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Girl in Pieces
Cover of Girl in Pieces
Girl in Pieces
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For fans of Girl, Interrupted, Thirteen Reasons Why, and All the Bright Places comes a novel Nicola Yoon, author of Everything, Everything, calls "a haunting, beautiful, and necessary book that will...
For fans of Girl, Interrupted, Thirteen Reasons Why, and All the Bright Places comes a novel Nicola Yoon, author of Everything, Everything, calls "a haunting, beautiful, and necessary book that will...
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  • For fans of Girl, Interrupted, Thirteen Reasons Why, and All the Bright Places comes a novel Nicola Yoon, author of Everything, Everything, calls "a haunting, beautiful, and necessary book that will stay with you long after you've read the last page."

    Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she's already lost more than most people do 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 girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow's debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It's a story you won't be able to look away from.
    Includes an Author's Note read by the Author
    "Equal parts keen-eyed empathy, stark candor, and terrible beauty. This book is why we read stories: to experience what it's like to survive the unsurvivable; to find light in the darkest night."-Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King
    "Raw, visceral, and starkly beautiful, with writing that is at times transcendent in its brilliance. . . . An unforgettable story of trauma and resilience."—Kerry Kletter, author of The First Time She Drowned
    "A breathtakingly written book about pain and hard-won healing . . . I want every girl to read Girl In Pieces."-Kara Thomas, author of The Darkest Corners
    "A Girl, Interrupted for a new generation....The story of the mad girl is ultimately a story about being a girl in a mad world, how it breaks us into pieces and how we glue ourselves back together."—Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me

    "Dark, frank, and tender, Girl in Pieces keeps the reader electrified for its entire journey. You're so uncertain if Charlie will heal, so fully immersed in hoping she does."—Michelle Wildgen, author of Bread and Butter and You're Not You

    "Girl in Pieces has the breath of life; every character in it is fully alive. Charlie Davis' complexities are drawn with great understanding and subtlety."-Charles Baxter, author of National Book Award finalist The Feast of Love
    "Charlie Davis has been damaged and abused after several years of living on the streets, but she is fiercely resilient. Though it will appeal to readers of Ellen Foster, Speak, and Girl, Interrupted, Girl in Pieces is an entirely original work, compulsively readable and deeply human."-Julie Schumacher, author the New York Times bestseller Dear Committee Members
    From the Compact Disc edition.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover
    ONE

    ***

    I can never win with this body I live in.
    —Belly, "Star"


    ***


    LIKE A BABY HARP SEAL, I'M ALL WHITE. MY FOREARMS are thickly bandaged, heavy as clubs. My thighs are wrapped tightly, too; white gauze peeks out from the shorts Nurse Ava pulled from the lost and found box behind the nurses' station.
    Like an orphan, I came here with no clothes. Like an orphan, I was wrapped in a bedsheet and left on the lawn of Regions Hospital in the freezing sleet and snow, blood seeping through the flowered sheet.
    The security guard who found me was bathed in menthol cigarettes and the flat stink of machine coffee. There was a curly forest of white hair inside his nostrils.
    He said, "Holy Mother of God, girl, what's been done to you?"
    My mother didn't come to claim me.
    But: I remember the stars that night. They were like salt against the sky, like someone spilled the shaker against very dark cloth.
    That mattered to me, their accidental beauty. The last thing I thought I might see before I died on the cold, wet grass.


    ***


    THE GIRLS HERE, THEY TRY TO GET ME TO TALK. They want to know What's your story, morning glory? Tell me your tale, snail. I hear their stories every day in Group, at lunch, in Crafts, at breakfast, at dinner, on and on. These words that spill from them, black memories, they can't stop. Their stories are eating them alive, turning them inside out. They cannot stop talking.
    I cut all my words out. My heart was too full of them.


    ***


    I ROOM WITH LOUISA. LOUISA IS OLDER AND HER HAIR IS like a red-and-gold noisy ocean down her back. There's so much of it, she can't even keep it in with braids or buns or scrunchies. Her hair smells like strawberries; she smells better than any girl I've ever known. I could breathe her in forever.
    My first night here, when she lifted her blouse to change for bed, in the moment before that crazy hair fell over her body like a protective cape, I saw them, all of them, and I sucked my breath in hard.
    She said, "Don't be scared, little one."
    I wasn't scared. I'd just never seen a girl with skin like mine.


    ***

    EVERY MOMENT IS SPOKEN FOR. WE ARE UP AT SIX o'clock. We are drinking lukewarm coffee or watered-down juice by six forty-five. We have thirty minutes to scrape cream cheese on cardboardy bagels, or shove pale eggs in our mouths, or swallow lumpy oatmeal. At seven fifteen we can shower in our rooms. There are no doors on our showers and I don't know what the bathroom mirrors are, but they're not glass, and your face looks cloudy and lost when you brush your teeth or comb your hair. If you want to shave your legs, a nurse or an orderly has to be present, but no one wants that, and so our legs are like hairy-boy legs. By eight-thirty we're in Group and that's when the stories spill, and the tears spill, and some girls yell and some girls groan, but I just sit, sit, and that awful older girl, Blue, with the bad teeth, every day, she says, Will you talk today, Silent Sue? I'd like to hear from Silent Sue today, wouldn't you, Casper?
    Casper tells her to knock it off. Casper tells us to breathe, to make accordions by spreading our arms way, way out, and then pushing in, in, in, and then pulling out, out, out, and don't we feel better when we just breathe? Meds come after Group, then Quiet, then lunch, then Crafts, then Individual, which is when you sit with your doctor and cry some more, and then at five o'clock there's dinner, which is more not-hot food, and more Blue: Do you like macaroni and cheese, Silent Sue?...

About the Author-

  • Kathleen Glasgow's debut novel is the New York Times bestseller Girl in Pieces. She lives and writes in Tucson, Arizona. To learn more about Kathleen and her writing go to her website, kathleenglasgowbooks.com, follow @kathglasgow on Twitter, or find @misskathleenglasgow on Instagram.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 6, 2016
    Nearly broken by a suicide attempt and a spate of personal losses, 17-year-old Charlotte “Charlie” Davis finds solace in the broken shards of a mason jar and, later, through art, in debut author Glasgow’s visceral novel of self-harm. On the streets of the Twin Cities after her father died and her mother simply stopped caring, Charlie “cut all her words out heart was too full of them.” Bandaged and silent, she ends up in a psych unit for self-harmers. Although Charlie sees herself in the other girls, it’s her friend Ellis she craves the most. But the Ellis she knew is gone, stuck in the limbo of cutting deep enough to cause significant blood loss but not enough to die. When Charlie is discharged abruptly, she leaves for Tucson, following Mikey, a boy she liked but who always loved Ellis more. Glasgow skillfully juggles multiple difficult topics (homelessness, self-harm, etc.) without dipping into melodrama. Charlie’s intimate first-person narration places readers deep within her experience while maintaining awareness of the outside world and the people in it. Ages 14–up. Agent: Julie Stevenson, Waxman Leavell Literary.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Julia Whelan's initial portrayal of Charlie reveals her unwillingness to speak--as well as her pain, fear, and fury. Charlie has responded to years of abuse, grief, and homelessness by cutting herself and attempting to take her own life. Gradually, Whelan recounts the changes Charlie experiences in a treatment center as she reaches out and hopes for healing. On release, Whelan contrasts the safety Charlie has come to know with her mother's coldness and desertion, but Charlie's grit is impressive as she makes faltering steps to support herself financially, artistically, and emotionally. Whelan's portrayals of minor characters aid the realism of the optimistic ending. The author's afterword tells of her personal trials and offers resources. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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