Thank to you NetGalley and Flux for this copy of Pieces of Us. It's not often that I'm at a loss for words but this book that's full of hurt and pain left me speechless and emotionally drained. It's gritty and real, dealing with issues that run the gamut from parental neglect to a taped date rape that goes viral.
Four teens, two brothers and two sisters. For years they've spent their summers at their grandparents lake house, the one place they feel they can be themselves, unlike at home where they spend their school year trying to be who everyone else expects them to be. They think the choices they make in their "winter" lives won't carry over to their "summer" ones but every choice has a consequence. When one of those choices goes horribly wrong, all four will be forced to face the truth before it threatens to destroy all of them.
What this story lacked was understanding and forgiveness from the characters. Each is so broken it's heartbreaking and one would think that would make them more empathetic towards one another but it doesn't. Kyle is the only one who seems to show compassion but even he's limited because of his tortured past. Julie is so desperate for love from her mother it clouds her judgement and she loses herself and those she loves most. Alex and Katie showed potential in the beginning but I found his complete lack of understanding and forgiveness disgusting and hypocritical. If you really love someone, you forgive them, especially when they are the victim of a crime no less. I would've like to have seen Alex redeem himself in the end, even if it was years down the road. I felt the ending was rather abrupt and left too open.