Jan 2, 2013

Review: 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues

Title: 34 Pieces of You
Author: Carmen Rodrigues
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 9.04.2012
Pages: 325
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher

Rating: B

Summary (from Goodreads):
There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.

Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along...

Dark, brooding, and turbulent, 34 Pieces of You is the disturbing tale of a young girl of dies (Ellie) and the three people left behind to piece together what happened, ultimately leading to her death. By the time I was done reading, Carmen Rodrigues had me all twisted up and I wasn’t entirely sure what I thought.

The story is told through 3 alternating points of view, and I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of this. Sometimes alternating POVs work, but 3 was just a little much, especially when it was done in a way as to piece together past events. It took me about half the book to fall into a rhythm where I wasn’t feeling jarred at the start of a new chapter, which also made it hard to connect with the characters until later in the story.

The main driving point for me was Rodrigues’s writing. There’s something about her style that just grabbed me, and even when I was confused or irritated with the story and/or characters, I kept on going because I just loved the way she hung words together.

Fair warning: This book does deal with suicide, drug use, sex, language, and all those things that come with it. If you are a person who gets offended easily or are a younger reader, I’d hold off a bit. I think that these uses actually enhanced the overall credibility of the story and where Rodrigues was taking things, but I don’t know that I would want a 13-year-old reading this.

I also recommend you make sure you’re in the right mindset for this novel. Sometimes I crave something dark and a bit disturbing. Something to counter the light heart fluff and romance I sometimes find myself surrounded by. For people who like their happy endings with a side of romance, this may not be your pick. But for people who love a shadowy twist to their novel, definitely waste no time grabbing this!


  1. I typically gravitate toward the darker, grittier reads, so I'm thinking this might be a good book for me Hannah! I'm with you on the POVs, normally a dual POV works for me, but anything more than that and I get antsy, wanting to return to the character that fascinates me most. Still, you obviously enjoyed this one despite that drawback, so it's going on my list!


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