Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser
Published on 8 March 2012
Published by Flux
Two families. Four teens.
A summer full of secrets.
Every summer, hidden away in a lakeside community in upstate New York, four teens leave behind their old identities…and escape from their everyday lives.
Yet back in Philadelphia during the school year, Alex cannot suppress his anger at his father (who killed himself), his mother (whom he blames for it), and the girls who give it up too easily. His younger brother, Kyle, is angry too—at his abusive brother, and at their mother who doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while trying to forget the nightmare that changed her life. But Julie, her younger sister, sees Katie only as everything she’s not. And their mother will never let Julie forget it.
Up at the lake, they can be anything, anyone. Free. But then Katie’s secret gets out, forcing each of them to face reality—before it tears them to pieces.
Pieces of Us was so much more than I ever expected. I think I was taken by surprise more than anything. From the description of the book we think okay, teens with troubles who escape over their summer vacation. What we don't know is that we will get a chance to experience all the troubles that plague these four teens. Let me just say, the troubles are not sugarcoated AT ALL. Some of it is quite disturbing and edgy. As you wait to hear me say something negative....it's not going to happen! I love edgy books that will face hard issues head on. Books that leave you reeling and wondering what the heck just happened! Ones that leave you shaking your head, sitting there wondering how you will follow it up with some bubblegum sticky sweet read. You just grab hold, take the ride and realize this is life! Terrible things can happen to teens today and this is how they might cope when presented with these situations and issues. You will not get a happily ever after with this book, but there is healing and there is growth.
I feel Pieces of Us is a diamond in the rough. A book that quietly entered the YA scene and still remains in the background but so deserves to have some exposure and kudos. 4STARS!