Pieces of Me
By Amber Kizer
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Source: TourSummary: 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.
Review: Okay, I have to start off by saying that the summary for this book is kind of misleading. Well, at least to me it was. The whole part about Jessica being "angry" about her organs being donated to a bunch of people when she died made me think that this book would be about her complaining the whole time and haunting the people who got her organs. Thank goodness I was wrong, because this one is focused on the lives of those living with her organs and how they're trying to find how amazing the life they've fought to have can really be.
Jessica Chai has never been anyone special, blending into the crowds at school and staying on the down-low where her overachieving mother is involved. So when she dies, it shouldn't surprise her that her mother turns her life into a philanthropic legend, donating her organs to those who may die at any moment without them. For some reason, though, Jessica's spirit doesn't move on, and she finds herself connected to the teens who received parts of her. Her recipients may have a new chance at life, but receiving Jessica's pieces is only the beginning of a long journey towards recovering lives worth living.
Wow, this was not what I expected at all. What I thought would be a haunting ghost story ended up being an emotional roller coaster of teens trying to live with organ donations. Each of the characters are trying to live up to expectations and trying to live life when they've spent most of their time trying to get the chance to live it. Each of the characters are so unique, but I'd say Vivian was definitely my favorite. I loved how she was a painter and saw everything relating to colors. She's a girl everyone can relate to, even if they don't have a life threatening disease. Her relationship with Leif was so gosh darn cute and it was fun watching them learn more about each other and grow closer.
While it was difficult to keep all of the characters in order at the beginning, their stories started to flesh out and you become invested in each and every one of them. While Jessica was present at times, I really liked how she wasn't an overbearing presence on the stories of the survivors that needed to be told. She had her chance to grow as a person (or spirit) at the end, and she let the rest of the characters really understand and cope with their lives for the rest of the book.
I was pretty indifferent going into this one, but as I read more and more about these amazing teens going through such emotional journeys, I couldn't put the book down. My eyes even started watering at the end (which is a pretty big deal for me), so you could say this one had its emotional moments. Pieces of Me delivers a touching experience as it allows the reader to delve into the lives of teens who have no idea just how connected they are to each other. No one is really ever alone, it just takes finding the right people to help remind you of that important fact of life.
About the AuthorAmber Kizer is not one of those authors who wrote complete books at the age of three and always knew she wanted to be a writer. When she faced a rare chronic pain disorder her freshman year of college, she knew she was going to have to learn to live outside the box. After one writing workshop, she fell in love with telling stores and she’s still going strong. Her characters tend to be opinionated, outspoken, and stubborn—she has no idea where that comes from.
A food lover, she plans trips around menus, wishes cookbooks were scratch and sniff, and loves to make complicated recipes—especially desserts. When she’s not reading from a huge stack, she’s coaxing rose bushes to bloom, watching delightful teen angst on television, or quilting with more joy than skill. She takes her tea black, her custard frozen, and her men witty. She lives in the Seattle area with a menagerie of animals that seems ever changing.
One lucky reader will get to win a copy of Pieces of Me by Amber Kizer! Just fill out the rafflecopter below! ***US Only*** Ends 2/11
Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour!
2/4: Peace Love Books
2/5: A Patchwork of Books
2/7: Once Upon a Twilight
2/11: The Hiding Spot
2/13: Paranormal Angel
2/15: Live to Read
2/17: Jean Book Nerd