Everyone has something to hide, but some secrets cannot be hidden. Kathleen Glasgow’s debut novel, Girl in Pieces, revolves around the struggles of Charlie Davis, a self-mutilator and confused teenager whose life consists of an endless list of tragedies. From having a mother who is extremely distant and volatile to losing her only best friend, Charlie has lost her sense of worth and meaning. But things begin to change when Charlie is able to re-enter the real world after being confined to a mental institution that at times feels more like a prison. The outside world seems to be filled with countless opportunities to Charlie, but as she soon discovers, the world is just as horrid and unforgiving as ever before.
Girl in Pieces is a brutal yet hopeful tale of love, addiction, and the road to redemption and recovery. From page one, readers are sure to be hooked on Glasgow’s interesting structure and voice through her relatable main character, Charlie. I truly enjoyed this novel so much due to the intensity and the rapid plot twists throughout the novel. At many points while reading this book, I wasn’t exactly sure where the story was going, but Glasgow always delivered.
For those who enjoy thrillers and coming-of-age tales involving addiction, this is the perfect book for you. Similar to books like Recovery Road and Crank, Girl in Pieces explicitly describes many different issues that teens may have experienced for themselves, such as sexual abuse, parental neglect, drug addiction, and self-mutilation. All of these heavy topics are what make the book come to life for teens; Glasgow does not sugar coat any details for readers. Her frank and honest voice expresses her trust in readers and her hope that they can use Charlie’s horrific experiences as a learning experience, as well as a cautionary tale.
Girl in Pieces may be my favorite book of 2016. The author’s strong voice and life-changing messages are simply stunning in this novel, and it is one that will stay with me for a long time. Charlie is a fresh new voice in the young adult genre, and teens are sure to be able to sympathize and relate to the struggles and tragedies that permeate her life. I highly recommend this novel for teens who are looking to be inspired or to gain hope in seemingly dark situations. Pick up your copy of Girl in Pieces and follow Charlie as she falls in love, discovers herself, and learns to leave the past behind.