Title: 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues
Page Count: 336
Published On: September 4, 2012
Goodreads Rating: 3.68
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Rating: 2.5/5 Crystal Balls
Summary: There was something about Ellie…Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance—and kept watch. Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are thirty-four clues she left behind. Thirty-four strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. Thirty-four secrets of a brief and painful life. Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they confront the past, they will discover not only the darkest truths about themselves, but also what Ellie herself had been hiding all along.
Normally, I am not bothered by multiple points of view in a book, but I had a hard time following all the characters as the story kept straddling the past and the present. It was incredibly confusing how it would go back and forth, sometimes in one chapter. It was an incredibly annoying distraction that prevented me with connecting with much of the book. I am also assuming the chapter titles were actually the 34 notes from Ellie's box? It too was a unclear.
I thought this book would have been more of a mystery that united the characters, but it's not. In fact, the book ends without ever truly spelling out how Ellie died. Was it a planned suicide or an accident? Perhaps we're not supposed to know and while her story is tragic, I ultimately felt nothing for her. She was a hard character to like and reminded me too much of Alison from Pretty Little Liars. She was always playing with people and trying to make them squirm, but privately, she harbored some very dark thoughts. Despite Ellie's internal pain, I still could not sympathize for her, but I could for some of her friends.
The two characters I connected most with were Sarah, Ellie's best friend, and Jake, Ellie's older brother. Their relationship was the reason why I gave the book an extra half star. I am so glad they worked things out and are going to be a united front as they deal with the tragedy. Jessie, while another fully-fleshed out character, failed to inspire. I found her chapters annoying.
The story had an important message, but I felt like sometimes it was bogged down by the various soapy melodrama. I did like the author's note at the end which should inspire readers to find help if they need it.
In conclusion, 34 Pieces of You was a quick read, but it was only because I wanted to get through it, instead of being so ~moved that I needed to get through it.