Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rodrigues, Carmen. 34 PIECES OF YOU by Carmen Rodrigues. New York: Simon Pulse (Simon and Schuster), 2012. ISBN 978-1-4424-3906-1.; hb., Young Adult.

Ellie, a troubled teen dies from "an accident," a drug overdose. Her older brother and her two best friends come to terms with the loss of a vibrant part of their lives. Ellie is a difficult friend. She is volatile and talented. At times she is loving and at other times, cruel. She is a cutter.  She is also a victim of abuse. Those around her observe her behavior knowing something is wrong but all are part of the same dysfunctional relationship circle.  The characters speak with brutal honesty as they recall events before and after the accident. Guilty secrets emerge slowly.  It is after the death, when 34 torn slips of paper are discovered amongst Ellie's possessions, that answers are truly forthcoming. On these slips are written clues about her life experiences and relationships. Nobody comes out nscathed but in the end there is healing. Recommended for teens of a certain maturity level.
Susie Rohrbough, Accordionist and Librarian at large

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