Girl in Pieces

Girl in Pieces

Book - 2016
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As she struggles to recover and survive, seventeen-year-old homeless Charlotte "Charlie" Davis cuts herself to dull the pain of abandonment and abuse.
Publisher: New York :, Delacorte Press,, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781101934715
Characteristics: 406 pages ; 22 cm

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MissHelt
Feb 19, 2018

This book was a hard read emotionally. While I do not have personal experience with cutting, being homeless, or through violence, this book gave me a raw insight of how hard day to day life is and the struggles some people go through. It took me longer to finish this book, because of how emotionally toiling it was for me. Overall, I think this is a great book to read and is beneficial for people to read, so they can understand other peoples struggles or know they are not alone in their own personal battles.

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BeePeeker
Jan 04, 2018

I am reading all the nominees for the 2017 Amelia Walden Award as I work with young adults and want to see what books are being touted.

To begin, I appreciate Kathleen Glasgow’s courage to tell her story, and that she wants to let girls know that they are not alone in the world. That said, I found “Girl in Pieces” to read more as a detailed How-To manual for Self-Harm, rather than as a cautionary tale.

We first meet Charlie, bandaged and mute, in a private clinic where she landed (due to a loophole) after attempting suicide. After she is discharged/booted out, against her wishes, we are in for a wild ride as Charlie takes the bus to Arizona for a fresh start.

Glasgow’s weirdly romantic fetishizing of the “Tender Kit” were disturbing: the softness of the gauze, the color and thickness of the glass, the coolness of the ointments, the satisfying heft of the think chunks wrapped lovingly away for later; along with the fact that you'll need to apply extra force to push thick glass into your skin and how deep you'll need to go, and the release that comes after the pain. It is SO creepy.

I had hopes for Charlie, that she would accept Ariel’s offer of art lessons and that she would follow her instincts and trust Julie and Linus; instead, she goes down the slippery slope with Riley, running drugs, drinking, and glorifying having a sex/statutory rape relationship with a meth addict. Really? Reluctantly, I kept reading as I was committed to see how this might resolve.

The glimmers of hope come too late in the book to feel believable or to offer solace (to the reader): after Charlie’s second suicide attempt she is rescued/abducted by two co-workers and taken to their kindly grandfather’s artist haven in New Mexico to recover. (Why not just have her die, and go to heaven where she can meet up with Ellis and do art? Oh, that IS what happens…)

Ultimately, “Girl in Pieces” falls short in that it offers no hope for teens that are struggling with anxiety or depression.

Glasgow’s story would be more powerful as a memoir, and for adults, without the fiction or romanticizing. Glasgow can write, but I found her message for teens worrisome.

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Murray_C
Mar 15, 2017

Utterly real, and utterly relatable, "Girl in Pieces" is a beautiful and devastating novel. Told in three parts, the story of Charlie will break your heart even as you continue to turn the pages, because you won't be able to walk away from this girl who is so sad and tragic but continues to tear herself apart. A must read for teens and adults alike.

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Posey_MayLove
Jan 04, 2017

I haven't really read a book like this before. I actually really enjoyed it, besides the tears. I can relate to Charlie the main character since I suffer from depression. This book has described the hardships of getting over lost and finding yourself.

a
alyssa456
Oct 31, 2016

I had high hopes for this book. It had a eye-catching cover and it generally seemed interesting.

For most of the book, I was not a fan of Charlotte's character. At first I liked her, but as I continued reading, she seemed like a "Special Snowflake."

I'm surprised with all the positive reviews but I guess this wasn't my kind of book. Overall, it was an okay book but I wasn't satisfied with how it was written and I did not like the characters.

t
trulyjennifer
Sep 22, 2016

My Rating: 5/5

Note: For some, this book may be considered a trigger. “Girl in Pieces” is a graphic description of self mutilation, loss, and pain. The narrative is told from the POV of the victim. I highly recommend this new book, but please be advised that it may not be for everyone. It is not an easy read, emotionally.

Summary: I usually write my own summaries for the books I blog about, but Amazon’s description for this new novel could not be better…

“Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.” (Borrowed from Amazon)

My Thoughts: Wow! This book is brilliant! Kathleen Glasgow was able to reach into the depths of my heart and soul with her accurate descriptions of pain and loss. The poignant, raw emotional pain in this novel left me contemplative, well after the last page was read. The narrative, told from first person POV, is both captivating and emotive. I found this book to be a “page-burner”, keeping me up well past midnight.

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msp_pier
Sep 04, 2016

17 year old Charlotte has had a rough couple of years. she's been living on the streets, has lost her best friend, and she finds herself living in a home for girls who are "cutters."

this book is very heavy, about addiction, and self-harm, self-hatred.

it's depressing.

but i loved it. it was raw and real and you can't help but root for Charlotte to make it.

Age

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m
MissHelt
Feb 19, 2018

MissHelt thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

p
Posey_MayLove
Jan 04, 2017

Posey_MayLove thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

a
alyssa456
Oct 31, 2016

alyssa456 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

m
morningDew04
Sep 28, 2016

morningDew04 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Notices

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alyssa456
Oct 31, 2016

Sexual Content: Characters will have sex with each other (not in full detail)

a
alyssa456
Oct 31, 2016

Violence: There are depictions of violence in this novel.

a
alyssa456
Oct 31, 2016

Coarse Language: The main character has a foul mouth.

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trulyjennifer
Sep 22, 2016

“Because when everything is said and done, Charlotte, the world runs on kindness. It simply has to, or we’d never be able to bear ourselves.”

“Everyone has that moment, I think, the moment when something so…momentous happens that it rips your very being into small pieces. And then you have to stop. For a long time, you gather your pieces. And it takes such a very long time, not to fit them back together, but to assemble them in a new way, not necessarily a better way. More, a way you can live with until you know for certain that this piece should go there, and that one there.“

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