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Piecing Me Together

Review

Piecing Me Together

From the author of THIS SIDE OF HOME, Renée Watson, comes PIECING ME TOGETHER, which tackles issues of racism and class in schools.

Jade lives in the poor area of Portland, Oregon, but goes to a mostly-white rich private school in hopes of getting a better future than the people around her. She has convinced herself that in order to get out of her poor neighborhood she must use everything to her advantage. However, things change when Jade is convinced into joining Women to Women, a membership program to help black girls succeed by having black female mentors. Jade doesn’t believe that she’ll ever be able to relate with her mentor, but as their relationship grows, Jade slowly starts to open up and discovers how to express herself through her art.

"PIECING ME TOGETHER was a novel I absolutely adored; though it is slow-paced...it was made up for in its fantastic storytelling and writing."

PIECING ME TOGETHER was a novel I absolutely adored; though it is slow-paced and tended to drag a little from place to place, it was made up for in its fantastic storytelling and writing. Jade is an angry and flawed character, but readers won’t be able to help but fall in love with her. She’s an intelligent main character and is one of my favorite people to read from. I loved her for her boldness. Jade is also a character who is passionate about art, and we see that constantly throughout the novel which I adored.

What really stood out to me was the way this book deals with class between black characters. While a majority of this book is about Jade going to a mostly white school, there is a discussion on class from Jade and her mentor. Jade personally doesn’t believe that she will ever be able to relate to her Woman to Woman mentor, Maxine, because her mentor is part of a rich family, while Jade lives on the poor side with her mother. It shows that divide between poor and rich black women, and shows the way that it can affect relationships when class is a matter at hand.

This theme continues and is strengthened in the book when Jade has a conflict with one of her white friends, Sam. Similar to Jade, Sam lives in the poorer area of Portland as well, and they have a fight over racism and class. This theme of class between races is my favorite aspect of this novel since it’s a topic that I’ve never seen discussed before in a novel.

One last thing I would like to point out is that this book features no romance, which is a lot more difficult to find than it should be when it comes to books that deal with race. I personally enjoy books that have no romance in general, because romances can get in the way of the plot at times. It made me enjoy the book a bit more because of this.

PIECING ME TOGETHER is a slow-paced yet necessary read for a book that tackles smaller issues inside of class and racism. I would recommend this to someone who is looking for something similar to THE HATE U GIVE, only with the warning that PIECING ME TOGETHER is a slower read that still packs a punch. Even with its flaws, PIECING ME TOGETHER is a fabulous coming of age story I would recommend.

Reviewed by Marco M., Teen Board Member on June 28, 2018

Piecing Me Together
by Renée Watson