Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (Spoiler free!)

Girl In Pieces
“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.”
― Kathleen Glasgow, Girl in Pieces

Title: Girl in Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 416
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: August 30, 2016

Synopsis From Goodreads:

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.
A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
This is going to be one of those reviews where my words simply cannot convey how beautiful and heartbreaking the story really is. Sometimes you just have to read things yourself to understand the full scope of the words, but I’ll try my best!
Girl in Pieces was NOT an easy read for me. It took a long time for me to finish, but it wasn’t because of any fault in the writing. It is a very… I’m going to call it “heavy” read that deals with a lot of rough situations and difficult subjects. I am not typically one to read such, so I was a little out of my element. I originally picked up the book because I saw lots of really amazing reviews floating around youTube, and I am addressing some of the same mental health factors in my own work in progress. I thought it would help me out with research for my story to read from a character’s perspective who had those issues, but I really didn’t expect to get sucked into the story like I did!
The entire book is narrated in first person by Charlie Davis, a 17 year old girl who has gone through more than anybody should ever have to go through in a lifetime. Her father committed suicide, her best friend committed suicide, her mother abused her physically and emotionally, and the only source of comfort she came to know was her “tender kit,” a box containing the pieces of a broken mason jar and everything she needed to patch up her own cuts. She wrote her pain on her own body; every physical scar came to represent a much deeper internal scar that no one but herself could see. She shut the world out, built up a wall, refused to let even herself in sometimes.
Charlie’s story unfolded over three parts, each part revealing another layer of character growth. The beginning is rough, choppy, and somewhat disjointed, but it wouldn’t have been true to Charlie’s character to do it any other way. Charlie isn’t a character that anyone can just instantly connect with; you have to understand her first. The middle was smoother, but had a bit of a lost quality to it. Charlie was on her own, completely alone, and didn’t have any idea how to find her place in the world. She relapsed into old ways, fought her way back to the light, got caught up into toxic situations like she had before, and fell into the darkest point of the whole story as a result. The third part came full circle. Charlie found friends, came out of the silence again, and found a place where she belonged. The writing of the final part has an almost lyrical quality to it, and it gives a sense of hope and strength for Charlie’s future.
After finishing that last page, I feel like I understand self-harm and PTSD in a way I didn’t before. It’s one thing to read out of my psychology text book, perform extensive Google searches, and watch more youTube videos than is probably necessary or healthy, but another thing entirely to read something shown through the mind of a character with a particular disorder. Like I said before, this isn’t something I would normally read. I’ll almost always pick fairies and rainbows and witches trying to kill people over a YA contemporary, but something drew me to this book because I am trying to incorporate some of the same issues into my novel with a fantasy twist. It is definitely on the darker and heavier side for a young adult novel, but I realize now that it’s important for stories like this to exist because people are in all kinds of situations. As terrible as it is, there are a LOT of teenagers in situations like Charlie’s. I actually Googled the exact statistics because of my psych nerd tendencies, but I didn’t write them down, so I’ll spare you.
Throughout the book there is a strong theme of letting your voice be heard, of letting your story be known, and at the end of the book, Charlie is ready for the world to know her story and hear her words. It stresses the need to find an outlet for emotions, be it writing, or drawing, or music. In a way, I think that writing is an outlet for authors to share their own stories with the world. Even if they create their own fantastical world from scratch, it’s still going to hold a part of them in it because it came out of their brain. I somehow managed to not cry while I was reading Girl in Pieces, but that author’s note almost did me in. You’ll understand more if you actually read it, but it is clear that Charlie Davis and her story is Kathleen Glasgow’s way of sharing part of her own story in order to make an impact. It’s books like this one that really get the message across more than any news article ever could.

Girl in Pieces is NOT for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of blood and drugs and alcohol involved, and some harsh language. Don’t read it if you’re gonna have a problem with that, (I am warning you now!)
■This is a book that is going to make you think about some rough stuff. If you don’t wanna think, go read something with unicorns and rainbows!
■It’s a little hard to read in some places because the writing is a little choppy, but it wouldn’t be true to character otherwise.
■The ending is beautiful, and I know it will give somebody hope.
■The whole theme of the book is to let your words be heard and your story be known. Charlie made her story known by the end of it, and I know her story will help a lot of people understand those like her.
■This book is amazing, and it gets a five star rating!

Share your thoughts?
Have you, or are you planning to read Girl in Pieces? Tell me what you think of the book, (or my rambling review), in the comments or on Twitter @Cheyenne_writes!

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan EE

Angelfall cover art

Title: Angelfall 

Author: Susan EE 

Series: Penryn & the End of Days, (Book 1) 

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, SciFi 

Pages: 224 

Format Read: Audio

Publisher: Filia 

Published: July 3, 2013 


iTunes Audio 


Barnes & Noble 



Goodreads Synopsis: 

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again. 

My Rating: ☆☆ 

Disclaimer, disclaimer! I am a self-proclaimed angel enthusiast! I love studying angel lore! Cheyenne Raphael is my pen name because Archangel Raphael is the angel of healing and the patron angel of the blind. Therefore, I had some angelic expectations upon opening this book! 

I did really enjoy Angelfall, but it was also a bit of a let down for me. I’ll hit the high points first, and then I’ll get into the… not so great stuff. And we’re gonna do this in bullet point form today because I have to do chemistry homework after this is over… Yay me… 


The Awesome Stuff! 

  • Penryn Young is a total badass! Like she is awesome, and I love her sarcastic attitude, and we would either be best friends or one of us would kill the other! I’d probably be the one to die… 
  • Penryn’s Mom has paranoid schizophrenia, and it is portrayed very well. I love books with mentally ill characters that aren’t just there for the sake of having mentally ill characters! Like she’s crazy, and that’s a problem, but it’s also not a problem, and that’ll make more sense when you actually read it… Maybe… 
  • There are angels! And they’re actually real angels mentioned in the lore! Sort of… 
  • Penryn’s little sister is wheel chair bound, which is awesome because I don’t see many books with wheel chair bound characters! I have NO idea if it’s a good portrayal of a wheel chair bound character because obviously I’ve never experienced that. It could be totally stereotypical like most blind characters in YA literature, but it seemed pretty darn good to me, and the fact that we had a schizophrenic character and a character in a wheel chair in the same book is awesome! (someone please tell me if this is a good wheel chair bound character because now I really wanna know…) 
  • The plot keeps you on your toes! In fact, it kept me up until midnight trying to finish it… And I had to do Algebra the next day… That went well! Not! 
  • I was really able to get into Penryn’s head and connect with her character. The writing style and POV made that really easy, and it was literally an emotional rollercoaster! 
  • I listened to the audio book, and the narrator was amazing!!! That has absolutely nothing to do with anything unless you love audio books like I do, so just go with it if you don’t…. 


The Not So Great Stuff: 

  • The angels are… interesting. I guess I didn’t really expect it to follow the lore exactly, but I didn’t expect them to be kinda warped either. And… There’s some stuff in there that bugs me about the whole God/angel connection thing. You’ll get it when you read it… 
  • The romance aspect seems kinda silly to me! Like… It’s not very believable! I get that it’s fantasy, but usually I can suspend my disbelief and become absorbed in the story enough to believe anything, and that didn’t happen with this relationship! I can’t say anymore for fear of spoilers, so just see for yourself! 
  • Why does every chapter end with a massive cliff hanger?! That’s cool sometimes, but it got old after about the first five times it happened. I’m the kind of person who can’t stand to stop anywhere other than a chapter break, and those, “whose gonna die?!” cliff hangers were making it reeeeeally hard to find a good place to stop and sleep! Hence the midnight reading… 
  • The writing was a little overdone in some places. I noticed it mainly with dialogue and descriptions, which is something I notice a lot because I have to watch it in my own writing. I mean… We get that the city is in ruin; you don’t have to tell us fifty-two thousand times! And the dead body description is making me sick… 
  • Why are there suddenly creepy alien monsters being created in an angelic science lab? Where did that even come from? Is that just there for a weird plot twist to keep people up reading late and give them nightmares, or is it going to mean something later? Ok… It did mean something, but it was just a little shocking, and nothing really lead up to that. I had this whole elaborate plot worked out in my head the way I would have written it, and then it all crumbled to the ground with freaky stuff that seemed like it didn’t belong. We already had demons, and then these weird, creepy, SciFi monsters took over the plot and i didn’t see their connection to the previously mentioned demons!
  • What is with that ending?! It just stopped suddenly, and nothing really came to any kind of close! I get that there are more books in the series, but even though it is a series, it needs some kind of closure or else it’s gonna drive me insane! And not the good kind of insane that makes me want to keep reading! That goes back to the massive cliff hangers getting old after a while… 

Final thoughts: 

I liked Angelfall, and I will probably finish the series, but the other books got shoved further down my TBR list after reading the ending. I wasn’t impressed with the ending, and endings are the one way for a writer to hold my trust. If you can’t write a good ending, I won’t trust you to write a good series. That’s ironic since I struggle with endings myself, but it’s just how I am! The cliff-hanger chapters threw me off too. I like short chapters, and I don’t mind cliff-hangers at all, but we don’t need a giant cliff-hanger to end every chapter. Sometimes it is perfectly ok to write a small cliff-hanger that doesn’t immediately threaten anyone’s life. I did really like Penryn’s character, and her and her sister are honestly probably the only reason I plan to continue the series. I thought I’d like it for the angels, but they’re just weird… Angels shouldn’t be weird! 


What Do You Think? 

Have you read Angelfall? Are you going to read Angelfall? Do you agree or disagree with me? Let’s talk bookworm stuff in the comments! 

P.S: My laptop is insisting on autocorrecting Penryn to Penny, so sorry about that if I missed any! I tried… I really tried… But technology hates me today… 

From Cheyenne 🙂