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Girl In Pieces Review


  In the novel “Girl in Pieces” by Kathleen Glasgow, we learn about a girl named Charlie Davis who has a rough past. The story starts off with Charlie at the end of her stay at a mental hospital. We learn about how she was abandoned by her mother and was forced to live on the streets. She had found many friends but also came upon older men who used her for their own profit. Those older men would mentally, physically, and sexually abuse her as well as other teens. Before she was put in the mental hospital, she was found bleeding out from self-harm cuts on her arms. When Charlie gets out of the mental hospital, she is picked up by her mom but is unaware that her mom is shipping her off to Arizona to live with one of her old friends, Michael. She gets two weeks to find a job and move out of Michael’s apartment. She finds a job at a diner called Grit and meets a damaged guy named Riley, whom she ends up falling in love with.


  For the first three-fourths of ‘Girl in Pieces’, I found it hard to keep up with and I had a hard time wanting to continue reading. The plot of the book was great but I feel like the story wasn’t going anywhere and just kept repeating itself. The main character Charlie had a lot of mental issues and when someone showed her love she put all of her time and effort into them even if they were toxic and manipulative. 

  I wish the story had told a little bit more about her past before the mental hospital because I feel like it would have given important information about her as a person, as well as more about her old friends and relationships. It seems to me that her past relationships with guys, friends, and family affect her relationships with people who care about her now. 

  When Charlie first got to Arizona and met Mikey’s landlord Arial, she somehow felt drawn to her and felt safe around her. I feel like Arial treated Charlie like her own daughter and felt close to her, because Ariel’s son had died of a drug overdose, and saw something similar to Charlie and wanted to save her. 

  I felt like Mikey was sending mixed signals to Charlie about relationships and was playing with her emotions. At times he would seem super sweet and caring but other times would be condescending and mean. Mikey kept comparing Charlie to how she was before the mental hospital, and I think that made it hard for her to move on and start a new life. I was kinda relieved when Mikey left to record a song with his band. 

  Charlie’s next love interest, Riley, is a manipulative 27-year-old. He takes advantage of Charlie and her tragic past by making her do drug runs for him, taking care of him when he is too drunk or high and passes out, and for other personal reasons. Riley makes Charlie feel special and feel needed. Additionally, I think that Riley likes having someone to take care of him because he doesn’t like responsibility and he likes having power over someone. I wish that the author had included a love triangle in the story between Charlie, Riley, and another guy who was sweet and caring because I feel like Charlie needed someone in her life to bring her on the right path. Once Charlie starts being close with Riley she shuts out everyone who tried to help her when she first got out of the mental hospital and I feel like that she doesn’t actually like him but just likes the attention. 

  As soon as Charlie’s friend from the mental hospital, Blue, comes and visits and stays with Charlie, Blue also seems really interested in Riley. Charlie feels incredibly jealous but feels bad for Blue because she feels like Blue needs someone in her life who cares about her. I get the impression Charlie doesn’t feel like she has done something in her life to deserve love. 

  Charlie’s roommate from the mental hospital had set herself on fire and she passed. Charlie and Blue took this really hard and went down a bad path. For some reason, Riley was really hurt about this and I’m not exactly sure why. He was so mad that he cheated on Charlie, robbed her apartment, beat up Blue, and stole a car. Riley was caught after and put into rehab. I believe someone should have admitted Riley to a rehab center sooner. Before going to the rehab center Riley had agreed to play music at a concert in memory of his friend, and the center allowed him to perform with a guard and an ankle monitor. 

  Riley then performed a romantic love song about Charlie. I believe that he wanted to change, but he was at a lower place in the recovery than Charlie and kept pulling down her to his level. That had made it hard for Charlie to continue her recovery. 

  Right before the concert, Charlie found out she was getting an opportunity for a job in New York to be an artist. She decided to take the job and left the morning after the concert. I think that the job is going to be really good for Charlie because I felt like it was really hard for her to move on when she was surrounded by people who did the same things she used to do. 

  I feel like the story was too long and each day was very repetitive and had no real plot until the end. I wish that Charlie had stuck up to Riley sooner and I feel like she was mostly going backwards in her mental health journey.

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About the Contributor
Emma Howell-Leman
Emma Howell-Leman, Podcast Coordinator
Emma Howell-Leman is a sophomore in her second year of newspaper. She likes to learn about current sports and people's opinions on certain topics. She has decided to take newspaper to broaden her knowledge of current events, get out of her comfort zone, and talk to new people. Emma rides horses at a local barn that her mom owns and competes competitively around the U.S.

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