Piecing Me Together
by Renée Watson
read in February 2018
This is a spoiler-free review!
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.
In over a month and a half, I haven’t rated a single book five stars. I thought I wasn’t in the mood to read and wouldn’t love anything, but after reading Piecing Me Together I realise that’s not true because I loved everything about this novel!
This book isn’t exactly underrated because it has won several awards, but I think it deserves a lot more praise than it has received. I love this book so much. Every character was complex and Jade was a wonderful protagonist. Her inner monologues were so on point; I love how she took others into account without sacrificing herself.
As usual I have a hard time writing a review for a book I love because all I want to say is I LOVE IT I LOVE IT, PLEASE PICK THIS UP IF YOU CAN! Piecing Me Together discusses a lot of important topics such as racism, racial profiling, poverty, sexism, etc. and it does so wonderfully. Seriously, whenever a character says something problematic, it is called out in the book (with the exception of cissexist language such as “men and women”).
Jade is black but she occasionally mentions the treatment of Native Americans in the United States as well. Usually they are excluded from conversations, so that was a really nice change.
I also adored the different types of family that are portrayed in the book (e.g. divorced parents). It definitely added another layer of authenticity.
content and trigger warning for racism, racial profiling, police brutality, ableist language, sexism, anti-fat remarks, one mention of drug use, one mention of cheating, slut-shaming, cissexist language
Clearly, I absolutely loved this book! I loved following Jade’s journey as a black, fat and poor teenager in the United States and I certainly plan on reading more of this author’s work! 5 out of 5 stars!
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