Sunday, January 20, 2013

34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues Review

Title: 34 Pieces of You
Author: Carmen Rodrigues
Published: September 4th, 2012 by Simon Pulse
Book rating: 4 stars
Cover rating: 5 stars

A dark and moving novel 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....

A tragic story about how a young girls suicide impacted those around her and changed their lives forever. I'm not sure how to describe what I feel about this book, it was really depressing for me to read but it was still fantastic. My sister would check on me every once in awhile and point out how I looked like I was about to burst into tears. Sometimes those tears were happy tears but most of the time they were sad tears which is expected with a book about suicide and other tragic ugly things in this world. Carmen Rodrigues deserves a huge applause for her wonderful job of describing how Ellie's death changed Jake, Jessie, and Sarah's lives forever. I could feel their pain and picture everything I was reading with ease. This story is told differently but it's just as good. The pace of this novel was well written, flipping back and forth between before Ellie's death and after. This in my opinion was genius, if I had not seen the before's and the afters the story in general wouldn't have impacted me as much as it did because we wouldn't have really gotten to know Ellie or any of the other characters before they were hit with this tragic death.

I really enjoyed Jake, Ellie's older brother, as a character. Throughout the novel we see him go through a lot of things and hold Ellie's death on his shoulders. He blames himself even though it really isn't his fault. I felt so awful for him and wished I could have shown him it really wasn't his fault. We watch him long for Sarah, Ellie's best friend, from afar because for some reason he doesn't see how blatantly obvious it is that she loves him. Sarah and Jake's relationship was a glint of hope in this book and I really appreciated it.

Sarah was also oblivious to the fact that Jake loved her and I wanted to shove them in a room together so they could figure it out. Watching her deal with her best friends death while also trying to get herself out of the dark hole she dug for herself was heart breaking. I can't imagine trying to kill myself along with my friend and then living when she didn't. It would kill me and I can't imagine how Sarah felt. Seeing her vulnerable at times but growing stronger throughout this novel gave me hope that you can get through life even when you're at your lowest point.

Jess, Sarah's younger sister, is somehow tied to Ellie. I don't want to give any spoilers away but seeing her deal with Ellie's death and discover herself was heart breaking also. I wish Sarah and Jess would have leaned on each other more throughout this novel because I think it would have made it easier for them to deal with Ellie's death. Jess was so young and it was sad to see her innocence tainted with such tragedy but she was also very, very strong and I admired that.

Suicide is a very difficult topic to read about and I'm sure to write about. Carmen did a very good job depicting both sides of the story and I really appreciated her novel. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work and recommend you all read this book and enjoy it's awesomeness and embrace the truth of it.

Favorite Quotes

"He looks away, toward another family moving through the greenhouse--a father and teenage daughter, her hand clinging to his arm. The way she holds on to him makes me think about my dad, how he'd move heaven and earth if I needed him. And I think about Jake and Ellie's father, how he walked out on them when they were so young. And how in the end it doesn't matter if you have a great dad or a horrible dad, because the truth is, even with the best parents we all lose our way."

"I stand, pulling my jacket tightly across my shoulders, lifting the hood over my head. I hug my bag to my chest. I blink rapidly and look out tat the world just beyond: the brown, patchy grass. A rusted car. The world is still shaky, but no for long. By nightfall the streets will be blanketed in crisp white snow, and everything will look clean again. Everything will feel possible again."

Purchase this book on
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