Release date: September 4, 2012
How I got it: For review from publisher
Ellie always had a way of drawing people in to her dark, dangerous world. Especially her best friend Sarah. And one night, it got a little too dangerous. Sarah survived. Ellie didn't.
Ellie's brother, Jake, is racked with guilt. Sarah is full of confusion. And Sarah's sister Jess, well...she's feeling a lot of things.
Now, each of them must come together to put the 34 scraps of paper they found shoved under Ellie's bed and their memories of her together to answer the questions they're left with. Who was Ellie? What made her so alarmingly broken? Was her overdose intentional?
34 Pieces of You was a dark, engaging story surrounding a girl with a tricky past and other characters with a confusing present. The secrets surrounding everyone made this an un-put-downable book as you race to know more about each of them.
I got to know Ellie with stories told from Jake, Sarah, and Jess. Along the way you pick up bits and pieces of each of their personalities as well, but mainly the story focuses on Ellie. I especially connected with Jess, and her story-line was by far my favorite too. It doesn't help that Sarah and Jake's circumstances made it very hard to see them as actual people that I could converse with.
I was shocked that I was as interested in Ellie and her story as much as the characters. Normally I'm not quite as into a character when they're going down a path of self-destruction fueled by cigarettes and drugs--but in this case it felt realistic and drew me in. So, props to Rodrigues. Not only for that, but for her writing style that's poetic, powerful, and surprisingly easy to read too.
I really liked 34 Pieces of You in the end. Despite a lack of connection with some of the characters (that I believe was intentional) this book proved to be a fast and engaging read. I'd recommend it to fans of Ellen Hopkins and other dark contemporary authors.
Plot: Kept me interested.
Characters: The characters were hard to love but I keep thinking about them.
Writing: Very good.
Ending: I kind of wanted more closure.
Mature content: Use of drugs, alcohol, self-harm, swearing, and mentions of rape.
Ummm there is a book in my hand. Excuse you sir.
34 Pieces of You isn't a new favorite of mine, but it was a good book. Pick it up! It flies by.