Hello, everyone~ How are you?
Today we are reviewing the outstanding- Girl In Pieces by Katlheen Glasgow.
As if I haven’t plastered the title across this post enough. I’m so excited to share this new novel with you, and share my honest, and brutal thoughts with you.
As always, I will not hold anything back. But I won’t be cruel. However, I don’t think I actually need to say this for this post, because this novel was amazing.
I won’t say anything more, read on!
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young adult; Contemporary; Health > Mental Health. Mental Health > Mental Illness; Fiction
Rating: 4.15 / 5
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
This novel follows the main character, Charlie Davis, self-harms with glass shards where she finds herself in the hospital ward with like-wise women after she took it too far one day. This novel is written in an almost journal-like style, written in a day-by-day account of her life.
On the day of her release, she meets up with an old friend who allows her to stay with him temporarily while she gets back on her feet, where she eventually finds a job washing dishes.
Away from the hospital, Charlie now must not only fight her own personal demons and stay sober and clean, but she must keep a roof over her head, food in her belly and handle a new and complicated love interest.
At first, I thought this novel would very dark. With course themes of violence. About a girl who didn’t fit in and was depressed, so she self-harmed. But as I began to read my thoughts slowly shifted as Charlie’s dark past and trauma slowly leaked through the pages and lead me down her cavern of hurt, and pain.
But it didn’t give me too much at once. Which is what hooked me to this novel, because it was almost like reading a diary, it followed the life of Charlie, and she slowly fed us her thoughts and her past, while she took us on her journey of recovery and relapse, as she rebuilt her life.
I felt like at any minute Charlie was going to lose it, whether she would cave and find the glass that called out to her, begging to cut her delicate skin with. Or whether she would finally let go, and be free, she would make it or push through her trauma- not completely but just for a moment, to do whatever she was trying to do.
And this author, this brilliant author never let me rest, she had me gripping on the edge of my seat, but then placated, exhausted. I won’t spoil the ending,
“Everyone has that moment I think, the moment when something so momentous happens that it rips your very being into small pieces. And then you have to stop. For a long time, you gather your pieces. And it takes such a very long time, not to fit them back together, but to assemble them in a new way, not necessarily a better way. More, a way you can live with until you know for certain that this piece should go there, and that one there.”
“…the fucked-up part is once you start self-harming, you can never not be a creepy freak, because your whole body is now a scarred and charred battlefield and nobody likes that on a girl, nobody will love that, and so all of us, every one, is screwed, inside and out. Wash, rinse, fucking repeat.”
I cannot stress this enough, we need to bring more mental health books into the YA, and Adult genre. It needs to be read and discussed more because it is happening in real life. I felt as passionate about this novel as I did with ‘This is Where it End’. It is so hard to read, but it needs to be read.
I felt significant that at times Charlie needed to be rehabilitated back into the sanctuary of the hospital. She was too soon released from the hospital because of funding and wasn’t properly cared for by the state. Which is so brutal to read because I know so many individuals out there need the psychiatric intervention of a clinical hospital, but can’t because of state funding, or personal funding. So they sacrifice their own mental health- facing their demons day after day, all because the government won’t provide the necessities to their people.
Their people who now go to work with fake smiles plastered on their faces counting down the minutes before they can go home to drink- if they even make it to work. Or the individuals who sit in their rooms, or bathrooms, or any secluded place they can find to take the pain away. Pain, and hurt that can come from several different things, whether it’s physical, verbal, sexual or emotional mistreatment. Or even if the pain and hurt comes not from others but from the inside.
Sometimes they have pain and suffering for no reason, and the guilt manifests because they know they should be okay, but they’re not. And I feel like this author truly captures this.
The author of this novel, Kathleen Glasglow wants the readers of her novel to understand that individual’s who self-harm are not doing it for your attention, and are not necessarily suicidal. It is a coping mechanism, which Kathleen says-
“It means that you occupy a small space in the very real and very large canyon of people who suffer from depression or mental illness.”
She goes on to say to the readers of her novel who also self-harm,
“You are not alone. Charlie Davis’s story is the story of over two million young women in the United States. And those young women will grow up, like I did, bearing the truth of our past on our bodies.”
That is all for today, thank you all for reading, I do hope you all enjoyed! I have said some passionate words here, so I won’t say anything too much here. I would just like to say, if you have read this novel, or you have anything you’d like to say, comment down below. If that doens’t work, you can go to my Instagram or Twitter and comment there. For now, I’ll see you in my next post xx