Book Review: Pieces of Me by Amber Kizer

When high school oddball and introvert Jessica Chai is killed in a car accident, her parents decide that Jessica would have wanted her organs donated to those who so desperately need these gifts of life. But Jessica is angry about dying and being dismembered. Taking the idea of cell memory to the next level, not only do the recipients get pieces of Jessica, but gets pieces of their memories and lives moving forward—she knows what they know and keeps tabs on their growth, recovery, and development. This begins her journey to learn her purpose as she begins to grasp that her ties to these teenagers goes beyond random weirdness. It's through their lives that Jessica learns about herself, as she watches the lives she literally touched continue to interlock.

Release Date: February 11, 2014
Age Group:  YA
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed By: Kelli

Pieces of Me was such a beautiful story!  And what an emotional journey.  This book reminded me of the emotional rawness of If I Stay, and it was sort of a behind-the-scenes look at the "unwinds" in Neal Shusterman's Unwind.  I make these comparisons to praise Amber Kizer.  Any book that lends itself to comparison to Unwind or If I Stay is a great book, in my opinion.
I fell in love with Pieces of Me from the very first page.  Jessica is bullied by a group of popular girls (she calls them The Skirts, which was fitting) and she struggles with feeling alone and left out in high school.  I felt so badly for her, even before her tragic accident.
Pieces of Me takes place over a year.  I love that; books that take place over long time periods allow for plenty of my favorite thing to read about: character growth.  The plot had so much depth to it.  The fact that the book spanned a year in time meant that the group of main characters really changed throughout the story, in ways I didn't expect. 
I thought that Pieces of Me was going to just be Jessica's story.  But instead, it had sort of an ensemble cast of main characters, which made it all the more interesting.  Everything is told from Jessica's perspective, but I still got to know all the characters really well.  Jessica has a bird's eye view of their thoughts and daily life, and I love that. 
At its heart, this book was about answering the questions: what does your life mean?  What's your purpose?  And how do you change the world after you're gone?  I think that those are important questions to answer, and these issues aren't often addressed in YA literature.  I admired Kizer for taking the leap and writing about the hard questions, and especially for the way she answered those questions. 
The writing style was perfect for the story.  The prose was beautifully written, and emotional without being too wordy.  I can't say enough good things about Pieces of Me.  It was a excellent story and I look forward to Kizer's next novel!

Stop by the other blogs on the Pieces of Me blog tour:
Pieces of Me Blog Tour
2/10: Bookish

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