Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book Review: All the Broken Pieces

All the Broken Pieces
Published By: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date:  December 11, 2012
Page Count: 305 pages
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by the Publisher
  Audience:  Young Adult - Contemporary

All the Broken Pieces was a really pleasant surprise for me!  After reading some stories recently where there were definitely things that would niggle at me, I can honestly say that All the Broken Pieces was a breath of fresh air with virtually flawless writing and an interesting story-line that literally kept me glued to the pages.  I also wasn't sure if this was going to be a paranormal-type story or a contemporary one...I'd definitely go with the contemporary side as I've heard of some cases of truth to what the main character in this story experienced.

This story follows the picking up of 'all the broken pieces' of Olivia Stein's life as she slowly tries to fit them back together after learning she was in a very serious car wreck that very nearly took her life but left her without any memories prior to that fateful night.  As the story unfolds, Liv begins to have very vivid dreams that leave her feeling anxious, disturbed and with a nagging feeling that this is all very familiar.  Frustrated with her parents for not divulging all the details of her life prior to the accident, she's left to figure things out on her own...that is, until she befriends Spencer...the cute, loner guy with glasses...who originally misjudged Liv when they first met.

When a story is told in the third person, I usually find it a bit more challenging to be empathic towards the protagonist.  But I have to say that Olivia was easy to side with and root for!  I felt her frustrations with her parents, and Spencer at times, right along with her.  Her feelings of embarrassment by the physical evidence left by the accident were understandable because when you're a teen, it's hard enough to fit in, let alone have to deal with scars, blacking out, muscle spasms and just having no memories to ground you.  She did her best to overcome her insecurities, and for the most part, she succeeded. 

But she didn't have to hide them from Spencer.  I 'heart' Spencer.  At first, he came across as quite a jerk.  He made up his mind a bit too early about Liv and was proven wrong.  Their friendship evolved at a believable pace and I fell for him right along with Liv.  He had his own issues as well which served as a major wall that stood between them and from taking their relationship from friendship to something much more...and let me tell you, the tension was equally frustrating as it was delicious. 

As both Spencer and Liv work through their own problems together...it just seemed so perfectly natural that they would probably become a great team.  Their banter was playful, flirty and sweet all at the same time.  I loved it!

Liv had a couple of allies besides Spencer whom I quite enjoyed as side characters...Keira and Clay.  Neither were perfect and I had my doubts that I would like them as much as I did...but I did.  Even the 'villain' in the story was well-written enough to come to some sort of understanding about her and be satisfied with how it all turned out for everyone. 

As much as Liv's parents chose to leave her in the dark, they were still very loving parents despite the mother being quite over-protective (understandably so).  Her father was usually the voice of reason.  But another thing I loved was that they somewhat reluctantly loosened the strings because they trusted her and knew Liv, like any teenager, might likely rebel if they didn't give her some normalcy.  Both her parents were prominent physicians back in their old hometown.

While the general theme of the struggles that these two had to face was familiar to me, the story-line itself was refreshingly different as I personally have not read anything like what Liv had gone through.   And as much as I guessed what was going on pretty early in the story, there were many smaller twists to my theory that surprised me and left me a bit stunned as they were revealed! 

All the Broken Pieces is a stand-alone novel as far as I know, and it ended perfectly...with me wanting more but feeling very satisfied with how it ended...on a note of hope and happiness for Liv.   There were some great messages, too, that were not lost on me.  I would enthusiastically recommend this story to everyone and I plan on purchasing the book to have in my own library.  I'm also looking forward to other offerings by this author!

I'd like to thank the publisher, Elana Johnson of Entangled Publishing, for the opportunity to read and review this book prior to its official release!
~
Favourite Quote:  "He leaned down and kissed the raised line on her chest, then moved his lips up to the scar on her neck.  "Obviously, I haven't done a very good job of expressing how beautiful I think you are.""  ~p. 301


Summary:

What if your life wasn’t your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?
 
 

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