Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow | Raw and Poignant

August 22, 2016 | Posted by Genesis in Book Reviews | 21 Comments

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow | Raw and PoignantGirl in Pieces
by Kathleen Glasgow
Genres: Contemporary, Mental Illness, Young Adult
Publication Date: August 30th 2016 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 416
Format: ARC, eARC
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Book Depository
4 Stars
Source: Publisher via Netgalley, Won

For fans of Girl, Interrupted, Thirteen Reasons Why, and All the Bright Places comes Kathleen Glasgow’s debut novel about a girl who has lost everything—almost even herself.

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 thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain 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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

late chat with gen

Girl in Pieces shows a very realistic side to self-harming. It is so very raw, that it shook me to my very core. Normally, I would have eaten this book up, but the beginning was very hard for me to get through. Charlie’s thoughts are very realistic and I could relate to all the thoughts she was having about self-harm.

I’m so lonely in the world I want to peel all of my flesh off and walk, just bone and gristle, straight into the river, to be swallowed […]

I’m so happy I read Charlie’s story in Girl in Pieces because it’s the rawest one I’ve read to date, especially when it comes to cutting. The thoughts that Charlie would have throughout the story used to be my own a while ago. We sought out self-harming as our release.

I cut because I can’t deal. It’s as simple as that. […] I need release, I need to hurt myself more than the world can hurt me.

Kathleen Glasgow went full in with topics such as self-harming, drug and alcohol addiction, suicide, death, and self-esteem. Girl in Pieces describes all the feelings and thoughts that a person who self-harm has. The author didn’t sugar-coat any of it. It also shows the dangers of self-harming and abusing of drugs and alcohol. When it came to self-esteem, Charlie had the lowest of the low. She felt she really was unlovable and that she was all alone in the world. The written words in these parts felt like they were coming from a real, living and breathing person, not from a book character.

I’m so unwhole. I don’t know where all the pieces of me are, how to fit them together, how to make them stick. Or if I even can.

I’m glad the author wrote this story for everyone to read because it needs to be read. Something that I liked about this book is that it explored forms of self-harm that aren’t mentioned much, such as burning, pulling hair, among others. Self-harm tends to be overshadowed or not talked about in Young Adult novels, when they should be. This type of story will motivate readers to find out more about self-harm. Also, many readers will relate to this story in so many ways.

Things are never easy in real life, and they were never easy for Charlie. When things would start to get good, they would start to go bad again, which is exactly how it is in real life. Real life never gives you a chance to breathe, and Glasgow brought that into the story.

Girl in Pieces is so very raw and poignant. It’s also dark and petrifying, but it’s also hopeful.

On August 23rd, I will be talking more about Self-Harm and a little of my story on Novel Ink‘s blog so be sure to check it out 🙂

About Kathleen Glasgow

Kathleen Glasgow lives in Tucson, Arizona and writes for The Writer’s Almanac radio show. She likes Tyrion and Shireen, chocolate, her kids, her dog, and reading. Girl in Pieces will be published August 30, 2016, by Random House/Delacorte.

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21 responses to “Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow | Raw and Poignant

  1. I can’t handle books dealing with self-harming characters. I can’t. I hurt for them and I guess I don’t understand the way they deal with emotional pain by inflicting physical pain on themselves. I suppose that’s why I should read more about it rather than pass judgement right away, but again, I can’t deal.

    • I used to be very ignorant when it came to people who inflicted pain on themselves until I became one of them. I finally understood why. I’m not saying I support it anymore, because I don’t but I get it now. I don’t think people who haven’t gone through it will ever understand. They can try, but it’s really hard to do so. I mean, my mom lived with me and went through that time in my life with me but she never understood. Again, it’s hard, but you could try doing research and all that if you’d like.

  2. Sounds like a very powerful book – even more so when you have a personal connection to it. I’m glad you shared this one – I appreciated reading your thoughts about it.

  3. I’m really proud of you for being able to read this and push through the tough stuff. I should really read it, it sounds like a book I could recommend to some people I know. Great review. hon!

  4. Your review just made me more excited to get my hands on this book!! I’ve never read a book that focuses on self-harm so I’m really interested on this.. and I’m also sooo interested on this because of how ‘raw’ it is portrayed. Great review, Gen!

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  5. Totally agree with you about all of this! I loved that NOTHING was sugarcoated in this book. It was hard to read at times, but like, it’s even worse to live with, so it makes sense. I am really glad that Kathleen wrote the book so dark, honestly. Not that ALL MH books have to be dark, but this story… it did. And I really agree that the author did it justice. (Your post for #SS was amazing, by the way. Just wanted to tell you, I commented over there too, but just so you know. ♥♥) Great review, Gen!

  6. Eva

    Great review! Not sure I am in the mood for this one but I like that you described it as accurate and raw. This definitely sounds like it was done well!

  7. Great review! I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while now because I keep hearing that it’s a powerful read. Sounds like it’s going to be one of those reads that sticks with me for a while. Suzanne at

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