl In Pieces
Genre: YA fiction
Buy it here
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow's debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.
I've owned this book for a few months now, and it's been sitting on my bookshelf until I was ready to read it. Before I get into this review, I want you to know that this book contains situations and topics that are very triggering for people, and I will be mentioning some of those in this review. This involves: rape, drug use, sexual abuse, physical abuse, self-harm, and mental illness.
“That's how hearts get broken, you know. When you believe in promises.”
Girl in Pieces follows Charlie, a broken girl who is in pieces. She's been through a lot in her seventeen years and ends up in a rehab facility so she can learn to deal with what's happened and heal in the most needed ways. This is a dark, twisted tale as Charlie goes through her dad dying, her mom mentally zoning out, and because of that, she ends up on the streets. She becomes a drug addict, and almost sold to a sex house, leading her to a life of self-harm. We as readers can't possibly think she'll be able to come back from all of that, yet along the way, it's difficult and a constant uphill battle, but she learns to overcome and become a strong women in the end.
I love how thought provoking this book is. You're immersed into the world of a girl who's gone through a lot and has had to deal with so many life altering instances. You learn about the troubles of living on the street, of being addicted to something that you can be in control of. It really adds to the story and made me feel a bit closer to understanding those with mental illness. The writing is extraordinary. Glasgow writes with utter abandonment and draws you in with this dark and hurtful tale. The pages are written like diary entries, which I'm okay with in different instances. I'm not totally for it in this book in particular, and I'll have more on that below. I love how strong she is. She's gone through so much and ends up to be such a brave, young soul and I applaud her. This story is personal, as I believe the author herself went through something that was the backbone to this story, so I appreciate her putting so much time and being into this world to make it real.
Like I stated above, I'm not too fond of the short, diary like entries for this book. It was hard to become connected with Charlie despite being in her mind. I felt for her, but with the short, choppy like structure, it made it hard to really feel for her and become attached. There are parts that are written
this and that annoyed me. If you read my review of We Were Liars, then you know my take on this topic. I don't enjoy it and it should only be used in certain times, just a personal preference, as I know many like that style of writing. But for me, again, it made it hard to connect.
This book is slow. I mean, really slow. It started off with a draggy feeling and I had hoped it was just because we're getting to know the character, and soon it would start to speed up. But no, it remained slow. In fact, it became even slower after Charlie left the facility. It took everything in me to continue reading and finish this book, as I don't like to DNF a book. There were scenes after she leaves, where she gets a job at a restaurant and it's just paragraphs of nothing but her cleaning after costumers, etc, and it drove me nuts. That wasn't needed and it took away the quality of the story.
Also, when Charlie finally leaves the facility, the people we got close to by reading about disappear. We grow attached to them, learn about them and why they're there, only for Charlie to completely forget about them. I would have liked a few scenes where she visits or calls even to check up on the girls she became close to.
There is a lot of topics in this. I like how books bring in such dark topics and create a story around them, as it's real and something many deal with. It's a hard topic to write about, and usually I'm okay with such books, but this one had too many topics. I'd prefer it to be one or two and the story is dealing with that alone, but this one brings in everything. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, drugs, human trafficking, self-harm, depression, anxiety, etc, and it almost took away from the growth of the character. Don't get me wrong, I know it's realistic for someone to deal with so many issues, but it almost became hard to keep up with. One minute we're talking about abuse and the next there's twenty more topics added. It made it hard to keep up.
This one is probably weird, and it could totally just be me, but I feel like this isn't YA. Before you exit out of this review, let me say: Charlie is 17, yes, but 98% of the characters we see are adults. Of course, teenagers deal with these problems, but the way it comes across, seems more New Adult or even just adult. There is also a lot of swearing, which okay, teens swear, but this was overly so and made this book scream something else other than YA.
This last part irks me to no end. After Charlie is released, she goes through a tough spot with having to find work, a place to stay, etc. She makes a lot of bad decisions, a few that made me want to throw my book down, but she always stuck to her guns and tried to be better. Now, the romance is something I think was a bad decision. She meets a guy with his own past. He's had many troubles with drugs and the like and is still dealing with them. Charlie feels, I don't know, familiar? with him and his past and they start a thing. I was worried for her. What if this guy makes her come back into that dark world of pain? Nothing bad happened,though. She stuck with her mind frame of being better, but I was worried. But the most outrageous, cringe-like part is the fact that this guy is 27. She's 17. In no way is that appropriate, and I hated it so much. I'm all for love despite any age, it's not my place to judge and if you're in love, than go ahead, but at least wait till she's 18, dude! It was just creepy and in other books that situation can be done quite well, but with this one, I felt uneasy.
Okay, here is my conclusion: I liked a few aspects of this story, mainly that it's so real and deals with very hard topics that most don't write about, and it's a personal story, which makes it harder to read but helps to understand the reality of it. Unfortunately, I feel like it could have been written better with everything Charlie deals with, I wish I was more connected to the character and her choices, also. I don't think I'd recommenced this to people who get triggered easy, as its what the book is all about, but if you want to give it a try, go ahead. It's just not my cup of tea.
-The Avid Reader-