Saturday, November 3, 2012

34 Pieces of You

Author: Carmen Rodrigues
Goodreads Rating: 3.88
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Pages: 334
Reviewed by: Nicole
A dark and moving novel—reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why—about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl’s fatal overdose.
There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.
Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.
Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along...

I got this book from BEA 2012, and there was a cute story behind it. I was at the Simon & Schuster booth, and I asked if they had the book at the booth and the gentleman there said "No, but the author is right there!" And I turned around and there Carmen was! She was super sweet and amazing, and so I was glad that I got her book the next day.

This book was so wonderful for a few reasons, and one of those was because I could relate. I had a friend in high school who was destructive, for a variety of personal reasons, and had I not continued that friendship. So when I started to read this book about this girl, it was hard not to see the parallels. 

Ellie was this dark, devious character, and her actions are only highlighted by flashbacks to cutting as a middle schooler and an incident with Sarah, her best friend, when they first met. She was so manipulative it was hard not to want to yell that at the page. But at the same time, it wasn't her fault that she was so damaged. Part of me wanted to hit her for being so awful, the other part wanted to protect her from what she was headed towards.

I loved how the 34 strips of paper were introduced in this book, slowly adding to this mystery surrounding Ellie. Although we never know who all of the papers are about, you can sort of gage who or what she was referring to depending on what the following anecdotes were about. I also loved that the book flip flopped between before and after.

I loved how each of the characters grieved in their own way even if you didn't know why they were grieving until later in the book. In a way it made what they were feeling more real because you learned with them why each of them blamed themselves and how everything impacted to create the events leading up to Ellie's death.

This book was well written and a quick read, that would take anyone about a day with the time to really sit and read through it. I can see why the blurb states that it is reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why. It was a really interesting look at life and the impact everyone doesn't even realize that they have on another person.

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