A dark and moving novel–reminiscent of “Thirteen Reasons Why–“about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl’s fatal overdose.There was something about Ellie…Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance–and kept watch.
Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are thirty-four clues she left behind. Thirty-four strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. Thirty-four secrets of a brief and painful life.
Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they confront the past, they will discover not only the darkest truths about themselves, but also what Ellie herself had been hiding all along….
I hadn’t heard much about 34 Pieces of You when it showed up in the mail. The first line in the the summary called it a dark and moving novel. I’m always in the mood for dark contemporaries and it’s been a long time since I’ve indulged. I was sucked into this book from the first page. It was a fast and very gripping read.
34 Pieces of You is told from alternating perspectives. There’s three main characters, Jess, Sarah, and Jake. All three of them have been greatly affected by Ellie’s death in very individual ways. These aren’t your sweet innocent teenagers. There’s a lot of bad in all their lives. There’s drugs, sex, and all the gritty stuff that’s sometimes sugarcoated in YA. These characters were very realistic and raw to me. They were easy to connect with even if, at times, they weren’t the most sympathetic.
The story is a tragic one. It’s heartbreaking that Ellie’s death has already happened when the novel begins, because you’re looking back at her life and learning the horrible things right along side the characters and none of it can possibly be changed. Carmen Rodrigues really captured the feeling of finality that comes with losing someone close to you.
If you’re like me and like dark, sad contemporaries, I highly recommend 34 Pieces of You. It’s a very fast read and even though it’s a sad book I didn’t find it to be a horribly heavy read.