Genre: YA Contemporary
*Warning* This book discusses and deals with marijuana addiction. While I’m aware the substance is slowly being legalized in the United States, like tobacco and other drugs it is still a drug with addictive attributes.
Pieces of Love left me… with a ton of pieces. I’m really having a difficult time coming up with how I felt about this book. I’ll say it’s definitely a coming of age story and fits into the YA genre. The challenge with this book is that the main character, Alexis, doesn’t have a lot of conflict. The antagonist of the story is really her grief and loss, which can be difficult to pull off.
Alexis deals with her grief by smoking pot and avoiding responsibility. I’m familiar with this type of attitude because I experienced something similar in high school. The problem is that Alexis was the one stopping Alexis, and this kind of empty conflict with the main character lashing out at her stepfather, grandmother, and anyone else offering a ‘wise word’ got old. I wanted to see growth or see her truly hit a black moment and I kept searching for it.
When the seemingly ‘black moment’ came, I didn’t really feel like the situation was the worst thing that could happen to her. Yet, it was enough to give me a good case of happy thoughts and wrap up the story. Now character wise, Sharon provides a good cast of different folks to liven up Alexis’s world, but I had a hard time seeing them through Alexis’ eyes. This whole book is in first person POV and we never leave Alexis’ head. Her snark, negative, grief filled mind drowns out the happiness, and there were points I wanted to pull my hair out because I could not sympathize with her attitude.
If you enjoy learning about far off places the author provides a great picture of the Mediterranean and life on a cruise ship. There are also several brief history lessons, but for me these slowed the pacing of the story and I found myself skimming them. I enjoyed the author’s knowledge, but it sacrificed chances to give the story more angst.
Overall, I found myself going through the motions with this book instead of getting lost in the Alexis’s life and the adventure she was on. The budding love story, her personal bad habits, and the long winding road of her grief spiral didn’t grab me like I hoped, but other’s may find a kindred soul in Alexis, a girl trying to find her way.
If you want to read it for yourself, snag a copy of Pieces of love at: