Friday, 16 June 2017

Pieces of You by Eileen Merriman :: a sobering piece of kiwi fiction

34660764Publisher: Penguin NZ
Release Date: May 29th 2017
Source: From the Publisher!
Purchase: Mighty Ape / Paperplus

Wise, tough, heart-breaking, funny, this compulsive love story is about facing your demons.

Fifteen-year-old Rebecca McQuilten moves with her parents to a new city. Lonely but trying to fit in, she goes to a party, but that’s when things really fall apart.

I couldn’t tell anyone what had happened. Especially since I was the new girl in town. Who would want to believe me?
Things look up when she meets gregarious sixteen-year-old Cory Marshall.
‘You’re funny, Becs,’ Cory said.
‘You have no idea,’ I said, and clearly he didn’t, but I was smiling anyway.
And after that, he was all I could think about.

Cory helps Rebecca believe in herself and piece her life back together; but that’s before he shatters it all over again . . .

Firstly, what an absolutely GORGEOUS box of goodies that accompanied my review copy of PIECES OF YOU! I wasn't expecting either the book or the beautiful box and it made my week when it all arrived on my doorstep.

I also had too much fun taking what I imagined at the time, were artsy bookstagram shots, but really when I look at them now are jumbled photos of everything thrown together enthusiastically on my duvet so I could show EVERYTHING that was in the box. Yes, I failed and I obviously don't have any of the talent that the people who so thoughtfully put the box together did, BUT HEY, JUST LOOK AT ALL THE CUTE STUFF! (And major props to the epically talented peeps that put everything all together!)

But on to the review! Firstly, it made my day when I realized HEY THIS IS A BOOK WRITTEN BY A KIWI AUTHOR! I unfortunately read very little NZ fiction so it was an utter delight to read a book that described places that I'd actually BEEN too and was familiar with! This was an excellent reminder to read more books written by NZ authors.So to be honest, as soon as I found that this book was written by an NZ author, my excitement for the book upped even more. And maybe because I suddenly had high expectations, that's why I struggled so much with this book. I can totally understand why so many people adored it, but I'm just not one of them.

Probably my main reason for finding this book so hard to read, was Rebecca the main character.
Another thing that really angered me was the amount of girl-on-girl hate. The "mean" girls are complete stereotypes and are only in the books to be mean to Rebecca, be called sluts by Rebecca and her friends FOR NO REASON JUST BECAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS THE MEAN GIRLS "ARE SLUTS".

I just felt they were used as examples of how bad the mean girls were - and how dare they be sexual and/or want to be sexual! - next to Rebecca who is the most perfect girl ever, and is deifntely not a slut. Considering this book also dealt with rape, I was really disappointed how girls that were even slightly promiscuous girls in here, were portrayed next to the ones who weren't. I wanted this book to do better in that regard and it didn't.

I will give this book major points for taking - what I thought - a brave and thoughtful stand on suicide. Suicide is a topic that definitely needs to be spoken about more and I'm glad this book covered that.I found the self-harm a bit iffy and didn't find how Rebecca's parents reacted at all believable. But again, major points for featuring self-harm, I just cannot say if it was portrayed correctly or not, but I'm sure others would be able to connect over it.

Overall, sober, much needed discussion of suicide and self-harm, something that YA will never not have room for as well as being set in NZ, something that I will never get tired of reading of! Pity about the girl hate though.

::Thank you PENGUIN NZ for the review copy and box of goodness!::


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