34 Pieces of You
by Carmen Rodrigues
Published: September 4th 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Through Pulse It
A dark and moving novel — reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why — 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....
*MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS*
Remember my reaction to Thirteen Reasons Why? (No? Read here!) Overall, I wasn't very pleased with it, so when another book is compared to that, I feel pretty hesitant. Okay, nearly didn't pick up this book. But man, am I glad I did! The bad memory of TRW is nearly erased from my memory, cause this was nothing like it. This ended up being so emotional read, and I do admit I cried, a lot.
Ellie is a charismatic girl, who everyone feel drawned to. But like with so many other charismatic people, she has something dark inside her. Like there's a black cloud hanging above her head. She never trusts people enough to really give them anything about herself. The closest person for her is her big brother, Jake, who knows some of her secrets. But then he has to move away for school, and she's.. not taking it so well. And then..
Ellie's dead. Her friends and family are left behind, wondering what happened, everyone blaming themselves. And everyone has secrets, secrets that involve Ellie and mostly make them blame themselves even more. Through out the book we'll get to see what life is like after Ellie is gone, but also get to see glimpses of life with Ellie.
What I really loved in this book was the emotions. They were real, and like I've said many times before, I usually fell in love with that kind of books. They're real, in all the ugliness and beauty of life.
Characters were also that, both beautiful and ugly, sometimes kind, sometimes awful to each other, but that's just life. So the raw emotions were definitely the strong point in this book.
And of course, where there's emotions, there's relationships. Every person had their own kind of relationship with Ellie, but my favorite was with Jess. It was so beautiful, innocent, real, what ever the word you want to use. It was also the most heartbreaking part of the book, and I cried nearly in every scene they had together. And I ended up heart broken myself because of them, because what happened to them was just awful.
There wasn't that many things I didn't like, but I did have sometimes little trouble with following all the characters, since there was several POV's AND we jumped back and forth in time. After few chapters I did get the hang of it, but usually I strougle with so many changes.
I was also a little disappointed when there wasn't any "let's-gather-and-reveal-all-of-our-secrets!"- moments in the end. I'm kind of a fan of those kind of scenes, so I felt a little empty in the end, since there was still so many secrets left uncovered.
But, this was believable story about broken people and how they deal with the lost of their loved one. It was heartbreaking and painful, but I'm so glad I didn't miss it, since it was all worth it.