Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser

Pieces of Us
By: Margie Gelbwasser
Pub. Date: March 8, 2012
Publisher: Flux
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
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.

Warning! Do not read this book if you are looking for a feel-good story where everything comes together at the end. If that is what you want, then this book is not for you. This book is gritty. And realistic. And also sad.

Told in the perspective of four teenagers-two sisters and two brothers, Pieces of Us tells the story of the lives of these four lost souls. Katie is the perfect teenager-cheerleader, Miss Popular, beautiful, and has a boyfriend that everyone else envies. Her sister, Julie is a nobody compared to her sister. Her own mother loves Katie more and makes it clear everyday. On the other side there is Alex. Basically an all around jerk, but has always had a soft spot for Katie, and his younger brother Kyle, who tries to be a good person, even when his brother is making him do things he doesn't want to do.

Seriously, this book killed me. I felt for every single one of these characters. My main issue was with Alex though. While I know deep down he is a good person (when he was younger, he would take the beatings from his mom's boyfriends so his brother wouldn't have too), he isn't that person anymore. He is probably the biggest jerk I have seen and he didn't even redeem himself, which I was really hoping he would.

Pieces of Us is unbelievably realistic. These teenagers have teenage issues, some worse then others, but all sad. I wanted to hug every single one of them, and tell that one day things will be different and that they will be ok.

Despite the fact that this book didn't end on a completely happy note, there was still many touching moments that made you realize that some of these kids were actually going to be ok. The writing was raw and the plot was very interesting. I would definitely recommend Pieces of Us!   


  1. Recommended? totally going straight to my list. such a great review! x


  2. If I read contemp, I need it to be gritty, so this sounds like it woudl be a good one for me. Great review!

  3. Great review! almost done and its freaking real
    love the characters/ agree alex is jerk a lot of times


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