Welcome to my stop on the Pieces of Me blog tour being presented by Random House Children's Books! Today I have my review of the book to share with you!
Pieces of Me
Author: Amber Kizer
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
When high school oddball and introvert Jessica Chai is killed in a car accident, her parents decide that Jessica would have wanted her organs donated to those who so desperately need these gifts of life. But Jessica is angry about dying and being dismembered. Taking the idea of cell memory to the next level, not only do the recipients get pieces of Jessica, but gets pieces of their memories and lives moving forward—she knows what they know and keeps tabs on their growth, recovery, and development. This begins her journey to learn her purpose as she begins to grasp that her ties to these teenagers goes beyond random weirdness. It's through their lives that Jessica learns about herself, as she watches the lives she literally touched continue to interlock.
Pieces of Me is a heartwarming and unique look at how even terrible situations can bring hope and meaning to people's lives. Jessica Chai is incredibly shy and a bit weird - something she's come to accept in high school. One fateful day, Jessica is killed in a car accident and her parents decide that Jessica would want her organs donated to those who are in need of them. What nobody knows is that Jessica is furious that she died and that parts of her are being given away. The recipients of Jessica's organs get something along with a new lease on life - they are given glimpses of Jessica and her life. On the other hand, Jessica is also connected to those who receive her organs - she gets to see their memories and watch as their lives go on. As Jessica watches these teenagers recover and continue with their lives, she begins to discover that her purpose in life may have been much different than she believed at first and her connection with the teens who are now connected to her is more than coincidence - and is also Jessica's path to learning about herself.
I found the concept of this book to be incredibly fresh to the genre. There's nothing else like it out there right now and the author definitely gives a unique perspective to a normally sad and morbid situation. Jessica is a wonderful main character, although she's dead for the majority of the book. She lives on in a strange and fascinating way - through cell memory and above - and the reader gets to know her on several levels because of this viewpoint. We learn her hopes, fears, feelings and thoughts throughout the book - through her own mind and through those who have received her organs. This novel is definitely touching and speaks of deep subjects such as loss, regret, grief, hope, sadness, family, and self discovery - just to name a few. The author gives us this story in a way that isn't the typical gloom and doom of such novels - it's full of heartwarming moments, hope, and self realization that each of us can relate to in some way. The pace was natural and it flowed easily, which made it a quick read for me. The writing was impeccably done with fantastic attention to detail - both emotional and physical. I highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary fiction as well as those who are looking for a great story that challenges your beliefs and perceptions on organ donation, death, and fate.
A food lover, she plans trips around menus, wishes cookbooks were scratch and sniff, and loves to make complicated recipes—especially desserts. When she’s not reading from a huge stack, she’s coaxing rose bushes to bloom, watching delightful teen angst on television, or quilting with more joy than skill. She takes her tea black, her custard frozen, and her men witty. She lives in the Seattle area with a menagerie of animals that seems ever changing.
An avid learner, she focused on the writing craft and her unpublished works won awards from PNWA, San Diego RWA, and the Saskatchewan Romance Writers. Her first young adult series sold at auction to Delacorte Press with ONE BUTT CHEEK AT A TIME premiering, in hardcover October 9, 2007. The paperback will be released December 9, 2008
The star of Amber’s series Gert Garibaldi has been called “honest, brash, and outspoken” and her books take on traditionally taboo subjects.
The second in the series FROM BUTT TO BOOTY will be out December 9, 2008. Amber currently has three other books under discussion and looks forward to seeing them on bookshelves in the coming years.
Comfortable in the classroom, with kids or adults, she regularly teaches workshops to all levels of writers. Find her on the web at www.AmberKizer.com or www.OneButtCheek.com, watch a movie-style book preview at www.YouTube.com or listen to an audio excerpt at www.booktalkradio.com.
Giveaway: The awesome people at Random House are allowing me to give away (1) hardcover copy of PIECES OF ME to a lucky winner! (US Only!)
Follow along with the tour:
2/4: Peace Love Books
2/5: A Patchwork of Books
2/7: Once Upon a Twilight
2/11: The Hiding Spot
2/13: Paranormal Angel
2/15: Live to Read
2/17: Jean Book Nerd2/18: Confessions of a Readaholic
*A huge thank you to Delacorte/Random House Children's Books for sending me a copy of the book for review!*