Title: Pieces of Us
Author: Margie Gelbwasser
Release Date: March 2012
Published By: Flux
Goodreads Rating: 3.67 stars
Review: Every summer, four teens are able to escape their daily lives and forget themselves by the lake. But back at home, Alex is angry at his dad, who killed himself, and his mom, who he blames for it. His younger brother Kyle is angry too - at Alex for being abusive and his mother for not caring. In New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while struggling to forget the nightmare that changed her life, but her sister Julia only sees her for what she's not. But when Katie's secret emerges, the four of them are torn apart in ways they couldn't predict.
All I can say about this book is wow. Just wow. I didn't expect PIECES OF US to pack the emotional punch it did, and boy, was I ever surprised. This novel hit me on an unexpected level, with its gritty and dark themes striking me so profoundly that there were places in the novel where all I could do was just stare at the pages. The story was raw and painful and absolutely beautiful in every single way.
The interesting thing about this novel was that I didn't actually like the characters that much. They each had their own difficult problems and serious personality flaws, and yet despite that, it was almost like it wasn't necessarily to like them in order to appreciate the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book without coming close to thoroughly enjoying the characters, and I have to say, I admire an author who can craft a story like that.
PIECES OF US ripped me to pieces and built me back up again in a thousand tiny little ways, and all I can do is try my hardest to recommend this to you. This book is gritty and dark and thoughtful and raw and honest, and every word strikes like a bullet and stays forever. I will say that this definitely isn't a book for everyone; a certain type of person will like it, and I'm sure there are some out there who dislike it, but all I can say is to just give it a try.