TITLE: Pieces of You
AUTHOR: Eileen Merriman
TRIGGER WARNING: self harm, accidental death/possible suicide, minor car crash, rape.
WHERE DID I RECEIVE THIS?: Penguin NZ sent this to me in exchange for an honest review!
FAVORITE QUOTE: “The truth is, I don’t really know who I want to be. I felt like one of those books I’d found sitting on the table in the library — a damaged item”
Wise, tough, heart-breaking, funny, this compulsive love story is about facing your demons. Fifteen-year-old Rebecca McQuilten moves with her parents to a new city. Lonely but trying to fit in, she goes to a party, but that’s when things really fall apart. I couldn’t tell anyone what had happened. Especially since I was the new girl in town. Who would want to believe me? Things look up when she meets gregarious sixteen-year-old Cory Marshall. ‘You’re funny, Becs,’ Cory said. ‘You have no idea,’ I said, and clearly he didn’t, but I was smiling anyway. And after that, he was all I could think about. Cory helps Rebecca believe in herself and piece her life back together; but that’s before he shatters it all over again …
I’m going to start off by saying this wasn’t the book for me, and if I wasn’t sent it as a review copy, I would’ve DNF’ed it and that’s simply because I didn’t know about the triggers that were in this book and they’re truthfully things I’m not comfortable reading about. However, while these subjects weren’t handled perfectly, they we’re handled better than in some books I’ve read.
Pieces of you follows two teenagers as Rebecca moves to Auckland and meets, and falls in love with her neighbor, Cory. It takes time for her to get over being raped and it creates a barrier between Rebecca and Cory as her rapist, Andy, is in the same friend group as Cory. This story follows them both dealing with mental health issues and eventually, Rebecca get’s help, whereas Cory does not.
I have to admit overall this book was okay, the writing was nice and there was a wide variety of characters but nothing really gripped me in this story. I found myself enjoying the characters of Rebecca, Ben and Winston the most. Perhaps for their humor or the fact that they just felt real, they felt like people you would know in your neighborhood.
While I didn’t enjoy some aspects of the book, there was one scene that stood out to me and that was when Rebecca finally stood up to Andy, and learnt that all along, he had been afraid of her telling everyone what he had done, and with that comes her freeness as she stops being terrified of him and what he did to her. I think that scene was very important and dealt with well in that shows everyone around her murmuring about how he could do such a thing, and her close friend who once liked Andy, supports her whole heartedly. It shows how we SHOULD react when someone says they’ve been raped.
My only real issue with this book was how no medications were offered to Rebecca, and how there wasn’t any positive light on her counselling as there’s so much negative stigma to going on meds or seeing a Councillor in your youth. I personally believe that to encourage young people to seek out Councillors, or to be okay with counselling, we should show it working for some people, to encourage them to try it, but I WAS very glad to see a councilor included and parents who cared and did the right things to look after their daughter, both of those aspects made me very happy.
I personally think this book is more suited to people who aren’t currently dealing with any mental illnesses and people who love contemporaries, even those with a semi sad ending.
Pieces of you is out on the 29th of this month!
Until next time,