TITLE: Girl in Pieces
AUTHOR: Kathleen Glasgow
RELEASE DATE: August 30, 2016
QUICK SUMMARY: Charlotte aka Charlie comes to grips with her life as she begins to heal from self-harm.
WARNING: The book does deal with self-harm and substance abuse.
Here’s a book that is brutally and unflinchingly honest whether you like it or not. Glasgow isn’t afraid to write it like it is. Her writing is beautiful despite all the darkness surrounding it. It’s the type of writing that says so little but says so much at the same time. It’s a story about mourning, coping, and healing and somehow finding hope within it all. Did I mention it’s heartbreakingly beautiful?
In one blurb, they compare it to Thirteen Reasons Why, but I would say it’s much better because of the way they portray mental illness. I think the way it’s written is very realistic, especially the process one goes through when someone is actively wanting to get better. There are ups and downs and it’s not easy. There are rules that are tough to follow, there is the shame that comes with it, and even allowing yourself to accept help. For Charlie it’s a constant up and down whirlwind of what’s right and wrong as she continues to heal. The portrayal of this topic is very well done.
Charlie’s story doesn’t start out in happy place and it was very tough to read at first, but as she starts taking strides to recovery I couldn’t put it down. I wanted – I needed to know what would become of her. Her journey is frustrating at times but weirdly hopeful too. All her progress almost makes up for all the frustration.
The characters believe me when I say they are the most imperfect and broken beings I’ve read about in a while. Everyone is trying to be normal in this world, when in reality they’re all struggling to be normal. There are very few, if any, that have their life together. There is one relationship that I do find problematic because it’s abusive. I was worried it would glamorize this type of relationship along with mental illness, but Glasgow avoids it. I’m not going to say how because… you know… spoilers.
And by the end of the story I found myself crying. It’s a bittersweet ending for a book so full of scarred people (metaphorically and not metaphorically). There is hope and that’s what counts in the end. Even though I was content with the ending, I still wanted more. I wanted to see the rest of her journey, but I understand a thousand page book would be too much.
One reviewer said that there was too much sadness in this book and too many problems besides the cutting. While I won’t disagree, I will say that in real life there is never just one problem. Sadly, problems don’t come in one neat little package, they come in twos and threes and become mountains that you have to sift through. I also think that for a book that deals with so much, it did a great job of spacing out its issues.
Overall, I do recommend this book to anyone who wants a deeper look into self-harm and mental illness. But, also to anyone who wants a story about people surviving the worst and finding hope at the end of the tunnel.
I received this ARC from Random House in exchange for an honest review.