REVIEW: Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a story about 2 brothers, and 2 sisters who have known each other their whole lives, but only see each other during the summer. During the summer they each vacation with their grandparents, and it’s only there they are allowed to become different people–or maybe their true selves.
Katie (Katya) and Julie (Yulya) are sisters living in New Jersey. Katie, a beautiful cheerleader with a hot jock boyfriend, is doted on by her mother, and Julie, who gets no attention at all hates her for it. But one night, something horrible happens to Katie, and she withdraws while her world crumbles around her.
Alex (Sasha) and Kyle (Kostya) are brothers living in Philadelphia with their stripper mother, who is never home. Alex is demeaning to women and uses them only for sex. Kyle is quiet but seethes with resentment at his mother, whom he blames for his father’s suicide, and his brother, who never can seem to leave him alone, and often encourages him to join in when he’s with a girl.
During the summer, Katie, Alex, Kyle, and Julie come together and easily slide back into their familiar roles, leaving behind the issues from home. But as things get more serious, they learn the truth never really can stay hidden–especially if you’re supposed to trust someone.
This is labeled as a YA book, but in my opinion it really shouldn’t be read by anyone under the age of probably 17. There is lots of sex, drinking, curse words, and abuse of all kinds.
I flew threw this book rather quickly once I sat down and really started to read it. The characters were all well done, and were all multi-dimensional. That does not mean that any of them were likable, however. The only one who slightly was is Kyle, but only because he wasn’t as terrible as the others and I had more pity for him than anything else.
The way events unfolded was compelling. I didn’t really have a hard time seeing them as believable at first, because I know horrible things like what happened to Katie happen to girls far too often then they should. But the way Katie handled things was a bit unrealistic. But I don’t know, every person has a different response to trauma, and I’m not a teenager anymore so I can’t say what I would have done in her same situation.
I was hoping the characters would grow a little bit more than they did. In fact, Alex and Julie seemed to regress, while Kyle stayed the same. I also wish the ending would have been a little more fulfilling. Don’t read this book if you are bothered by physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
I was able to review this book courtesy of Flux and NetGalley.