Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review of 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues

Simon Pulse
34 Pieces of You
by Carmen Rodrigues
4 Scribbles
To be released September 4, 2012
This novel reads like The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky meets Looking for Alaska by John Green. Told in the alternating voices of Jake, Sarah and Jessie, the aftermath of Ellie's drug overdose is explored. Is Ellie’s death an accident, or did she commit suicide? When Jessie discovers a box with 34 scraps of paper hidden under Ellie’s bed she hopes it may hold the secrets Ellie could not share, and help to reveal the reason for her death.

It becomes clear early on that Ellie has been sexually abused, and this mistreatment has permanently scarred her young psyche. Yet, Ellie is not the only character riddled with scars; through the lens of Ellie's death the reader witnesses a kaleidoscope of coming-of-age experiences that accurately reflect the confusing and volatile emotions teens often face. The author expertly explores the murky and edgy waters of teen sexuality, drugs, broken families and the nature of love in this fast-moving work. Readers will applaud this somber work's realistic characters. Those who have experienced crushing grief over early death will connect to the narrative, and those who haven't will understand this grief more fully.

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