Pieces of Me by Carrigan Richards
A YA Novel published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (01/26/14)
“One thing I’ve learned is that those who won’t support you aren’t worth your time.” -Scott (Kindle Locations 428-429).
What if you were responsible for the death of a loved one? Corinne fell asleep for an instant, but that’s all it took for a chain of events to lead to her brother’s death. She should have been the one to die instead of him, or so she thinks. When those around her blame her for his death too, she internalizes the guilt even further. Headaches from the accident and panic attacks from her own remorse build up until she can no longer take the pain and the guilt. After being sent to Fairview Mental Institution, Cor meets others who are trying to heal or have tried to end it, just like her. She is not alone, even though she thinks those most important to her have abandoned her. It will take all her strength and willpower to work through her emotions and finally open up to her doctor about what happened.
Teen Angst, Emotional, Suicide, Mental Institution, Abusive Relationships, Love, Infatuation, Imperfections, Female Main Character, Death, Accidents, Guilt
I wanted to like this book. It has everything a teen wants to read: angst and struggle, a female main character, a romance, relationships between friends and lovers. I think this would be a great book for a teen to read if they can look past its faults and stick with the core theme and message presented.
Corinne was supposed to be likeable, even with her faults. The reader is supposed to, if not relate to her, but sympathize with her. I thought Richards was trying too hard to get me to sympathize with Corinne by making the other characters around her unrealistically put her down and make her life harder. In making Corinne a stronger and more dynamic character, Richards made her other characters stereotyped and one dimensional. Lisa was too mean. I’ve never thought a girl deserved to get punched in the face as much as Lisa. If she had been a guy someone would have done it. Even though she was given the motivation to behave the way she does, I thought her character was over the top while at the same time too shallow. Corinne’s mom was too unsympathetic to Cor, to the point beyond abuse. Both Corinne’s parents, actually, behaved unlike parents or people. They were robotic, only serving the role of parents, with the dad being the helpful parent and the mom being the conflicted unhelpful parent throughout the entire book until the resolution.
James. The love interest. He was the worst. There is no teenager alive like him. He was the most unrealistic character of them all. Instead of being perfect prince charming he was flat and annoying (i.e. too perfect). Prince Charming has to be at least flawed enough to imagine in real life, unlike perfect James who loved Cor from when he first set eyes on her and loved her with all his being immediately… Why does he even like her? We are shown an average girl of at least above average beauty who apparently has very few hobbies and talents and seems quite unremarkable, yet James falls instantly in love. Not just in love, either, he was puppy dog love obsessed in love.
The dialogue was idealistic for teenagers. They spoke quite well and communicated very, very well for being conflicted and emotional and young. A teen reader may not notice this, but I thought it was unusual for characters to be so well-spoken in the midst of such emotionally charged events.
The second half also become quite repetitive and the author pushed her point over and over again before finally bursting through the climax and on to the resolution.
Richards handled the ending very well. She gave us almost all the resolution that was needed. The only resolutions I wanted more of were those with Corinne’s mom and Lisa and Will (albeit a minor character). Even though Corinne resolved her conflicts with Lisa, I felt that Lisa’s conflict was still unresolved and perhaps a book two would take over Lisa’s story?
Overall, despite the flaws of the book, I thought it was interesting to read and worth the time of any conflicted teenager as I thought it was emotionally authentic, showing how Corinne felt and what she was going through in a way anyone in a similar emotional state could relate to.
This novel was published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform January 26, 2014 and is available on amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 4.00
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