I recently finished reading Kathleen Glasgow’s debut novel, Girl in Pieces. Girl in Pieces is a young adult novel that follows main character, Charlotte “Charlie” Davis, on her journey of self-discovery. Charlie specifically is battling against her proclivity to self-harm through cutting and decides to strike out and start fresh in Arizona. Despite being in a different location, Charlie learns that no matter how many miles between her home and Arizona, that doesn’t mean her past can’t catch up with her.
In this novel, Glasgow shows her skills as a master of entering into the mind of a teenage girl. Despite the complicated feelings Charlie has, the use of striking metaphors leave a lasting impression on the reader. I really enjoy the alternative format of the novel, there weren’t traditional chapters but sections divided by markings on the pages. There were also pages that would include descriptive blurbs about the setting and Charlie’s feelings about the situation. Self-harm is a serious condition that Glasgow handles delicately. I think that anyone who enjoys reading young adult novels like John Green would really enjoy reading this. I stumbled upon the novel while seeing the “recommended books” section of Amazon and definitely do not regret the purchase.
After reading Stephanie Danler’s Sweetbitter, I think that I am a different person than I was before I started it. That’s the power of books, you know. You live a whole other life within them and whether there are any physical differences or not, you are forever changed.Sweetbitter was better than I could have ever imagined. I was captivated and honestly could have finished the book in 24 hours if I didn’t have other responsibilities.
From the deckled edge to the narrative voice, the book is young, rough, raw and full of emotion. Danler manages colorful descriptions from the biting cold of winter to the feel of sunlight peaking over the horizon as you stumble home from a night out. In 352 pages, you see New York City with the wide eyed innocence of 20-something year old Tess. You understand her desire to escape her small town life, become free and experience life for the wild ride that it truly is. Danler intentionally uses the changing seasons, various platters and flavors and the people in her life to set the stage for all the life experiences that Tess will go through. She will be changed forever and you know it from the beginning and eagerly hang on for the ride.
Danler has set the bar pretty high for her debut novel and I cannot wait to read what she comes up with next. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a good, captivating read but more specifically for 20-something-year-olds with an insatiable sense of adventure.