You can spot the girls who have it easy.
And then there is me.
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 not to care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
This book was beyond powerful. I really enjoy books that talk about powerful and real topics like this. Topics like self-harm, addiction, and mental illness are ones that need to be more widely talked about. While this story is entirely fiction, the events that occur within its pages that are things that happen in the real world all too often. I’m someone that has firsthand experience with addiction because I am an alcoholic. I’ve been to rock bottom and lived there. I think that gives me a different perspective when reading books like this one. I think maybe that gives me a better view of what this world is really like. Because of this, I can say that this story was very realistic. This is something I appreciate about books of this subject matter. It’s not just some story. It’s real life. It’s hard and dirty and sometimes horrible, but it’s real. The other side of this was the predictability of the story. I could see most of the plot coming from a mile away. I don’t know if this is because I’ve been in part of this world or because of something else, but the direction of the story was super obvious to me.
Charlie, our main character, is a girl who you want to root for. She’s a likable girl that the world seems set on beating down with one awful thing after another. She seems to be let down by everyone in her life again and again. Those that are supposed to be there to care for her continually prove that they’re not up for the task. Charlie seems like she wants better for herself. She knows she can do better and be better, but she doesn’t always make the best decisions to support that. Including the friends that she makes.
Mikey is one of them. He seems to want to be able to help Charlie and rescue her until he realizes her feelings for him. I loved but also hated Mikey. Read the book and you’ll understand why. He’s got all of these opinions about Charlie’s life and what she should be doing, who she should or shouldn’t be friends with, but he’s not actually there to support her because his job requires him to leave on music tours. I think he has good intentions and poor execution.
Riley, oh Riley. I couldn’t help but love him even though it’s obvious that he’s pretty much trash. He’s everything that Charlie doesn’t need to complicate her life any further but down the rabbit hole she goes.
There are a few others that Charlie meets that I don’t want to mention specifically as to not spoil anything. But there are quite a few good eggs in this story that pick Charlie up when she’s drowning at rock bottom. The world needs more people like these characters. The ones that look out for the broken and the beaten down, people that throw kindness around like confetti. These characters made the story just that much better.
The ending was excellent. I really enjoyed the realistic ending. It was a mostly happy ending, but there were lessons in it. It was open-ended but doesn’t leave you hanging. Charlie leaves us on a good note, that she’s taking the right steps (finally) to make a better life for herself. Other characters (hint: Riley) also work on getting their lives together. It’s not a ‘happily ever after’ but the characters are going after their own fresh starts.
Girl in Pieces was written in an interesting way. It’s almost as if each chapter was a journal entry of Charlie’s. It’s written in first person point of view following Charlie after a suicide attempt. There are times when it gets a little confusing because it’s written almost as if we’re reading Charlie’s stream of thoughts, but I think that just made the story better and more authentic. I really enjoyed the formatting of the story.
I loved this book. It was real and powerful and thought-provoking. It’s filled with characters that you will love and hate and that will make you laugh and scream. I couldn’t put this book down. I finished reading it in less than a day. I’d recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading about these difficult subjects, but forewarn anyone that struggles with similar issues because this book does not hide anything.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.
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