Published: February 14th 2017 by Bloomsbury
Source: E-ARC from Netgalley
Format: E-ARC, Kindle
Page Count: 272
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Synopsis: A timely and powerful story about a teen girl from a poor neighborhood striving for success, from acclaimed author Renée Watson.
Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.
But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.
Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face.
Spoiler Free Review:
As always, I am very late to reviewing books but as the cliche saying goes, better late than never? Piecing Me Together focuses on race, white privilege and womanhood. It’s an important story, especially towards teenagers who aren’t aware of the daily struggles of an African American teenager. But also for people who can relate to Jade’s life and understand where she’s coming from.
The book isn’t written in verse, but the short chapters and poetic verses almost felt like it was a story written in verse. Art in all forms is significant throughout the story which really spoke to me. Jade is an artist and loves to draw and create collages. The art was symbolic of her life and Jade growing into herself. White privilege, racial profiling and police brutality are all topics brought up in this story. You really get to see how scary it is for black teenagers to be living in fear of being oppressed or arrested for no reason.
So one thing I’ve noticed in some YA books is after an event, the main character kind of just gives up on their education. I was really glad to see Jade still trying to strive for success. Her mother pushing her to try and pursue a great education was very reminiscent to my own parents and I’m sure to many others. I also liked the relationship between Jade and her mentor. Her mentor didn’t fix Jade and was not perfect at all. There was some miscommunication in the beginning, but the friendship was genuine and encouraging.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story, I especially loved the poem at the end which was on police brutality. The story really did pack a punch especially towards the end and i would highly recommend reading it.