Today, I'm bringing you an extra special post, reader, about a very special book I couldn't wait till the end of the week to share. From the second I read the title Girl in Pieces I knew that I had to read this book. I didn't care what it was about or how it went along; the title felt like a promise that the story would be true and honest and real. Unfiltered. And Kathleen Glasgow delivered on the promise more than I could have fathomed simply because I am not sure I've ever read a book that made me feel so intensely (and trust me, I've read a lot of books). So without further ado:
Overview: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow is the story of Charlie Davis, a girl who has faced one horrible situation after another. She has lived with her abusive mother, in horrible homes, and on the streets from the beginning until she winds up the mental ward of the hospital where she hopes she will get to stay. It's food, shelter, a home. But of course, being forced to leave when the money to pay for her time there runs out, the rest of her life begins. Glasgow paints a beautiful story from tragic events from Charlie's story and her path to heal and accept her deep wounds. Overall: 5
Characters: 5 Charlie Davis, our narrator, exceeds any expectations that I normally set for a character that speaking about her, and the rest of this book nearly leaves me at a loss for words. Charlie has been beaten down by the world over and over again. She never gets a fair start at life and, as a result, gets stuck in a vicious cycle dealing with life on the street and the realities of that. And so she turns to cutting. She wants to cut out her problems. I could say that Charlie's character had unparalleled depth for a character, but that wouldn't even do her justice.
This is true for the other characters as well. Rylie West, the twenty-seven year old bad boy musician who is stuck in the constant downward spiral of his own, unable to stop his falling or sucking others down with him. Blue from her time in the hospital who fights plenty of her own demons and finds an unlikely companion in Charlie, and Julie and Linus as well. Every character has a past, a set of challenges, and a unique way to overcome them. Extremely unique.
Plot: 5 We see Charlie move from a hospital to life in the real world in a city she has never been to. She has no money and needs an apartment in the job. She meets a boy that everyone knows is only a spiral of trouble, but maybe they can fix each other? Can she break the cycle in the end? Will someone give her a chance, or will she beat the odds and pull herself out on her own? Charlie Davis's story is an amazing piece of art to watch unfold.
Writing: 5 Is there a higher number on a 1-5 scale? I need one to sufficiently describe the amazing power of Kathleen Glasgow's writing. She has an indescribable way of making the reader feel everything, every word, every emotion. It was the first book that made me physically cringe with pain in the harsh, injuring moments, but it also filled me with hope when she triumphed. The stunning way she infuses a lyrical poetry in her writing in such an unassuming way is just unbelievable. From a techinical standpoint, her book, divided into three sections with mini chapter scenes ranging on average from three to five pages with many shorter and a few longer pieces kept me completely engaged. The pacing she set kept me reading, and the short chapters following the lengthier ones seemed to reenergize and inspire me to continue along faster. Lastly, the thing that sticks with you most prominently is just how honest Glasgow is, and how authentic each and every word printed on the page is. I am left in awe of this.
Extra Note: I met Kathleen Glasgow extremely briefly at Teen Book Con and had the privilege of having her sign my copy of the book. I am so happy that I did. She signed every book with "You Matter" which I think is such a beautiful and important message to share. It not only encompasses the theme of the novel, but is just so important to remind people of continually. I found this very touching, and, so, if you see this, thank you so much. I hope that one day I can write such a beautiful and touching story in the same lyrical and sheerly honest way that you have shared and touch people's lives in the way that you have with so many readers.